OCD, ST JOHN'S WORT AND IRON.
By JOHN STEWART
MAOI and St John's Wort treatments for OCD may have a similar radical-based mechanism. Six years' unrelieved total compulsive thinking was cured by the MAOI Phenelzine, with also a role for radical-releasing phenols which enter the CNS very little .1. (Journal of Brief Ideas article "Oxidative stress, MAOIs and OCD"). Side-effects lead to a search for alternatives. St John's Wort extract proved ineffectual (at 5 x 333 mg whole herb equivalent per day), but cure was greatly improved when ferrous fumarate was added to St John's Wort (at 2 x 14 mg per day). This improved cure, just as on the MAOI, did not happen until after several weeks, but followed 24 - 48 hours after the advent of peripheral serotonin release patterns. This suggests that the enabling of radical-based releasing of serotonin is a crucial first stage, as on MAOIs, as excess iron ions are known to increase the radical effects behind gut serotonin release by cisplatin and pyrogallol, for example. .2.
.1. Neurology,Psychiatry and Brain Research 5(4):181, 8(4):185, 10(4):149.
.2. European Journal of Pharmacology: Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology.(1993) 248:329-331.