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Home Remedies For OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is a chronic, potentially disabling anxiety disorder. It is characterized by unwanted and recurring thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive as well as meaningless behaviors, but extremely difficult to control (compulsions).(1)

Home Remedies For OCD

Home Remedies For OCD

Borage Oil: The borage plant produces oil that contains anti-inflammatory gamma-linoleic acid. Inflammation happens in your brain when you have obsessive-compulsive disorder and the oil can reduce it. However, Borage is not safe for pregnant women and may make liver disease. After four weeks and then after six weeks, symptoms improved significantly in patients receiving boring oil and felt less anxious.

N-Acetylcysteine: A study showed that N-acetylcysteine, a type of amino acid enhanced the activities of SSRI Luvox or fluvoxamine and led to a major reduction in OCD symptoms by moderating brain glutamine (tends to generate glutathione.)

Milk Thistle: Milk thistle or Silybum marianum is a herbal remedy that has been used in Iran for a long time. It was found that there was no significant difference between milk thistle and Prozac in controlling OCD in 2010. This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled study comparing the effects of milk thistle with the antidepressant Prozac was studied in the treatment of OCD.

5-HTP, Zinc, And Inositol: As the case of obsessive-compulsive disorders appears since the inactivation of the serotonergic and glutamatergic tract in the brain, other herbs acting in this way were also investigated for their potential benefits. Some of these include 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and inositol.

Zinc is an essential trace element in foods such as animal meat, beans, and dairy products; fish, nuts, shellfish, and whole grains. Experts believe that zinc is a neurotransmitter, which means that it plays a role in controlling the brain and body’s response to stress. A deficiency can cause symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders.

Whether A Dietary Supplement Is Ideal For OCD Treatment?

Apart from the side-effects they may have, many of these supplements may also affect (improve or reduce) the actions of other OCD drugs. It is important to talk to your doctor before taking supplements. There is currently limited evidence that herbal medicine such as those described above helps reduces the severity of OCD. Thus, research is still needed in this area. Most herbal remedies are available in over-the-counter pharmacies.

Herbal Remedies: Possible Side Effects

While many users believe that herbs are safer and less harmful than prescription drugs, herbs such as St. John’s Wort are not as strictly regulated as traditional medicines and also cause unpleasant or dangerous side effects in some people.

Other Home Remedies Or Alternative Treatments

Meditation And Exercise: Many people with OCD find that meditation helps them avoid or control their triggers. In a study published in the journal BMC Psychiatry, researchers found that volunteers participating in conscious attention were able to better treat their OCD. You may try these simple meditation exercises in the morning.

Therapy Using Music: Researchers believe that music can help patients focus on something other than their obsessive thoughts, redirect their thoughts completely, or simply reduce stress levels. Whatever the mechanism, some studies suggest that music therapy can relieve symptoms of obsession and anxiety in just one month. You may consider learning about the incredible health benefits of music. Several studies have highlighted the benefits of music for people with depression or anxiety.(3) (4) (5)

Standard treatments for OCD include exposure-based therapy and prescription drugs such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These can provide significant relief for many, but not all, who suffer from OCD. Effective treatment of OCD, thus, can be challenging.(2) (3)

Some Healthy Food Habits To Combat OCD

  • Complex carbs (whole grains, vegetables, and fruits) to maintain healthy levels of blood sugar
  • Having adequate protein (meat, beans, eggs, etc.) helps maintain balance
  • Seeds and nuts (these usually contain a high amount of nutrients)(3)

Common Causes Of OCD

Functional, structural, and chemical anomalies in the brain are the cause. Forced behaviors are learned that repeat and become habitual when associated with anxiety relief. Obsessive-compulsive disorders are caused by genetic and hereditary factors.(4)


  1. Meier SM, Mattheisen M, Mors O, Schendel DE, Mortensen PB, Plessen KJ. Mortality among persons with obsessive-compulsive disorder in Denmark. JAMA psychiatry. 2016;73(3):268-274.
  2. Pearcy CP, Anderson RA, Egan SJ, Rees CS. A systematic review and meta-analysis of self-help therapeutic interventions for obsessive–compulsive disorder: Is therapeutic contact key to overall improvement? Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry. 2016;51:74-83.
  3. Pittenger C. Obsessive-compulsive disorder: phenomenology, pathophysiology, and treatment. Oxford University Press; 2017.
  4. Hirschtritt ME, Bloch MH, Mathews CA. Obsessive-compulsive disorder: advances in diagnosis and treatment. Jama. 2017;317(13):1358-1367.
  5. McIntyre E, Camfield DA, Sarris J. Potential herbal anxiolytics. Evidence-Based Herbal and Nutritional Treatments for Anxiety in Psychiatric Disorders: Springer; 2017:139-152.

Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 12, 2020

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