Obsessive compulsive disorder is a form of anxiety characterised by obsessive and repetitive behaviour that often centres around trivial activities that disrupt the person’s normal daily schedule. The cause of obsessive compulsive disorder is not fully understood, but it is thought that trauma or stress is a pivotal factor in its development. Treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder is difficult, but a number of plant extracts have been shown to have beneficial effects. Withania somnifera (Ashwagnadha) is one herbal treatment that has been shown to be effective against multiple forms of anxiety including obsessive compulsive disorder. In one study researchers administered 9 grams of withania powder to subjects with obsessive compulsive disorder. The results of the study showed that the patient’s symptoms were significantly improved by the withania extract. It is thought that withania is effective at treating anxiety because it can reduce stress and provide neuroprotective effects to the brain.
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