Herbs and Supplements
Since PCOS is such an individual thing, the treatments for it are equally specific to the person. There are many, many different herbs, supplements and treatments available for PCOS. Each is unique, and each deserves some study. Please don't jump blindly into anything. Remember, natural medicine treats the person, not the symptoms. The underlying problem is hormonal. The hair, the acne, the rest of it; those are all symptoms.
This page will be updated as often as possible. Please feel free to post comments for something that has worked for you, if you want to suggest other items, have items added/changed.
Black Cohosh - The effect of black cohosh on LH and the LH/FSH ratio indicates that black cohosh induces the hypothalamus to reduce the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). A reduction in LH in women with PCOS is associated with better ovulation and implantation rates. Although black cohosh induced ovulation in women with PCOS and had fewer adverse effects, additional studies are needed to determine the optimal dose of black cohosh and to confirm the findings
Blue Cohosh - is native to North America. Within traditional use among the Native North Americans it was used by women as a remedy for amenorrhea and profuse menstruation, both of which are common features of PCOS. It is particularly useful to being on the menses in PCOS. It has action as a uterine and ovarian tonic and pelvic anti-inflammatory.
Candex and/or Yeast Fighters - Some have stated that by controlling the amount of yeast in your body that is has a positive effect on those suffering from PCOS. I have not found a specific study on this, however, if you've tried everything else, it certainly won't hurt.
Cinnamon - Known to assist those who are Insulin Resistant (IR). Not quite a substitute for Metformin, but if you can't get Metformin, it can assist in helping with your blood sugars. *If trying to conceive (TTC) then discontinue use after Ovulation because it can hinder implantation and cause uterine contractions.
D-Chiro Inositol - Encourages Ovulation in women with absent or irregular menstraul cycles with PCOS. Lowers androgen levels. Lowers cholesterol. Lowers Testosterone. Improves Waist to Hip Ratio. Helps lower Insulin Resistance comparable to Metformin (you must take enough, though. Its been recommended 20 mg of DCI for each Kg of body wieght)
DIM - Di-indolylmethane, or DIM for short, is a plant compound with health-promoting properties. DIM and other plant indoles are found in all cruciferous vegetables. DIM stimulates more efficient estrogen metabolism.
Evening Primrose Oil - Historically considered a medicinal "cure-all", evening primrose oil is one of the more popular herbal supplements for female hormonal balance and fertility. Women who are trying-to-conceive use evening primrose oil to improve the quality of cervical mucus - or make the cervical mucus more fertile. Fertility and Cervical Fluid For women who are trying-to-conceive, the key benefit of Evening Primrose Oil is that it may increase the quality of cervical mucus, making the mucus a more fertile medium for sperm. One of the purposes of cervical mucus during the fertile period before ovulation is to sustain sperm in a healthy medium and to allow sperm to move freely through the cervix. When a woman ovulates, there should be an increase in cervical mucus, as well as a change in mucus texture. Fertile cervical mucus is more "stretchable" and slippery. You will often hear it compared to "egg-whites". For many women, a common problem is that they do not produce sufficient cervical mucus and/or "infertile" or "hostile" cervical mucus. If the cervical mucus is absent, or does not provide a fertile, fluid medium for sperm, then the chances of fertilization and conception are decreased. Evening Primrose Oil may help women to produce a more fertile quality, "egg white" cervical fluid (that is thinner, watery, clear, and stretchy) and help promote the movement of sperm through the uterus, the fallopian tube and to the ovum for conception! EPO is designed to promote fertile cervical fluid and hormonal balance. *If trying to conceive (TTC) then discontinue use after Ovulation because it can hinder implantation and cause uterine contractions.
Krill Oil - Neptune Krill Oil (NKO) is known for its unique fatty acid (FA) profile, as well as for its rich antioxidant content.NKO's balanced fatty acid content includes not only EPA and DHA, the crucial Omega-3 FA's, but Omega-9 FA's and phospholipids, as well.NKO is a rich source of Astaxanthin, a powerful immune-supporting antioxidant. Clinical studies have shown that NKO can support joint comfort, healthy blood lipid levels, and may reduce symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome.*
Maca Root- has gained a reputation for helping balance hormones and reverse hypothyroidism. It is an endocrine adaptogen, meaning that it does not contain any hormones, but rather it contains the nutrients necessary to support normal hormone production.
Myo-Inositol - Encourges Ovulation in women with absent or irregular menstrual cycles with PCOS. Decreases Leptin, and helps with Wieght loss in PCOS. Improves Mood, and can help depression according to studies. It is really good for your liver. Helps hirsutism. Decreases androgens. Helps Insulin Resistance. Decreases acne. Lowers total and free testosterone levels. Improves quality of eggs.
Natural Progesterone Cream - can help to supplement your body’s own progesterone levels and lead you back to a state of natural balance.
Red Raspberry (Tea or Supplements) - Can help with painful periods and it's a good uterine tonic.
Royal Jelly - Royal Jelly is rich in amino acids, lipids, sugars, vitamins, and most importantly, proteins. It contains high levels of vitamins D and E, and also has ample levels of iron and calcium. As all of these are essential to proper health and organ function, it is very easy to see how Royal Jelly can help with in assisting with fertility. Been shown to help balance hormones. This makes it beneficial to those individuals that suffer from a hormonal imbalance, as it helps to provide support to the endocrine system.
Saw Palmetto - traditionally used to treat male prostate enlargement. However, since it is an anti-androgen many women with PCOS use it to treat hirsutism and acne. It has a side effect of increasing breast size in some and consequently is used in breast enhancing herbal formulas to increase cup size. However, it does not always have this effect.)
Vitex - This seems to be the herb most commonly used by women with PCOS. Vitex has a direct effect on the pituitary gland; the gland involved in regulating hormone production. It seems to increase the level of LH, although the studies that have shown this have been conducted in women without PCOS. Therefore, this does not mean it increases LH levels in women with PCOS. The fact that it works so well in women with PCOS lends great support to David Hoffman's (11) assertion that vitex is an adaptive herb that does whatever the body needs it to do. It seems to restore progesterone to a normal level , which is helpful for those with low progesterone levels. Low progesterone levels can cause miscarriage so vitex can help to prevent this. It is also used for irregular menstruation, amenorrhea and PMS.
**Always read the directions on the bottle of any herb or supplement. See Disclaimer below **
Nioxin Shampoo, Conditioner and Scalp Treatment
Nettles as a supplement and as part of your shampoo
Spearmint Tea - Recent research has shown that spearmint tea may be used as a treatment for hirsutism in women. Its anti-androgenic properties reduce the level of free testosterone in the blood, while leaving total testosterone and DHEA unaffected. It can also be used to treat a variety of digestive ailments, including stomachache (as previously mentioned) and gas.
Sources and Resources:
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