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Saturday, February 7, 2015

How I Cured my OCD Naturally (With Herbal Remedies)

This is going to be a little lengthy, but I'll make it understandable and formidable. 

Fact is, I've suffered from OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder) for many years, since age 11 when the symptoms became really profound. 

The symptoms consisted of 

  • Repeated lock turning and checking of locks.
  • Device Power on/Off checking.
  • Walking over dividers/cracks in sidewalks.
  • Doing multiple things in intervals of 7.
  • Turning my head in 3's when I was alone.
  • " Intrusive Thoughts" (irrational,but often subjugated fears and scenarios)

A fragment of my willpower was able to keep these things fairly in check when around people or in a public place , this ability became more necessary to internalize and adapt to as I aged between 16-17.

In my adult life - I still suffered from continuous intrusive thoughts, that seemed to get worse - especially in times of ANTICIPATION or STRESS.

However, publicly I was able to tone them down or mostly eliminate them. 
However, at times I didn't want to leave or go anywhere because the thoughts would be repetitive and severely disturbing. 

Yet I found going out to alleviate these thoughts by shifting my attention to something more worthwhile; hence I was often "living inside my head".

The biggest strain was in small rooms, closed in especially, intrusive thoughts would be hastened.

Additionally - I often had other more reclusive thoughts, but especially more irritating - mainly centered around things or events that I would be therefore SIMULATING a fear of.

I ended up taking part in writing online, as I do here - to give a sense of responsibility and to shift my thoughts away for a while, well....really to channel them into something minimally stressful. Yet, with WiFi even, certain signal interruptions and slow load times would be enough to trigger yet another "SIMULATED STRESS RESPONSE" - which would include rapidly merging intrusive thoughts and then a not-so-fun adrenaline response which would leave me in a state of almost CONSTANT IRRITATION and being intensely unsettled.

I tried over 50 different herbs and supplements over the course of years.

  • Kanna ( a reported natural serotonin reuptake inhibitor)
  • Kava Kava (an herb with psychoactive properties)
  • Magnesium Citrate ( a mineral with calming properties )
  • D-Aspartic Acid (NMDA-glutamate agonists are reported to help compulsions)
  • N-Acetyl-Cysteine (antioxidant with anti-glutamate properties)
  • Ashwagandha (tonic with relaxing effects)
  • Methyl B12 (methyl groups supposedly can help excessive stimulation)
  • Switching caffeine with yerba mate.
  • American Ginseng (calming "cold" ginseng) (Panax quinquefolius)
  • Inositol (supposedly enhances serotonin)

All of these were either only mildly tuning down the intrusive thoughts, or mildly decreasing compulsions, but not necessarily obsessions. 

NAC; N-Acetyl-Cysteine - definitely halted most of the thoughts, but I found it too sedating and it made it hard to concentrate.

Magnesium I still use today, and it helps some aspects - and definitely tunes it down but not super significantly.

The rest were mildly helpful, at best.

I also tried several diets.

  • ANTI-HISTAMINE DIET (more fruits, less protein and more fiber and sulfur containing foods DAILY; such as beets, onions, garlic etc) (Helped a good amount, but I was hesitant to believe that it had all to do with lowering histamine, as studies are mixed regarding it.
  • PRO-HISTAMINE DIET; My lack of ever catching a cold or flu, and/or not producing symptoms of such made me think I may actually have low histamine...even though I matched only some of the qualitative traits of high histamine described in this article.

***Much to my surprise (or maybe not), the high histamine diet actually seemed to relieve some symptoms with less of a crash - so I guess science hasn't really wrapped their head around the true cause of OCD quite yet; although, generalizations tend to be foolish anyhow!**

All was only mildly helpful, and in this time span of years and searching for new treatments - I became addicted to multiple stimulants (as they reduced symptoms for a small period of time, gave some relief)....eventually though, I began again - relentlessly searching for other supplements. 

I ventured away from embracing the serotonergic hypothesis of deficient serotonin levels - thinking in absolutes for a while. 

I ended doing a hella lot more research, and found, that serotonin is NOT NECESSARILY A GOOD THING FOR OCD - IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT RECEPTOR SEROTONIN BINDS TO - SOME ACTUALLY MAKE IT WORSE!!!

Interestingly, me stumbling upon a cure (or at least what would be MY CURE) actually was completely unintentional. 

I was looking for cognitive enhancing supplements with serotonin BLOCKING properties; and decided to test the waters with a supplement called MAGNOLIA OFFICINALIS. An herb with nootropic and anxiolytic; anxiety relieving properties. AGAIN, I didn't think it would have much a positive effect on OCD due to it's serotonin antagonist properties (even despite what I learned) , plus it had been shown to actually deplete serotonin levels in some studies - thus inhibiting any POTENTIALLY positive effect any remaining serotonin would have.

The herb also had GABA-ergic properties, and acetylcholine boosting properties.
It acts specifically as a NATURAL POSITIVE ALLOSTERIC MODULATOR OF GABA-A receptors (which is the mechanism of klonopine/benzodiazepine drugs).

Anyway, the first night I took this - I felt a calm I haven't felt in years, then as each day I continued it - I noticed my intrusive thoughts had become substantially less repetitive. 

At the end of the second week - I no longer felt need for most of my compulsions - and I could just as easily dismiss any remaining partitions of them.

By WEEK THREE - Almost all of my intrusive thoughts were either non-existent or manageable or easily ignorable like a raindrop dropping on my shoulder. 

It amazed me that a remedy with SEROTONIN BLOCKING properties would be able to manage symptoms to such an extent. 

NOW I'M NOT SAYING THAT WAS THE REASON WHY, IN FACT....It most likely had more to do with the GABA-A enhancement. 

But there are tons of chemicals in any given plant or herb - so it's hard to tell really what exactly did it - but something in MAGNOLIA OFFICINALIS CERTAINLY DID!!!

Now it's been a year and I still take it today - and the effects DO linger - and without adverse effects as with drugs or with other supplements that would crash me or easily reduce my productivity / creativity.

Finally, I noticed something interesting ---- ADDING GOTU KOLA to the regimen seemed to balance out the effect provide an additional sense of mental clarity without being too stimulating.


Both are also considered NOOTROPICS (cognitive enhancers or "BRAIN-BOOSTERS".


The particular brands / supplements I used to cure my OCD NATURALLY are below.

They were both very cheap as you can see below - which is relieving in itself. 

The Magnolia Product I bought is "Genesis Today" Magnolia Bark Capsules which I still take today as of (6/10/2016) & as well with Swanson Gotu Kola Extract which I also still take.

On study days, I do only one magnolia capsule per day, and two gotu kola. :-)


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  1. Replies
    1. Yes, though sometimes I add in wild jujube extract (Ziziphus Spinosa) which antagonizes the 5-H1B/1A receptors...this seems to help sleep as I've also suffered terrible can combine magnolia with wild jujube but you may want to take say, one capsule of magnolia and one or two of the WJ.
      Lemon Balm can do the same as Gotu Kola and sometimes I've used lemon balm plus Wild Jujube extract ...but most of the time I still stick with Magnolia/Gotu negative side-effects or anything. Should be noted that magnolia decreases adrenaline production - so using too much can make you feel like shit/not yourself...if you decrease adrenaline too much - you'll end up having some sort of personality change most likely...sort of like Alcohol.

  2. Thanx 4 answering. I keep reading that magnolia makes u sleepy & I don't need that. R u really still fairly ocd free @ this point? Thank u for corresponding.

    1. I replied to your other comments below as well. Yes, I'm still pretty much free of symptoms..get some weird thoughts here and there but mostly in remission.

  3. Dear AMx: ur comment about the magnolia bothers me, since depression is a big part of my equation. ( I m not sure if it is for u). How much magnolia would (could) u suggest so I don't feel 'not like myself'. I really appreciate ur time & info - thank u.

    1. Try Ashwagandha instead; that might help as well as it activates both the NMDA pathway (helping compulsions) and activates GABA (helping obsessions). Generally compulsion is sort of a low glutamate state; but mainly with the NMDA receptors being not functional or not activated enough...look at PCP (Angel Dust) - for example, it blocks glutamate and causes psychotic obsessional symptoms - this indicates glutamate is a major 'control mechanism' on the brains' activity almost as much as GABA..however, super SUPER high GABA also leads to disinhibition and such...

  4. This is interesting as it high serotonin levels have now been linked to anxiety disorders

    1. OCD is associated with elevated serotonin, not deficient. Aggression is also not necessarily based on low serotonin; it depends on the type of aggression. For example, religious cult leaders and premeditated acts of aggression tend to be related to elevated serotonin; but impulsive aggression is correlated with lower levels. Hence why you see that obsessive-compulsive-criminal masterminds appear callous and are calculating; this is a high-ish serotonin state , not low. Also, elevated serotonin could explain the 'odd' sexual threshold and why some individuals are not able to get off on normal sexual acts and rather switch to sadism...elevated serotonin lowers libido but in some cases that leads to pathological adaptation to unrealistic sexual such, elevated serotonin is a very dangerous state of mind and many mass-shooters also had elevated serotonin...because serotonin decreases Glutamate and GABA; the result is malfunctioning nerves or nerves that fire at odd times...

      Read these studies.

  5. Hi this is a great piece. What dosage of Magnolia did you use, how often and at what times, with or without food, etc? Also, the work of Ray Peat is groundbreaking in my opinion when it comes to serotonin - you may want to check it out. Cheers - Seth.

    1. I've seen Ray Peat's stuff, very interesting!
      I use 1 capsule of magnolia in the early afternoon or sometimes in the morning if it's a shitty morning. One capsule at night, however, on study days, I take only one capsule of Magnolia the night before, with none during the next day. On normal days, I do one magnolia capsule in the early afternoon, and one at night.

    2. So that's 400 MG of Magnolia Officinalis Extract twice a day unless I have heavy studying the next day, then I do just one capsule that night with none on the next day. :-)

  6. Where is the link to the supps?

    1. Magnolia Officinalis -->

      Gotu Kola -->

    2. So that's 400 MG of Magnolia Officinalis Extract twice a day unless I have heavy studying the next day, then I do just one capsule that night with none on the next day. :-)

    3. hi My name is Henry and do you have to take those 2 supplements for our whole lives?

  7. How many capsules of magnolia and gotu kola did you take daily?

  8. I have also read that magnolia helps with sleep, and there is a strong link between mental illness (of any type) and sleep. I have taken some herbs myself and have seen that whenever I sleep well for a week or so and also have good dream recall, I feel much more relaxed. So I think there is a good link between sleeping deeply and also having dream recall, and recovering from OCD or any mental illness

  9. Do you have any concerns about the safety of the magnolia and the gotu kola? After I read this posting, I purchased the recommended two and felt great while taking them. However, I had some unusual stools that may or may not have been related to my herbal use and a doctor recommended I get my lever tested. They found my liver was slightly above normal in one reading so I abandoned this herbal regiment for a time.
    Also, you stated that if you are on this combination for two long it alters one's personality. Is this something to be concerned about? While on them myself, I had greatly reduced OCD symptoms but I had a slight difficulty concentrating. Recently, I went back to taking the magnolia bark but without the gotu kola and have experienced reduced OCD symptoms but not the decrease in focus I felt while using both. I thank you for any time you take to respond to me.

    1. I would suggest buying organic herbs if possible. There is a company LIFESPA that sells organic gotu kola. Gaia herbs also has herbs which have Magnolia herb, and is a pretty good herbal company.

      There is a lady Mary Reed (check her online) who has cured thousands of people of OCD with the chinese herbs. As part of her protocol, she also prescribes liver herbs when someone is on her protocol. I have know atleast 2 people who are completely cured, and I was on her protocol and got about 70-80% better

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Hi AMx, how long did you have OCD? I had OCD for about 20 years before following the herbal protocol, and got about 80% better. But some of the symptoms have come back. So I am not sure if I have to take the herbs and add Magnolia for the rest of my life?

    Also, did you take omega 3 fish oil? As part of Mary Reed's protocol, she also recommends a high dose of omega 3 which she says is essential for removing OCD symptoms

    1. Are you still taking Mary Reed protocol? How are you now? Are you completely cured?

  11. Hey AMx, it has been over a year since your last post. How are you doing?

    1. I'll let him know to check his comments mate.

  12. When you start experimenting with MAGNOLIA OFFICINALIS, where you want any SSRIS or any serotonin boosting pharmaceuticals drugs?

    Would you recommend taking this if you're on those kinds of drugs?

  13. can magnolia bark capsules interfere or interact with phyciattric drugs like clomipramine and seroquel or can I take them at the same time? I have ocd and take clomipramine 2 times a day, morning and night 75mg and seroquel at night 200 mg

  14. Hi. I am suffering from OCD from past 10 years and have been on Nexito 20 mg and Lonazep 0.5 my but from last week, I guess I am suffering from it's side effects like rashes, dizziness. Kindly which form of Aashwagandha should I opt

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Hi AMx, How can we contact you?

    Stephen, are your liver ok with these 2 supplements?

    JayZin, can you helped us to contact AMx? Thanks


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