There’s something funny about menstrual cycles. When they happen, it is a problem. When they don’t, it is a bigger problem. Thanks to pee coss – I’m talking about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – that’s becoming more and more widespread than ever. Irregular menstrual cycles are just one of the thousand things that women tolerate under the name of PCOS. There’s too much estrogen, too much testosterone, there’s hair all over the face, there’s hyperpigmentation, and then there are endless infertility woes. Of course, mood swings, acne, and obesity add to the league. This doesn’t in any way sound easy to deal with. Agreed. But you don’t have to give in to the situation. Here are 5 effective and natural ways to fight against PCOS. If you are a cyster, go ahead and read what herbs can rescue you.
Vitex is a herbal medicine that is obtained from the Mediterranean Vitex agnus-castus tree. It is commonly called the chaste berry. It is called so because it was formerly used by monks to reduce their sexual drive. However, the result seen in men is different from what is seen in women. In women, vitex stimulates ovulation by enhancing the pituitary-ovary communication. This is exactly why vitex is prescribed to be consumed first thing in the morning, which is when the pituitary is at its receptive most. It is a powerful herb to cure irregular menstrual cycles and hirsutism (growth of facial hair), both of which are symptoms of PCOS (1). Although this is an effective remedy, be careful not to consume vitex in higher doses, specifically if you have PCOS, because this herb drastically increases the levels of the luteinizing hormone (LH) in the body. Women with PCOS already have high amounts of LH in their bodies. To avoid this problem, discontinue the herb at regular intervals and get back to it when needed.
2. Saw Palmetto
Women with PCOS have a condition called estrogen dominance, which means that the estrogen levels are higher than the progesterone levels. Saw palmetto extract helps in the stable functioning of the uterine cells that go topsy-turvy because of this hormonal imbalance. Also, the increased levels of testosterone, which is another major reason hampering the hormone equilibrium in women with PCOS, are also said to be stabilized by saw palmetto owing to its anti-androgenic properties. It is this very property that also reduces the growth of excessive facial hair. Using this herb on a long-term basis is safe, and it is advised to be taken at least for 6 weeks straight to see visible results. Remember, it takes anywhere between 6 months to 1 year to see changes in facial hair growth.
Licorice is another natural way in which you can treat PCOS. Ironically, licorice is a source of phytoestrogen, meaning it is a plant source of estrogen. Although women suffering from PCOS have estrogen dominance, consuming this herb in limited quantities doesn’t worsen the estrogen levels but instead sets the hormonal havoc right. Like other PCOS treating herbs, licorice root is anti-androgenic. Apart from that, it also regulates the blood sugar levels and takes care of the insulin sensitivity, which is one among the other debilitating effects of PCOS. You can either make a tea by simmering licorice root in a cup of water and straining it away or by consuming licorice supplements to alleviate the symptoms of PCOS.
Cinnamon is a spice that’s a friend both for the diabetics and women combating PCOS. Why? They have something in common, and that is higher blood sugar levels than optimum. In women with PCOS, the condition called insulin resistance literally resists the insulin and prevents it from regulating the blood sugar levels, which is what causes the problem. Cinnamon stabilizes the sugar levels in the blood. Consuming around 1500 mg of cinnamon extracts helped many women to regularize their menstrual cycles and reduce the insulin resistance in them (2). Consult a specialist before deciding the dosage in which cinnamon is consumed.
DIM (Diindolylmethane) is a phytonutrient found in certain vegetables, like those belonging to the cauliflower family. This compound is effective in bringing the estrogen metabolism into the desired form. Depending on how much is consumed, it either increases or decreases the amount of estrogen released by the body. Naturally, since there is an increase in estrogen levels in case of PCOS, the specified dosage removes excess amounts of estrogen in the body. Other sources of DIM are broccoli, collards, red cabbage, and kale. Make sure you include these vegetables in your daily diet to bring the much-needed hormonal stability in the body.
There are hundreds of women trying these methods and vouch for the fact that they got rid of infertility for good after using them. Have you tried any of these? Did that work? Comment below and let me know your experiences with PCOS treatment.
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