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Homeopathy for OCD: Discovering Effective Natural Treatments

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a condition that involves recurrent and involuntary thoughts, visions, belief systems, urges, and fears (obsessions) that are unwanted, intrusive, upsetting, and/or frightening, and/or ritualistic behaviors that are repetitive in nature (compulsive).

People with OCD are aware that their thoughts, urges, visions, fears, and behavior are extreme, illogical, disruptive, and unlikely, but are unable to stop them. OCD is progressive which means that it can worsen and cause havoc in your life if left untreated. When a person has OCD, they feel compelled to engage in certain behaviors or perform specific actions (rituals or routines) to ease the relentless and intrusive obsessions.

But, while performing compulsions (rituals or routines) can provide respite – it is only temporary, which means that once they are exposed to their OCD trigger(s), the angst returns, leading to another OCD cycle of stress/anxiety – obsessions – compulsions. More specifically, this condition can consume your time and prevent you from completing your daily routines, which is why it is important to seek OCD treatment for it.

For some OCD help comes in the form of traditional OCD treatment interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or exposure-response and prevention (ERP) therapy, and/or pharmaceuticals like selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). While for others, this help may come in the form of natural remedies or a combination of the two.

One such natural remedy that has taken off in this age of “self-help” and “medicinal herbs” is homeopathy. In fact, like much of the general population, OCD sufferers are increasingly taking the homeopathic route to ease or possibly “cure” their symptoms. But does it work, and more specifically, could it work for your OCD symptoms?

In this article, you will learn about homeopathy, how it is connected to OCD, and if it could be an alternative treatment to use alone or in conjunction with your OCD treatment plan.


What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is considered a “complementary medicine” or “alternative” treatment.” What does that mean? It means that it is completely devoid of “conventional” or “Western medicine protocols.”

Founded on the findings of Samuel Hahnemann, a German doctor in the 1790s, homeopathy is the belief that the same “substances” that cause ailments, diseases, disorders, and other health problems and can, when used medicinally be used to “cure” them. This occurs through a process referred to as “succussion” or the dilution of these “substances” by shaking them.

Researchers suggest that the more times these “substances” are “shaken,” the more they become dilated and are beneficial for various ailments, conditions, and other health problems. Thus, by the time they get to the consumer, they have been “shaken” and “diluted” so many times that they no longer pose a threat and can safely be used to “heal” the afflicted.

Homeopathy & OCD

The goal of homeopathy is to treat the “whole” person, not just “parts” of the person. What does that mean? It means that homeopathic doctors focus on all aspects of a “person,” along with their condition, hence the name “homeopathy” which means “all-encompassing.”

The homeopathic medicinal remedy used to treat OCD is determined following an extensive, customized examination and analysis based on the individual’s medical history – i.e., a predisposition to OCD or another mental health condition, health concerns, severity and frequency of their symptoms, current emotional and physical state, etc.

Understand, however, that the homeopathic medicines used to treat OCD have been found to be effective for some OCD sufferers, however, they should not be considered a “replacement” for your prescribed OCD treatment plan. Thus, it is important to speak with your OCD therapist before altering or stopping your OCD treatments. Also, keep in mind that every homeopathic medicine may not work for every OCD sufferer, so if you are given the go-ahead to try homeopathic remedies, it is important to take this possibility into account.

Are Homeopathic Treatments Safe & Effective For OCD?

According to Dr. Vikas Sharma, homeopathic medicines are highly effective for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) primarily because they have the ability to break OCD cycles (obsessions and compulsions). However, while Dr. Sharma touts the benefits of homeopathic medicines in the treatment of OCD, some experts are unsure of its effectiveness. Critics cite limited studies as the main cause of this hesitancy. Thus, while some experts believe in homeotherapy’s healing properties, others disagree. Still, some research appears to support the effectiveness of using homeopathic medicine to treat OCD.

One such study found that “calming” complementary medicines can ease stress and anxiety in people with OCD, thereby, reducing or eliminating obsessions and compulsions. Thus, due to the mounting positive evidence on the effectiveness of alternative treatments, researchers suggest recommending homeopathic remedies to people who struggle with mental health conditions like depression, anxiety disorders, OCD, and/or addiction.

Another study found that complementary medicine, self-help, and lifestyle changes can be beneficial for people with OCD, however, these studies have not been replicated and as such, they remain limited and unverified, and unreliable. A 2019 study also found that homeopathic remedies may improve insomnia – a common symptom of OCD. However, researchers suggest more research is needed to definitively determine its effectiveness with insomnia.

As for safety, Dr. Sharma found that complementary medicines (homeopathic medicines) are safe for most OCD sufferers. More specifically, he believes that these natural remedies are safe because they have little-to-no adverse side effects. However, while many homeopathic medicines are extremely diluted, some of these medicines may be labeled, distributed, and sold as “homeopathic” when they are not. The medicines may, in fact, be impure or contain ingredients that could cause adverse effects (side effects or drug interactions). In fact, some people have reported unpleasant side effects from homeopathic treatments.

According to a 2012 study, some homeopathic remedies, especially those that contain partially-diluted or undiluted heavy metals like iron or mercury can cause unpleasant side effects and health problems in some people.

Also, keep in mind that there may be alcohol in homeopathic liquid treatments, so take caution if you decide to partake in these natural remedies for your OCD symptoms. This is especially important if you have a comorbidity of OCD and substance abuse.

Another thing to consider when evaluating the safety of homeopathic remedies for OCD is that you may experience “homeopathic aggravation.” What is homeopathic aggravation? It is a “worsening” of your existing OCD symptoms after using a homeopathic remedy. Although this “worsening” is usually only temporary, it could be unpleasant during this time. Studies on “homeopathic aggravation” are limited, so more research is needed to determine who is at risk for this homeopathic treatment complication. Thus, it is important to consult your OCD therapist or practitioner before using or adding a homeopathic treatment to your OCD treatment protocol.

The FDA has issued a warning to consumers about homeopathic treatments. More specifically, in 2015, the FDA warned people not to replace their prescribed asthma treatments with OTC homeopathic ones because they have not been properly assessed by the FDA for safety and effectiveness. Likewise in 2017, the FDA alerted consumers that some homeopathic “teething tablets” for infants and toddlers contain large amounts of belladonna in them. Belladonna is a toxic substance and can be extremely harmful when used in large quantities.

Homeopathic Remedies That Can Help OCD

Homeopathic OCD treatments are considered “patient-focused” treatments that focus on the “totality” of the individual, rather than just their OCD symptoms. Because homeopathy takes into account all aspects of a person’s health and life situations (i.e., physical, emotional, personal, social, and mental factors, along with their genetic makeup), supporters believe that these remedies can help reduce OCD symptoms.

Homeopathic doctors select each homeopathic treatment carefully and cautiously to limit or ward off possible side effects and complications, and maximize the benefits of these treatments for OCD. According to supporters, homeopathy can prevent OCD relapses and even SSRI withdrawal symptoms. However, it is important to acknowledge critics who suggest that alternative treatments, like homeopathy medicines, are unsafe, ineffective, and pseudo (fake) treatments.

Listed below are homeopathic treatment possibilities for OCD:

  1. Arsenic Album

Arsenic Album is a diluted arsenic trioxide solution that may help OCD sufferers who struggle with the following issues: 

  • Anguish and Despair
  • Restlessness
  • Chronic Anxiety
  • Depression
  • A Fear of Being Alone
  • A Fear of Being Robbed
  • A Desire to Hide Oneself
  • Indecisiveness 
  • Mood Swings
  • Insomnia
  • Suicidal Thoughts or Attempts
  • Weariness
  • An Irrational Fear of Death
  • Extremely Sensitive Organs, Noises, Conversations, and/or Lights
  • Apathy and Indifference
  • False Memories
  • Delirium 
  • “Madness” or A Loss of Mind (This may occur with an OCD substance abuse comorbidity) 
  • Fainting
  1. Pulsatilla

Pulsatilla, a diluted solution derived from 40 species of herbaceous perennial plants from North America, Europe, and Asia, may help OCD sufferers who struggle with the following issues:

  • An Impulse to Hide or Run Away
  • High Levels of Inflammation (a key trigger or symptom of OCD)
  • Mistrust and Suspicion
  • “Madness” or a Loss of Mind
  • Despair 
  • A Praying or Religious Obsession 
  • Discouragement
  • Indecisiveness
  • A Dread of Going to Work or Performing Tasks 
  • Discontent
  • Envy
  • Impulsivity or Compulsions
  • Evening or Nighttime Gloominess
  • Hypersensitivity and Emotional Distress – i.e., Non-Stop Crying
  • A Disgust For Almost Everything
  • An Inability to Properly Express One’s Thoughts and Feelings
  • A Tendency to Leave Out Letters or Words When Writing
  • Giddiness
  • Confusion
  • An Urge to Constantly Change
  • Illogical or Irrational Thoughts, Urges, Visions, and/or Fears
  • Poor Memory
  • A “Fixed” Mindset
  1. Rhus-Tox

Rhus-Tox is a diluted solution that originates from the poison ivy plant that may help OCD sufferers who struggle with the following issues:

  • Anxiety
  • High levels of Inflammation (a trigger or symptom of OCD)
  • A Fear of Death
  • Sadness
  • Extreme Evening and Nighttime Anguish and Despair
  • Urges to Self-Isolate
  • Constant Crying
  • A Fear of Being Poisoned
  • Suicidal Mania (urges to throw oneself into an ocean, pool, lake, bathtub full of water, or another water resource)
  • Dread, Worry, or Fear of an Upcoming Event
  • Feelings of Helplessness and Hopeless
  • Poor Memory or “Forgetfulness” (unable to recall recent events)
  • Lack of Mental Energy
  • An Inability to Comprehend Concepts
  • Delusions (imagination and visions)
  1. Lachesis Muta

Lachesis Muta is a diluted solution that stems from the venom of the bushmaster snake that may help OCD sufferers who struggle with the following issues: 

  • Timidity 
  • Indecisiveness. 
  • Apathy (a lack of emotion) 
  • Poor Memory and “Forgetfulness”
  • Frequent Writing, Reading, and Speaking Mistakes (i.e., Reading OCD) 
  • Loss of Cognitive Function 
  • Overexcitement and Excessive Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • A Tendency to Be Scared 
  • A Need for Self-Control 
  • Talkativeness
  • Jealousy
  1. Medorrhinum

Medorrhinum is the diluted solution form of the gonorrhea bacterium (minus the bacteria) that may help OCD sufferers who struggle with the following issues: 

  • An Inability to Concentrate on Tasks, Thoughts, or Abstract Concepts
  • Unable to Read Properly
  • A Fear of Being “Watched”
  • Hearing Whispers and/or Peering Seeing Faces Behind Furniture 
  • An Intense Fear of Death or Dying
  • A Feeling Like The World Around You Is Unreal
  • Feeling Like You Are In Perpetual “Dreamlike” State
  • Feeling Wild and Desperate
  • An Inability to Speak Without Crying
  • Feeling As If You Are Always In a Hurry Which Leads to Mental and Physical Fatigue
  • Anticipatory Anxiety
  • Experiencing a Sense of Dread of Saying the Wrong Thing
  • An Irrational Fear of The Dark
  • Believing That You Committed a Cardinal Sin And Are Bound For Hell 
  • Becoming Agitated By Little Things
  • Impatience 
  • Selfishness 
  1. Natrum Muriaticum

Natrum Muriaticum is a diluted solution made from sodium chloride or “table salt,” mined from underground rock salt or manmade natural salt flats. 

Natrum Muriaticum may help OCD sufferers who struggle with the following issues: 

  • Upsetting Memories
  • Perfectionism
  • Excessive Crying
  • An Intense Fear of Being Robbed (leading to repetitively checking door locks) 
  • An Obsessive Need to Be In-Control of a Situation 
  • Being “Tired of Life” 
  • A Feeling of Being “Hurried”
  • Anxiety and a “Fluttering of Heart”
  • Urges to Be AloneA Fear of People
  • Anticipatory Anxiety (fear of the future)
  • Indifference
  • Concise or “Blunt” Speech (bordering on rudeness)
  • Sullen and Ill-Tempered
  • Unable to Work Productivity
  • Excessive Laughter and an Inability to be Quiet
  • Difficulty Thinking
  • Poor Memory and Forgetfulness 
  • Easily Distracted
  • A Tendency to Make Speaking, Reading, and Writing Mistakes
  • Brain-Fog
  • Emotional Dysregulation
  • Insomnia 
  • A Feeling That Something “Bad” Is About to Happen
  • Exhaustion After Talking
  • A Fear of Rain
  • An Inability to Reflect 
  • Thinking Fatigue
  • Chronic Stress
  • Mild Depression
  • Awkwardness
  1. Cannabis Indica

Originating from the cannabis plants of the Hindu Kush mountains of Southern Asia, Cannabis Indica, a diluted tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) solution that may help OCD sufferers who struggle with the following issues: 

  • Insomnia (a common symptom of OCD) 
  • Hallucinations and An Imaginative Mind
  • Anguish Accompanied By Great Oppression
  • A Constant Fear of Becoming Insane
  • A Loss of Time or An Exaggeration of the Duration of Time (i.e., space, and seconds seem ages)
  • An Extreme Fear of Darkness
  • A Fear of Impending Death
  • An Inability to Remember Thoughts or Events Due to Non-Stop, Intrusive Thoughts
  • A Sudden Loss of Speech (i.e., can start a sentence but not finish it)
  • Stammering and Stuttering
  • Absentmindedness 
  • Delirium 
  • Tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability 
  • Loss of Memory
  1. Silicea

Derived from Silica or Silicic oxide, Silicea may help OCD sufferers who struggle with the following issues: 

  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Magical Thinking
  • Emotional Distress
  • A Fear of Pins and Needles
  • Urges to Collect or “Hoard” and Count Things
  • Hypersensitivity to Sounds and Noises
  • Inflammation
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Weariness of Life
  • Dread of the Future
  • A Lack of Confidence, Stamina, and Concentration
  • Loneliness
  1. Hyoscyamus

Stemming from small flowering plants in the nightshade family, Hyoscyamus may help OCD sufferers who struggle with the following issues:

  • An Obsession with Sex 
  • Urges to constantly Pick at Clothes and Resort to Inappropriate Sexual Gestures
  • Restlessness
  • Disruptive and Repetitive Behaviors
  • Impulsiveness
  • Excitability 
  • A lack of Self-Confidence 
  • A Fear of Public Speaking
  • Tics
  1. Lycopodium

Lycopodium is a diluted solution made from ground pines or creeping cedars.

Lycopodium may help OCD sufferers who struggle with the following issues:

  • A Fear of Responsibilities
  • A Fear of Failure
  • Easily Frightened
  • Anger or Rage
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Mood Swings
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Poor Memory
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Afraid of Being Alone
  •  Afraid to Try New Things
  • A Lack of Self-Confidence
  • A Feeling of Being “Hurried” When Eating
  • A Constant Fear of “Breaking Down” Under Stress
  • Apprehension
  • Confusion
  • Spells or Writes the Wrong Words 
  • An Inability to Properly Read or Write
  • Sadness Upon Waking
  • An Aversion to Social Interactions

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Final Thoughts

Many OCD sufferers have found relief from their non-stop, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) with homeopathic treatments, however, just like with any supplement or medication, homeopathic treatments can come with some side effects and health concerns.

Studies are limited and mixed at this time, however, with the overall results gleaned from limited studies, it appears that complementary medicines, like the ones listed above, could be beneficial (overtime) for people struggling with the ineffective or harmful, long-term side effects of pharmaceutical OCD medications, like SSRIs. The only way to determine the effectiveness of these homeopathic treatments is to try them under the supervision of a homeopathic doctor.

The good news is homeopathic treatments can easily and safely be combined with other OCD treatments and natural remedies like mindfulness, art therapy, hypnosis, and online OCD treatment programs like Impulse Therapy. With the right help, your OCD symptoms are manageable.


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DR. R. Y. Langham

Dr. R. Y. Langham has a B.A. in English, an M.M.F.T in Marriage and Family Therapy (Psychology), and a Ph.D. in Family Psychology. She is currently a medical, health & wellness contributor, copywriter, and psychological consultant

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