PCOS is perhaps one of the most common syndromes that affect a huge number of women in the whole world. And those who have it, surely know how an irregular menstrual cycle can deeply impact our mental and physical well-being.
But actually, you can manage this disorder through a healthy, balanced lifestyle and of course, with the help of nature! Did you know that there are some special herbs that can help you regulate your menstrual cycle?
Find out more about these amazing herbs for PCOS and discover how to include them in your diet!
Healing Herbs For PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
Let’s start with the basics: what’s PCOS really? Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is an endocrine illness that affects many women in their reproductive age. Although the causes that trigger this kind of disorder are still unknown, we know for sure that two key factors are insulin resistance and hormonal imbalance.
And that is so because women with PCOS tend to have higher levels of male hormones in their endocrine system. This can cause some typical PCOS symptoms that often include: irregular or absent menstruation, acne, excessive body hair, and weight gain. Although
PCOS is pretty common among women, modern medicine hasn’t yet found a solution that can help us completely overcome this issue. The drugs prescribed to treat PCOS usually include oral contraceptives, which, as you might know, come with a wide range of unpleasant side effects.
I know too well how dealing with PCOS can be really annoying and how hard it can be to deal also with the therapies to treat it. But with time I came to understand that actually, a significant way to minimize the symptoms of PCOS is to have a complete lifestyle change.
So, the first step is to exercise and feed your body with healthy nutritious food. And this should come as no surprise…
After all, nature is always so smart, it puts medicine in food! So why not reap its amazing benefits to treat your PCOS?
Some herbs, for example, can help restore hormonal balance, like Spearmint or Vitex. Other herbs and spices like Cinnamon can, on the other hand, regulate insulin resistance and support the body in its natural detoxification process.
Let’s now cut to the chase and explore 7 amazing herbs and spices to treat PCOS.
With its fresh, citrusy taste, Marjoram is an herb that is widely diffused in the Mediterranean area and Arabian Peninsula. Nowadays marjoram is an essential herb in the Mediterranean diet, often found in delicious salads or to garnish fresh summery dishes. But this herb is also incredibly beneficial and among many benefits, it can work amazingly as a PCOS treatment.
Recent research has in fact proved that women affected by PCOS showed evident improvements after taking marjoram regularly. And that is so because this herb can significantly boost digestive health and strengthen the immune system. But actually, the main reason why marjoram can be a great ally to fight PCOS is that it balances hormone levels in our endocrine system.
The best way to include Marjoram in your diet is to add some leaves to your salads or to top up a delicious risotto or soup. But perhaps my favorite way to use this herb is to make a Marjoram infused olive oil, simply by mixing 2 cups of pure olive oil with 1 cup of fresh Marjoram. Otherwise, the easiest way to consume marjoram is to brew a tasty infusion in which you add 4-5 leaves and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes!
A key ingredient in Traditional Chinese medicine, Don Quai is known and used to improve sexual health and boost sex drive. And funnily enough, Dong Quai means ‘the husband returns back to wife’.
But also, Dong Quai has a long history as a medical plant to treat gynecological conditions. And actually, this root seems to have a great list of properties that can be really beneficial for PCOS patients. For example, it can improve blood flow in our uterus, and it also showed strong estrogenic activity, just to name a few.
There are many recipes that can allow you to enjoy its delicious taste and many benefits. I absolutely love to treat myself to a warm and earthy Dong Quai soup, which is incredibly easy to make and incredibly tasty; check here for some inspo!
With its pungent taste and numerous benefits, spearmint is a plant that was once diffused throughout Europe and Asia, and now its use has extended to the whole world! But there’s more because this plant has also proved to be a great remedy against PCOS.
That is so because this plant is said to have strong anti-androgenic properties, meaning it can reduce the level of testosterone, the male sex hormones. In addition, this plant has also shown that if consumed regularly, it can increase the activity of ovulatory hormones and improve digestive health, which are both equally important when managing PCOS!
For me, the best way to consume spearmint is to add it to curries and soups. However, to really reap the benefits of this plant, I’d suggest making spearmint tea, which is also really versatile, as you can enjoy it warm or ice cold!
Basil is perhaps the most common herb used in many kitchens around the world, and it’s the real king of the famous Mediterranean Diet. This millennial plant is not just tasty, but it also has many amazing health benefits. And especially when it comes to PCOS, basil can be used as a great natural remedy, as it’s proven to have powerful anti-androgenic and anti-inflammatory properties that can balance the level of androgens in our system.
On top of that, basil can also lower blood sugar levels, and reduce cholesterol levels allowing you to stay healthy and fit. And these are, as we said before, crucial factors to effectively manage the symptoms of PCOS.
Being an absolute lover of the Mediterranean diet at heart, for me the best way to consume basil is to make a mouthwatering, avocado Pesto. Alternatively, you can also brew it with other herbs and make a healing herbal infusion.
Cinnamon is perhaps the most diffused ingredient and fundamental spice in traditional Indian cuisine. And apparently, Cinnamon is also full of properties! It can, for example, boost weight loss, while helping you to improve insulin sensitivity and fasting blood glucose levels, which can be very effective in treating PCOS.
You probably know that there are tons of ways in which you can use cinnamon, but for me, the most effective way is to add it to my breakfast, to top up my morning porridge. I personally love this recipe with apples and cinnamon.
And surprisingly, I also recently found out that apparently, the best way to consume cinnamon is to have it for breakfast, as it can lower blood glucose levels and minimize the insulin spike that you can experience after a meal. Just remember not to overuse it as it can lead to digestive issues!
Also known as “chaste tree”, Vitex has been used for centuries across the world as a medicinal plant. To be more specific, Vitex has always been used as a remedy for women’s health problems.
Recent studies also confirm that it can be used to reduce PMS symptoms and aid against PCOS. And that is so because apparently, this plant can play an effective role in controlling sexual hormones, like progesterone and estrogen. And that means that it can bring the system to almost complete hormonal balance.
When it comes to the consumption of this plant, I personally suggest including it in an infusion, and mixing it with other herbs that can aid against PCOS; my favorite combo is for example with spearmint, but you can try and see if you find a mix that suits your taste! Moreover, another way to consume Vitex is to simply take supplements, but it’d be best to consult a doctor or a trusted herbalist before use.
Originally from China, green tea is, as you probably know, one of the most consumed beverages worldwide. And that is so because green tea is not just delicious, but it’s also packed with natural antioxidants, which can, as you know, have beneficial effects on our health. Among its many benefits, it has also been proven that it can work amazingly against PCOS.
Researchers have studied the effect of Green Tea on the metabolic and hormonal aspect of PCOS and came to the conclusion that, when consumed regularly, the leaves of green tea can lead to weight loss while reducing fasting insulin as well as the level of male hormones reduce blood sugar levels. Plus, this study also suggests that since women with PCOS usually have higher levels of bad cholesterol, green tea can act as an antioxidant, thus helping reduce cholesterol levels in our system.
When it comes to the best way to consume green tea, there are plenty of options, from the classic hot or cold brew to matcha latte… There’s literally anything for all tastes! Otherwise, a good idea would be to mix it with other herbs for PCOS, or alternatively, you could also go for green tea supplements, as long as you remember to consult a doctor before use!
Try these other healing herbs for women’s wellness:
- Motherwort uses
- Burdock root benefits
- Plantain leaf benefits
- Herbs for balancing female hormones
- Herbs for sitz bath
- Schisandra berries
- Mullein root benefits
Other Natural Remedies For PCOS
Treating PCOS in a natural way doesn’t simply limit to herbs and spices, but actually, there are some other things you can change in your life to overcome PCOS. Let’s see how:
Since we said that a healthy lifestyle is the first step you can take to minimize the symptoms of PCOS, it goes without saying that a balanced diet should be of the utmost importance to you.
A good way to start is to control your blood sugar levels. So start by cutting out processed foods that are packed with artificial sugars and hormones and opt for fresh, juicy fruits and veggies, as well as legumes and whole grains. Especially when you have heavy periods, you tend to lose a lot of iron which is contained in the blood; so consuming lentils can be incredibly beneficial for you because they can quickly increase your iron intake.
Alongside whole foods, carbohydrates also deeply impact your hormone levels. When you start to consume high-carb foods with regularity, you can gradually begin to boost your insulin sensitivity, which is crucial when it comes to managing PCOS symptoms.
Balance it out with Pranayama and Yoga
Our breath is our superpower. We can change the state of the body and mind by just controlling our breath. And in case you didn’t know, there’s a whole discipline that revolves around breath control, and that is Pranayama.
Among many different techniques that can trigger various effects, there’s one called “Kapalbhati” which has shown that, when performed regularly, it can aid against PCOS. This technique has been proven to manage your body weight as well as your blood sugar levels, and even stress levels. Check here for a detailed tutorial on Kapalabhati.
Regular physical exercise can truly aid against PCOS. And interestingly enough, there’s also a recent study that proved that overweight and obese women can have a higher risk of developing PCOS symptoms.
To be more specific, yoga has proven to be a practice that can be immensely beneficial for women suffering from PCOS. And that is so because it can control your stress levels as well as your hormone levels; as a matter of fact, a recent study has shown how yoga can control the levels of testosterone in our endocrine system. On top of that, there are also specific yoga poses that you can do to decrease the symptoms of PCOS. Find out more here.
After struggling with PCOS for years, I got to a point where I realized I had enough of the annoying side effects of common medical treatments. I always wondered how it is possible that nature, which has a medicine for each disease, does not have a cure for PCOS. So I’ve finally decided to roll up my sleeves, do some research, and try some of the herbs which could potentially aid against PCOS.
After some trial and error, I’ve decided to include only those that were really effective, not only for me but also for science. So the herbs I’ve included in the list, as well as the other remedies mentioned above, were those that really worked, at least for me.
I personally found that the best way to consume these herbs was to brew a warm infusion and drink it instead of my usual morning tea. Of course, this is purely a matter of taste but either way, I genuinely hope these powerful herbs will be beneficial for you too! Just remember to always consult a doctor before consumption!
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