OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental health condition which is branded by irrational, distressing, unreasonable, intrusive thoughts, ideas, desires known as obsessions or fixations and repetitive, unreasonable, physical or mental acts, behaviors also known as compulsions. OCD impacts your day to day life significantly, impairing your work school, personal and social relationships, physical and mental health and so on.(1)
Is Turmeric Good For OCD?
Turmeric contains curcumin. Curcumin showed a noteworthy improvement in the symptoms of people having OCD. Curcumin exhibited a shielding effect on memory tasks. Also, elevated levels of serotonin and reduced levels of dopamine were witnessed in rats treated with curcumin in many studies. Curcumin in turmeric has also shown a significant effect on the monoamine levels of the brain. Curcumin also affects norepinephrine levels in the brain. It is quite beneficial in many central nervous system disorders, like epilepsy and depression. Curcumin enhances the levels of many biogenic amines. It also prevents the degradation of these amines in the brain. These monoamines are involved in OCD and the effect of curcumin on these amines has prompted many studies related to curcumin and OCD.
Also, the present line of treatment for OCD involves the use of many psychiatric medicines, which may cause other harmful effects like insomnia, nervousness, anorexia, loss of libido, etc. thus, curcumin provides a promise to a safe and effective natural treatment for OCD, which is lacking any unwanted side effects.(2)
Other Natural/Herbal Remedies For OCD-
St. John’s Wort- St John’s Wort has been used for the treatment of OCD and other mental health conditions for a long time. Though the effectiveness of this remedy has not been established, it has been used in the treatment of various mental health disorders with success in many cases. It might be that the chemical present in this remedy-hypericum, is responsible to exert an action on serotonin. Serotonin is disturbed in OCD. The action of St John’s Wort on serotonin might be the reason that it is effective in treating OCD as an alternative treatment method.(3)
Milk Thistle- Milk thistle has long since been used in many places around the world in the treatment of mental health disorders. Its action is similar to that of an anti-depressant, thus proving to be an effective alternative treatment for OCD. The control of symptoms was almost similar for both, antidepressant and milk-thistle, according to a study.(3)
N-acetylcysteine- This is a type of amino acid that helps in moderation of glutamine in the brain, by producing glutathione. According to a sole study, it was found that n-acetylcysteine enhanced the actions of fluvoxamine and caused a good decrease in OCD symptoms.(3)
Side Effects Of Natural/Herbal Remedies For OCD-
Most people who consume natural/herbal remedies for OCD claim that these remedies are very safe and effective to be used on a long-term basis. However, many of these medicines are not regulated closely and need further researches to back the claims. If taken without supervision and in a wrong dosage, these remedies can pose an equal, if not more, risk of developing many unpleasant side effects
Herbal/natural medications may also be a hindrance to the action of many prescription medications, thus reducing their effectivity. Hence, if you are already taking any prescription medications, it is advisable t consult your doctor before starting any such herbal/natural remedies(3)
Curcumin present in turmeric presents an improvement in symptoms of OCD. Curcumin helps in elevating levels of serotonin and reducing levels of dopamine. It helps in having a shielding effect on memory tasks. Curcumin also affects norepinephrine levels in the brain. Curcumin enhances the levels of many biogenic amines and helps in stopping the reduction in these amines. Curcumin, due to its many benefits, prompts a need for further research and studies related to its efficacy in treating OCD.
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