17 Home Remedies For Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) + Prevention Tips (Foods To Avoid)

Medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Mercier, ND, PhD
by Pooja Karkala

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is the most common endocrine disorder found in women (1). This condition can affect your physical and mental health. While you can always resort to treatment options recommended by doctors, you can also give certain home remedies a try to manage the symptoms of this condition. Most importantly, one must make certain lifestyle and diet changes to get rid of this condition to ease the symptoms of PCOS.

In this article, we will discuss the syndrome, its causes, and symptoms, home remedies, and certain precautionary measures that you can take. Read on. 

Quick Tips For Fighting PCOS

  1. Increase your intake of magnesium.
  2. Cut down on inflammatory foods.
  3. Consume vitamin B supplements.
  4. Exercise regularly.
  5. Get enough sleep.

Read them in detail in the precautionary measures section.

What Is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

As women age, various genetic and hormonal disorders affect their lives and health. One such hormonal imbalance related disorder that affects women is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

In this syndrome, fluid-filled cysts fill the ovary due to an imbalance of the reproductive hormones. The ovaries get enlarged and stop functioning normally (1), (2).

What Is The Cause Of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

In PCOS, the medical emphasis is on imbalanced sex hormones and insulin resistance (3). The hormonal imbalance in PCOS happens due to not enough progesterone and too much estrogen, leading to estrogen dominance. Ongoing cycles of too much estrogen cause ovulation to fail, resulting in increasingly higher levels of estrogen and insufficient progesterone (but higher than testosterone).

Two factors that can throw hormones off balance are yeast overgrowth and magnesium deficiency. Yeast can overgrow in the intestines under the influence of antibiotics, steroids, and sugar. Yeast toxins are released that can be picked up by the bloodstream and block the hormone receptor sites. Magnesium deficiency can cause or contribute to high blood sugar and insulin resistance, thyroid and adrenal imbalance, fertility issues, pelvic pain, weight gain, elevated blood pressure.

In the next section, we have listed the home remedies for PCOS. Although these remedies may help ease the symptoms of PCOS, we suggest you consult your healthcare provider for professional medical help to treat the symptoms.

Home Remedies For PCOS

  1. Vitamins
  2. Minerals
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar
  4. Coconut Oil
  5. Turmeric
  6. Evening Primrose Oil
  7. Green Tea
  8. Royal Jelly
  9. Aloe Vera Juice
  10. Amla Juice
  11. Palm Jaggery
  12. Jeera Water
  13. Seeds
  14. Saw Palmetto
  15. Cinnamon And Honey
  16. Licorice Root
  17. Chasteberry

1. Vitamins

Vitamin D is essential for optimum reproductive system functioning in women. It plays key roles in various ovarian processes and also affects glucose homeostasis. About 65-85% of women with PCOS have vitamin D deficiency.

Supplementation with vitamin D (magnesium and calcium) can regulate the metabolic and reproductive processes and help re-establish menstrual regularity and ovulation (4). Get tested for vitamin D levels in your body and start the supplements immediately if your serum levels of this vitamin are low.

Dosage: Vitamin D3 1,000-2,000 IU per day.

*Our medical reviewer recommends Vitamin D3 10,000 IU each day, along with Vitamin K2 100 mcg each day. Please consult with your medical care provider before starting any vitamin regimen. 

2. Minerals

Magnesium is important for blood sugar control and to overcome insulin resistance (5). But don’t take too much calcium, which can neutralize the effects of magnesium.

Dosage: Magnesium 600 mg per day. Calcium 600 mg per day – but you can often get all your calcium in your diet, especially if you consume dairy (6). 

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV exerts an anti glycemic effect when ingested regularly. The insulin levels in the body are regulated, and this can help control the symptoms of PCOS (7), (8).

You Will Need

  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • A glass of warm water

What You Have To Do

Mix the vinegar in water and drink the solution.

How Often You Should Do This

Have this first thing in the morning. You can slowly increase the frequency to 2-3 times daily (before meals). 

4. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids and antioxidants that help regulate blood sugar levels and insulin secretion. It also promotes cardiovascular health by reducing levels of bad cholesterol in the blood (9).

You Will Need

1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do

Consume coconut oil as it is or add it to smoothies.

How Often You Should Do This

Ingest coconut oil every day, preferably before breakfast. 

5. Turmeric

Turmeric contains an active component called curcumin. This compound helped improve insulin sensitivity and acted as an anti-inflammatory agent in rat studies (10). Therefore, it may help manage the symptoms of PCOS. 

You Will Need

  • 1 ½ cups of coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

What You Have To Do

  1. Warm the coconut milk for 5 minutes and keep it aside to cool down.
  2. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to the milk and stir well.
  3. Drink the solution 

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this solution 2 times daily

Caution: Turmeric can cause nausea, indigestion, or diarrhea. Do not take it with diabetes medications or if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have GERD. 

6. Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose is useful for PCOS as it helps decrease the high cholesterol levels in the body (11). It helps in improving metabolic function. It also helps improve insulin resistance among vitamin-D deficient women with PCOS (12).

You Will Need

Evening primrose capsules

What You Have To Do

Take one tablet daily.

How Often You Should Do This

This remedy works best if you start taking the supplement on day one of your cycle and continue until ovulation.

Note: Consult your healthcare provider before taking these supplements. 

7. Green Tea

The potent antioxidants present in green tea, called catechins, can help reduce the levels of the hormones that cause ovarian cysts and related symptoms. They also help control insulin levels. Drinking green tea every day may also impact the weight gain that is commonly seen in PCOS and helps you to shed this excessive weight (13), (14).

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of green tea powder or 1 green tea bag
  • A cup of hot water
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Brew fresh green tea by steeping the herb in hot water for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Strain, add honey, and mix well.
  3. Drink the tea while it is warm.

How Often You Should Do This

Have 2-3 cups of green tea daily. 

8. Royal Jelly

Royal jelly contains a rich concentration of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Experiments have shown that royal jelly exhibits estrogenic effects and helps regulate the abnormalities in the menstrual cycle. Using this herbal supplement can facilitate the optimum function of your ovaries (15).

You Will Need

1-2 teaspoon of royal jelly

What You Have To Do

Take this honey-like liquid either on its own or mixed in with your breakfast.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

9. Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe vera’s constituents have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels, leading to restoring the ovarian steroid status in rat studies (16). This positively impacts ovarian function and helps relieve PCOS symptoms.

You Will Need

A glass of aloe vera juice

What You Have To Do

Drink this in the morning before breakfast.

How Often You Should Do This

Have this juice daily. 

10. Amla Juice

Amla is a wonderful detoxifying and cholesterol-reducing agent. It exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects  (17). Hence, it can help restore the hormonal balance in the body and ease the symptoms of PCOS.

You Will Need

  • 1/2 cup of amla juice
  • 1 cup of water

What You Have To Do

Dilute the amla juice with water and drink it.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this once every day. 

11. Palm Jaggery

Palm jaggery or palm sugar is considered a healthier option than regular white sugar because of its ability to regulate insulin and blood sugar levels. It also possesses a low glycemic index and boosts energy levels (18). Higher levels of insulin are common in PCOS patients, and this unrefined type of jaggery (or sugar) can significantly impact your health when included in your diet. 

12. Jeera Water

Jeera or cumin reduces blood sugar levels and can aid weight loss (19). These properties can help treat the symptoms of PCOS.

You Will Need

  • 1/2 teaspoon of jeera powder (cumin seed powder)
  • A cup of warm water

What You Have To Do

Mix the jeera powder in the water and drink it.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this twice daily. 

13. Seeds

(a) Kalonji Seeds

Kalonji seeds possess a plethora of beneficial properties. It contains thymoquinone that can help relieve PCOS symptoms (20).

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of kalonji oil (black seed oil)
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

What You Have To Do

Mix the two ingredients and have the mixture in the morning.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this every morning as soon as you wake up. 

(b) Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are rich sources of dietary fiber, healthy fats, protein, and minerals. They also contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that can help reduce the risk of heart disease and control cholesterol and blood pressure levels (21). Add them to your smoothie, muffins, or yogurt and have them every day.

(c) Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek is a potent remedy to reduce the effects of PCOS. Fenugreek extracts were found to reduce cyst size and facilitate the resumption of normal menstrual cycles in women with PCOS (22).

You Will Need

  • 3 teaspoons of fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Soak the fenugreek overnight or for a minimum of 6-8 hours.
  2. Take a teaspoon of the soaked seeds with some honey and ingest it.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this every day in the morning and 5-10 minutes before lunch and dinner.

(d) Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds contain nutrients beneficial for women with PCOS. Sesame seeds were found to be helpful in treating oligomenorrhea, a condition characterized by infrequent menstrual flow (23). Oligomenorrhea is often associated with PCOS.

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of black sesame seeds
  • A glass of water
  • Jaggery

What You Have To Do

  1. Boil the seeds in water until the water reduces to half.
  2. Strain this mixture and add some jaggery for taste.
  3. Drink this herbal decoction.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink 1-2 cups in a day.

(e) Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are said to help in treating PCOS as they have antihirsutism properties and help decrease androgen (male hormones) levels in human and animal studies (24), (25).

You Will Need

  • 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds
  • Water

What You Have To Do

  1. Soak the fennel in a glass of water overnight.
  2. Add another glass of water to this in the morning and boil the solution for 5-6 minutes.
  3. Strain and drink this water while it is warm.
  4. You can soak and boil fennel and fenugreek seeds together to avail the combined benefits of these spices.

How Often You Should Do This

Have fennel infused water every day in the morning on an empty stomach.

(f) Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds have hypoglycemic properties that can help manage blood sugar levels (26). They also contain beta-sitosterol that can reduce the levels of androgens (27). Thus, they can help reduce the symptoms of PCOS, such as hirsutism, acne, and weight gain.

14. Saw Palmetto

The excess levels of testosterone seen in PCOS are brought down by this herb. It prevents testosterone from turning into dihydrotestosterone, which leads to excessive hair growth (28).

You Will Need

Saw palmetto extract

What You Have To Do

Depending on the concentration of the extract, take about 150 mg – 200 mg equivalent of it after consulting your doctor.

How Often You Should Do This

Take this supplement daily.

Caution: Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant should not use this herb. 

15. Cinnamon And Honey

Studies show that cinnamon can improve menstrual cyclicity and may be an effective treatment option for PCOS (29).

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

What You Have To Do

Combine the two and ingest the mixture.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this once every day. 

16. Licorice Root

Animal studies show that licorice extracts can be a potential treatment for PCOS by regulating hormonal balance and irregular ovarian follicles (30).

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of licorice root
  • A cup of hot water

What You Have To Do

  1. Pour the hot water over the licorice and let this sit for a few minutes.
  2. Strain and drink this herbal tea.

How Often You Should Do This

Have a cup of licorice tea every day. 

17. Chasteberry

Chasteberry, which is scientifically known as Vitex agnus-castus, is useful for treating symptoms of PCOS. Studies show that it can help in normalizing the menstrual cycle and reduce the levels of testosterone in women with PCOS (31).

You Will Need

Chasteberry supplements

What You Have To Do

Take the supplement as recommended by the doctor.

How Often You Should Do This

The frequency would depend on the dosage of the supplements you have. Usually, one capsule per day is recommended.

While home remedies can be an excellent option for treating the symptoms of PCOS, seeking medical help is also important. Consult your doctor about your plans to give home remedies a try so that the best possible combination of treatments can be devised for you.

Also, PCOS is often associated with an unhealthy lifestyle and diet. Hence, you need to follow a yeast-free diet. Avoid sugar, gluten, and dairy for one month and see if your symptoms improve. Yeast can overgrow in the intestines after taking antibiotics, steroids, or a high-sugar diet. The toxic end products from yeast can block hormone production and contribute to PCOS.

Apart from using home remedies, you should also follow certain precautionary measures to prevent PCOS.

Precautionary Measures To Prevent PCOS

1. Avoid Processed Foods

It is important to stop eating processed foods and snacks to cope with PCOS. The chemicals used to make processed foods can make the symptoms worse.

2. Chromium Intake

Chromium is present in the human body in minimal amounts, and it enhances the ability to absorb insulin. PCOS can make you resistant to insulin, and you can tackle this situation by consuming foods or supplements containing chromium (32). A few examples are broccoli, red wine, and green beans. Make sure you consult a doctor before taking chromium supplements

3. Physical Activity

Simple calorie-burning activities, like walking, swimming, or cycling, can be helpful. These activities can help you shed excess weight. They also improve insulin sensitivity. Keep in mind not to resort to activities that can cause excessive strain and/or exhaustion.

4. Give Up Smoking

Smoking can enhance the androgen levels in your body and affect cardiovascular and respiratory health (33). Abstain from smoking to ensure your overall health improves.

5. Relax With Yoga

A lot of women resort to yoga as it has healing effects on the mind and body. However, practicing specific yoga postures can be helpful in dealing with hormone-induced disorders, including PCOS. Consult yoga gurus who can guide you about specific yoga poses that can ease the stressed, hormonal glands in the body. Yoga will also help you stay relaxed and stress-free.

6. Take Care Of Your Liver

It is essential to keep your liver in good shape. If it does not perform well, excess hormones start accumulating in the body. Enhance the intake of liver-friendly foods, such as green leafy vegetables, garlic, turmeric, beets, sweet potatoes, lemons, apples, and onions.

7. Consume Specific Nutrients Through Supplements

As already mentioned, nutrients like magnesium and B vitamins play a vital role in dealing with PCOS. Magnesium deficiency is linked toinsulin resistance. The B vitamins are needed for hormone imbalance regulation and burning fats. If these are lacking in your diet, have them in the form of supplements after consulting your doctor.

8. Consume Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet to help ease the symptoms of PCOS. An anti-inflammatory diet includes these foods – tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, strawberries, and blueberries.

9. Get Enough Sleep

Try and get 8 hours of sound sleep. This can help you get rid of stress. Disturbed sleep can lead to hormone imbalance, which may result in PCOS. Therefore, establish a fixed bedtime routine and do not deviate from it.

These measures aim at maintaining the healthy functioning of all the organs in the body. Healthy organs lead to the optimum functioning of the endocrine system and no hormonal imbalance.

Genetics does play a role in PCOS, and this factor is obviously not under our control. But many of the other factors are, and these changes can be easily incorporated into our lifestyle. If you notice any of the symptoms of PCOS, get it diagnosed by a gynecologist. Apart from conventional treatment options, you can include these home remedies for polycystic ovary syndrome to find relief. But don’t forget to discuss your plans with your doctor. 

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What are the long-term effects of untreated PCOS?

  • High blood pressure, insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Abnormalities in the menstrual cycle can affect fertility.
  • A few cases of endometrial cancer have also been reported in women with PCOS (34).

What Should I Eat If I Have PCOS?

A Choose High-Quality Carbs

You need to eat foods replete with high-quality carbs to cope with PCOS. Low-quality carbs found in sugary foods, cookies, candy, and white refined flour foods can elevate blood sugar levels.

B. Eat Lean Protein Sources

It helps to eat foods with lean protein to cope with PCOS. It can help control blood sugar levels. You can try eating turkey meat, fish, lean cuts of beef and pork, and eggs.

C. Eat Foods With Healthy Fats

Just because you have put on some weight due to the onset of PCOS does not mean you should discard all sources of fatty food from your meals. The fact is that without the intake of healthy fats, your body cannot produce hormones in desired amounts. You may include butter or olive oil in your meals.

D. Fruits And Vegetables

Add some color to your diet with 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables in a day. These supply the body with essential vitamins and minerals that are required for various metabolic processes.

How does PCOS affect pregnancy?

PCOS implies the sub-optimal functioning of the reproductive organs. Conceiving a child is deemed difficult under such circumstances. And even if the woman does conceive, chances of complications of the pregnancy and delivery are high. Miscarriage, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and preterm birth are very common. Proper care and the right medications can make the pregnancy a smooth journey. Consult your doctor if you are planning to conceive and follow their recommendations carefully.

Is polycystic ovary syndrome dangerous?

The cysts seen in PCOS are not exactly harmful but have been seen to cause severe pain in some women. Long-term, untreated PCOS does pose health risks, such as heart disease and diabetes.

How do you know if you have PCOS?

Look out for any irregularities in your periods, abnormal hair growth, pain in the lower abdomen, and other symptoms of PCOS. A simple ultrasound test can confirm the presence of the cysts.

34 sources

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Pooja Karkala

Pooja is a Mass Communications and Psychology graduate. Her education has helped her develop the perfect balance between what the reader wants to know and what the reader has to know. As a classical dancer, she has long, black hair, and she knows the struggle that goes into maintaining it. She believes in home remedies and grandma’s secrets for achieving beautiful, luscious hair. When she is not writing, she learns Kuchipudi, practices yoga, and creates doodles.
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