Herbs That Heal PCOS

Women may experience one or a combination of symptoms such as Cystic Acne, Abdominal fat, Hair fall, trouble losing Weight, Anxiety, Mood swings, Delayed periods.
To heal your hormones and reverse the symptoms, a holistic approach towards lifestyle change helps. Including natural herbs regularly in their daily routine, have helped many women manage their symptoms well.
Natural herbs play a crucial role in balancing our hormones. These herbs have been traditionally used by our ancestors for many years to heal illnesses. Integrative Medicine experts, Ayurveda experts, Naturopathic physician all over the globe swear by the herbs and their benefits in Women reproductive health. Research : A review on role of medicinal plants in polycystic ovarian syndrome summarizes evidence on medicinal plants that are effective in  PCOS.

Dr. Hywood  in this very useful research based article explains, an important yet perhaps less-recognized aspect of PCOS treatment is managing a patient’s stress level and In response to stress, the adrenals release cortisol, inducing an elevation in prolactin  and increased androgen synthesis, in turn leads to menstrual cycle dysregulation, especially anovulation, characteristic of PCOS. He further strongly suggests that botanical PCOS treatments and adaptogenic herbs “should be given primary consideration” because they “improve resistance to stress through [modulation] at the adrenal level.
From my personal experience, through my healing journey, herbs have helped me balance my hormones and, improve my digestion, libido, anxiety levels (so much), PMS issues amongst numerous other benefits.

HOW TO USE HERBS:

Teas/ Tisane   could be literally the best way to consume these herbs. You can also use these as powders and mix it in your juices or smoothies. I do not personally like taking capsules but that’s also another option. I have been trying herbs in various for and hand down powders or teas have shown the best results.

My Take On Green Tea

Unless you know what your ‘Green tea’’ consists of, you never know which tea you are sipping on! A green tea could also be made up of homegrown Tulsi, pudina, cinnamon, ginger. But just a name ‘green tea’ is a bit vague when you are mindfully selecting your tea/ tisane for your hormones!
Also, most of the highly marketed so called ‘green teas’ have caffeine in it. In hormonal imbalance condition, its highly advised to limit your caffeine and the last thing you would want is Caffeine in your Herbal Tea. So watch out for that when you are buying your teas!

HERBS THAT HELP WITH BALANCING HORMONES:

Honestly, we have been blessed by the mother nature with so many medicinal plants. Im listing below top 10 selected ones which have been researched and many women have found them to be useful.

Also please note that do NOT expect these to work alone, Lifetsyle changes are key and these herbs work their best if you are eating well, exercising regularly and sleeping well in the night as per your bio rhythm. So here you go:

  1. Licorice Root (Mulethi): Some studies have found licorice to reduce testosterone levels in healthy women, suggesting that it might also be useful for women with PCOS.As per a study Licorice can reduce serum testosterone and could be considered an adjuvant therapy of hirsutism and polycystic ovary syndrome. Note that Licorice should be avoided or should be taken carefully in case you have hypertension.
  2. Dandelion (Sinhaparnee)- Known as an excellent tonic for the liver, dandelion root extract reduces PCOS symptoms by helping the body eliminate the excess hormones accumulated in the liver. It also removes the toxins from the body, thus helping women suffering from menstrual disorders and fertility problems. You can read more here.
  3. Hibiscus: as per hibiscus tea is rich in aniti oxidants and has  antihypertensive properties that helps lower blood pressure and high cholesterol and reduce bad fats . As per this study Daily consumption of 3 servings of H. sabdariffa (hibiscus) tea, an amount readily incorporated into the diet, effectively lowered BP.
  4. Spearmint (Mentha Spicata) : This herb is part of the mint family and is different from Pudina and Peppermint. Spearmint tea has anti- androgen properties and substantially decreases testosterone level and hirsutism in women with PCOS. It also has antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic properties. There are multiple reearch studies done on Spearmint, one of such you can read here.
  5. Stinging Nettle leaves: The root of this plant increases the production of SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin) which reduces the level of free testosterone in the blood helping to normalize hormone levels. SHBG is often low in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Research shows that the nettle extract improves polycystic ovaries and improve the complications of metabolic syndrome.
  6. Ashwagandha: Withania somnifera, (WS) also known as ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, winter cherry, is a well-known medicinal plant known to cure impotency and fertility when used solitarily or in combination with other herbs. WS leaves and roots have been found to improve oxidative stress.
  7. Vitex Chasteberry  (Nirgundi):  This research explains the hormonal levels highly reflect the underlying hormonal imbalance in PCOS and the results obtained in the present study also proved that vitex agnus castus super-efficient in reversing PCOS symptoms. This herb can be very potent and must be taken under guidance of a health practitioner if you planning to take larger dosages
  8. White peony: Peony has been a popular herb withing the Chinese Medicine [TCM] decrease testosterone levels, stimulate ovulation, and promote conception. In laboratory studies, licorice and peony utilised in combination has been shown to modulate testosterone levels in PCOS. In fact, when used together, this herbal duo has been shown to lower the luteinising hormone (LH): follicle- stimulating hormone (FSH) ratio, which along with serum testosterone may improve ovulation in women with PCOS
  9. Red raspberry : Rasberry leaf is another super menstruation-normalizing/hormonal-balancing herbs recommended by various naturopathic doctors and herbalists.
  10. Black Cohosh :  a study on the black cohosh root extract found that it increased PCOS patients’ progesterone levels, significantly reduced luteinizing hormone levels, and improved ovulation and endometrial thickness more than Clomid.

OUR TOP 5 BRAND RECOMMENDATIONS:

After having really bad experiences trying various tea brands, I have curated the below Top 5 Caffeine free and Hormone friendly PCOS Tisanes brands that you must include in your pantry!

  1. PCOS Tea by The Indian Chai– It has recently launched a great blend of some of the herbs . It has chasteberry, Nettle , Cinnamon and Spearmint along with Ayurvedic herbs – Gokshura and Licorice and Ashwagandha! Some of their other Tea blends I would definitely try is Hibiscus, Dandelion Detox Tea, Calming Vata Dosha Tea, Cooling Pitta Dosha Tea!
  • Andme PCOS Tea– This is one of a kind Fortified Tea for women in 2 variants Kashmiri Kahwa and Lavendar & chamomile! Their teas have some great Ayurvedic herbs – Garcinia, Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Ashoka, Turmeric with 14 added minerals. Great combination of supplements and tea ! This tea comes in a tea bags which makes them very easy to carry around with you while you are at work!
  • PMS Tea by Tea Trove–   A unique blend of Shatavari, Anantamool, Ashoka, Lodhra, Ela, Jatiphal just for your PMS. This tea comes in two packaging with tea bags and without tea bags with an option of loose tea filter bags. Love how this brand is so thoughtful!!Some of their other lovely blends are Rosehip and hibiscus, Skin Magic tea, Nursing Mothers milk!
  • TeaFloor Female G+: A super blend again with herbs such as Chamomile, Nettle, Moringa, Amla, Shatavari, Fennel, Shankhpushpi, Punarnava, Manjishtha, all work great for hormonal imbalance condition!
  • SoRich Organics: I have personally tried their Spearmint tea, and Hibiscus tea and loved them! Also they have a great range of spices and seeds such as organic Turmeric ,  flax seeds which you can try as well!  

Alerts: If you are pregnant or are lactating, you must consult your health practitioner before start taking any herbs.

Dosage: Ideally two to three cups of tisane in a day work well and you must have atleast two cups
( preferably) after meals to start seeing the results.

Hope you find this information useful. Let us know what you think. Do try these herbs and share with your girl friends and also women going through menopause in your families and friends network!