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Ashwagandha may help patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have uncontrollable, recurring thoughts and the urge to repeat behaviors. The obsessive thoughts cause anxiety, and the compulsive behaviors are an attempt to ease the anxiety. Standard prescription drug treatment is selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but only about three in 10 respond with a significant decrease in symptoms.

Ashwagandha, the Ayurvedic herb, is an adaptogen that helps the body adapt to stress and helps normalize body processes. In this study, 30 people with OCD continued taking SSRIs with or without 120 mg of ashwagandha extract capsules per day. After six weeks, those taking ashwagandha saw a 20 percent improvement in symptom severity on a standard OCD rating scale, compared to a 5 percent improvement for placebo. Doctors said ashwagandha is safe and may be an effective complementary treatment for OCD. 

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