Italian researchers have found that licorice root can help reduce serum testosterone in women with PCOS. The researchers believe that the glycyrrhizin in this herb inhibits an enzyme that is required for testosterone production. Licorice can also be used as an adjuvant therapy for hirsutism.
Plus, licorice root promotes ovulation and aids liver detoxification. The liver removes toxins and excess hormones and thus helps with hormonal balance.
- Add one teaspoon of dried licorice root to a cup of boiling water. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes and then strain it. Drink this tea two or three times daily for a few weeks.
- Alternatively, you can take this herb in supplement form. You can take one-quarter to one-half teaspoon of licorice tincture two or three times a day for a few weeks. Make sure to consult your doctor to find out the proper dosage for your case.
Note: Licorice root may not be suitable for those suffering from high blood pressure or heart, kidney or liver disease. It may also have an effect on blood glucose levels.
10. Holy Basil
Holy basil, also known as tulsi, can help reduce the symptoms of PCOS due to its anti-androgenic properties. It will help manage insulin levels and aid in weight loss. Basil is also an excellent stress reliever, and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Consume eight to 12 holy basil leaves daily in the morning.
- Another option is to drink basil tea a few times daily or take this herb in supplement form. For proper dosage, consult your doctor.
Follow either of these remedies for a few months.
Note: Holy basil tends to lower blood glucose levels, so take this herb carefully if you are taking diabetic medications. The herb may also slow blood clotting and interact with anticoagulant drugs.
When taking herbal remedies for the natural treatment of PCOS, it is essential to consult a licensed naturopathic physician because most herbs that work by lowering testosterone levels tend to cause an increase in estrogen levels due to androgens being converted into estrogens.
Naturopaths help combat these issues by suggesting ways to support estrogen metabolism and improve estrogen clearance. For instance, increasing fiber intake in your diet helps promote estrogen clearance.
- Keep your weight in check as it will help reduce the level of male hormones in your body. Losing just 10 percent of your body weight can help bring your periods back to normal.
- Engage in regular exercise to help control your weight and also regulate insulin.
- Incorporate more fiber-rich foods like whole-grain products in your diet.
- Increase your dietary intake of B vitamins, especially vitamins B2, B3, B5 and B6, to help reduce PCOS symptoms.
- Quit smoking; women who smoke have been found to have higher androgen levels.
- Avoid the use of plastics in food consumption, preparation and storage.
- Do not drink water from a plastic container.
- Take prescribed birth control pills after consulting a gynecologist.
- Acupuncture therapy has also been found to be beneficial for improving hormone levels.