If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from OCD, you know that it can be a debilitating condition. There are many prescription medications available to help treat OCD, but they often come with unwanted side effects. In this blog post, we will discuss 14 natural supplements that have been shown to be effective in treating OCD. We will also provide information on how to use these supplements safely and effectively. So if you are looking for an alternative to prescription medications, read on!
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, popular by the acronym OCD, is a mental disorder in which a person experiences obsessions and/or compulsions. Obsessions are intrusive, unwanted thoughts that cause anxiety or distress. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that a person feels compelled to do in order to relieve the anxiety caused by the obsessions. OCD can be a very debilitating condition, causing interference in daily life, work, and relationships.
While the exact cause of OCD is unknown, it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Additionally, stressful life events or trauma may trigger OCD symptoms. OCD affects people of all ages, but it typically begins in childhood or adolescence. It is estimated that OCD affects about two percent of the population. It is important to remember that OCD is a real medical condition that requires treatment. If you are struggling with OCD, know that you are not alone and there is help available.
Supplements For OCD
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating OCD, there are many effective treatments available. One of these is medication. However, medications often come with unwanted side effects, such as weight gain, fatigue, and sexual dysfunction. For this reason, many people with OCD choose to try natural supplements instead. Below we will discuss 14 of the best supplements for OCD.
Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is involved in the metabolism of every cell in the body. It is essential for the formation of red blood cells and the maintenance of nerve tissue. Vitamin B-12 has been shown to be effective in treating OCD. In one study, people with OCD who took vitamin B-12 supplements for eight weeks had a significant reduction in OCD symptoms. Studies have also shown an evident link between the deficiency of B-12 in OCD patients. These studies suggest that supplementing with vitamin B-12 may help to relieve OCD symptoms.
The recommended daily intake is 2.4 micrograms. You can get this amount from food or supplements. Typically, Vitamin B-12 is present in sources such as:
- Milk and other dairy products
Vitamin B-12 can also be taken in the form of supplements. They are typically taken in the form of tablets, capsules, or injections.
Vitamin B-12 can sometimes interact with certain medications, such as antacids and diabetes medications. That’s why it is essential to speak with a doctor before taking any supplements.
Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that is involved in the synthesis of DNA and RNA. It is also involved in the metabolism of amino acids and is important for cell growth and division. Folic acid supplements have been shown to reduce symptoms of OCD, including anxiety and depression.
The mechanisms of this supplement for OCD work by reducing the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Therefore, it is thought to be beneficial for those with OCD who have a serotonin imbalance. Folic acid supplements have shown to be particularly effective for children and adolescents with OCD.
The most common sources for folic acid include:
- leafy green vegetables
- nuts and seeds
- fortified foods such as cereals, bread, and pasta.
You can also take a folic acid supplement, which is recommended if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. These are available in the form of tablets, capsules, or liquids. The recommended dose is 400 micrograms per day.
Magnesium is another mineral that’s important for overall health. It’s involved in hundreds of different biochemical reactions in the body. It’s also known to have a calming effect on the nervous system. This makes it an effective treatment for anxiety and OCD. It works by blocking the NMDA receptor, which is involved in the development of anxiety and fear. A magnesium deficiency has also been linked to OCD. You can find magnesium in supplement form or in certain foods. These include:
- dark leafy greens
- nuts and seeds
- whole grains
The supplements are available in different forms, such as capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids. The recommended dose is 200-400 mg per day.
Iron, in addition to the health benefits on physical health, also has benefits for mental health. Low levels of iron have been linked to depression and other mood disorders. Iron supplements can help improve symptoms of OCD by increasing levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. They can also help to improve sleep quality and reduce fatigue, two common problems for people with OCD. Moreover, it has also been shown to improve cognitive function and memory recall in people with OCD.
If you’re looking for a natural way to treat your OCD, consider adding iron supplements to your regimen. You can find iron supplements at most health food stores or online. They are most commonly occurring in foods such as:
- dark leafy greens
- red meat
- fortified cereals
Start with a low dose and increase gradually as needed. Consult with a healthcare provider before taking any supplement, especially if you have other medical conditions or are taking medication.
Zinc is a mineral that’s essential for good health. It’s involved in many different processes in the body, including immunity, metabolism, and cell growth. When it comes to mental illnesses like OCD, zinc is thought to be beneficial because it helps reduce inflammation and supports the nervous system. A zinc deficiency has been linked to psychiatric disorders, so taking a supplement may help if you’re not getting enough from your diet.
The most common sources for zinc include:
- pumpkin seeds
- dark chocolate
If you’re interested in trying zinc for your OCD, talk to your doctor about the best way to supplement. They can help you determine the right dosage and make sure you’re not at risk for any side effects.
Glycine is an amino acid that’s involved in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are responsible for regulating mood, so glycine supplements have been studied as a potential treatment for mental illnesses like OCD. Glycine has also been shown to reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality, both of which can be helpful for people with OCD. It also has great impacts on the brain neurotransmitters, such as reducing anxiety, improving sleep quality and memory recall. All of these have been shown to be great benefits for people with OCD.
If you’re looking for a natural way to treat your OCD, consider adding glycine supplements to your regimen. You can find glycine supplements at most health food stores or online. Start with a low dose and increase gradually as needed. Consult with a healthcare provider before taking any supplement, especially if you have other medical conditions or are taking medication.
Ashwagandha is a herb that has been used in traditional Indian medicine for centuries. It’s thought to have a variety of health benefits. These benefits include reducing anxiety and improving OCD symptoms. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that ashwagandha was effective in treating OCD. These mechanisms work by reducing the activity of certain brain chemicals that are involved in OCD such as serotonin and dopamine.
Ashwagandha is available in supplement form. It can be taken in capsule, tablet, or tincture form. The recommended dosage is 300-500 mg per day.
Saffron is an expensive spice that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It is thought to be a natural antidepressant and can help to ease the symptoms of OCD. A small study found that saffron was as effective as Prozac in treating OCD. It has a low risk of side effects and can be taken in capsule form. If you are looking for a natural way to treat OCD, saffron may be worth trying.
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s wort is a plant that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, including OCD. SJW contains chemicals that can balance levels of serotonin in the brain, which is thought to be helpful in treating OCD symptoms. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. While there is some evidence to support the use of St. John’s wort for OCD, more research is needed.
SJW is generally well-tolerated, but it can cause side effects like dry mouth, dizziness, gastrointestinal upset, and fatigue. It can also make you more sensitive to sunlight. If you’re thinking about taking St. John’s wort for OCD, be sure to talk to your doctor first. You can intake this supplement in the form of capsules, tablets, or tea.
Perhaps, lavender is the most well-known and widely used essential oil for OCD. Lavender oil is thought to be helpful in treating OCD symptoms because it can help to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. It also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
A small study found that lavender oil was effective in reducing OCD symptoms in children, but more research is needed. Lavender oil is typically safe when used as directed, but it can cause skin irritation in some people. You can use lavender oil by diffusing it, adding it to a carrier oil, applying it to your skin, or taking it orally in capsules.
L-theanine is an amino acid that’s found in green tea. It’s thought to be helpful in treating OCD because it can help to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. L-theanine has also been shown to boost levels of serotonin and GABA in the brain, which are both thought to be helpful in treating OCD. A small study found that L-theanine was effective in reducing OCD symptoms, but more research is needed. L-theanine is generally safe when taken as directed, but it can cause side effects like headache, nausea, and dizziness. You can take L-theanine as a supplement or drink green tea.
Valerian root is a popular herbal remedy for anxiety and insomnia. It’s thought to work by increasing levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which promotes relaxation. It also contributes to the production of serotonin, a brain chemical involved in mood regulation. All these benefits make for a more balanced brain and a better ability to cope with stress.
Valerian root is typically found in capsule or tincture form. The recommended dose is 300-600 mg per day. You can also consume it in tea form. Simply add one teaspoon of valerian root to a cup of boiling water. Steep for ten minutes, then strain and drink.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase alertness and energy. It’s also known to improve mood. Caffeine works by blocking the neurotransmitter adenosine from binding to its receptors. This increases the firing of neurons and the release of other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine. This functioning is beneficial for OCD as it can help to break the cycle of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.While coffee is the most popular source of caffeine, there are other foods and beverages that contain it as well. These include tea, soda, energy drinks, chocolate, and some types of medication. The recommended dose of caffeine is 200-400 mg per day.
Lastly, probiotics are live bacteria that are found in certain foods. They’re also available in supplement form. Probiotics are known to have a number of health benefits, including reducing anxiety and depression. They work by modulating the gut-brain axis. This is the communication pathway between the gut and the brain. A healthy gut means a healthy brain. Probiotics can aid OCD by helping to reduce anxiety and improve mood. The recommended dose is 30-50 billion CFUs per day.
You can find probiotics in fermented foods, such as:
You can also take them in supplement form. Look for a product that contains multiple strains of bacteria.
These are just a few of the supplements that can help to reduce OCD symptoms. If you’re considering taking any of these, be sure to speak with your doctor first. They can suggest the best course of treatment for you.
Things To Consider
Now that we know some of the most popular and effective supplements for OCD, we must keep some things in consideration.
- Firstly, it is very important to speak with your doctor, especially if you are already taking medication. Some supplements can interact with medications and may not be suitable for you.
- Secondly, keep in mind that these supplements are not cures for OCD. They may help to ease symptoms and give you some relief, but they will not completely cure the disorder. If you’re looking for a complete cure, you’ll need to seek professional help.
- Supplements, like medication, can have certain side effects or reactions. Be sure to watch for any changes in your body, mood or behavior. If you experience any negative side effects, stop taking the supplement and speak with your doctor.
- Lastly, supplements should be used in addition to other treatment methods, such as therapy and medication. They should not be used as a replacement for these other treatments.If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD, there is help available.
In conclusion, OCD can be a difficult disorder to live with. But with the help of supplements, you can ease some of the symptoms and take back control of your life. Supplements for OCD are a natural and effective way to treat the disorder. Just be sure to speak with your doctor before starting any supplement regimen. And remember, supplements are not a cure for OCD. But they can help you manage the symptoms and live a happier, healthier life.
If you or someone you know is looking for OCD help or treatment, you may consider contacting Therapy Mantra. We have a team of highly trained and experienced therapists who specialize in OCD and other mental health disorders. We offer affordable online therapy from all across the world. You can visit our website to book an online therapy session or download our free OCD treatment app on Android or iOS for more information!