best herbs for pcos

24 Best Herbs for PCOS

best herbs for pcos
by Tallene Posted March 10, 2023

As most Cyster’s know – treating PCOS is no simple task. In fact, many women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are exhausted by their PCOS symptoms, as well as the healing journey. Often, Cysters find prescription medicine and birth control does more harm than good, masking PCOS symptoms and coming with a ton of undesirable side effects. You might feel like you’re trading one symptom for another! 

Because of this, women with PCOS have been taking back control of their body through natural methods. That’s what I did! I’ve been able to reverse the effects of my PCOS using food, exercise, and other intentional lifestyle changes, which is what I talk about here on my blog every week! 

For this post, I’m zooming in on one natural remedy that can help support symptom relief by potentially regulating insulin, improving metabolism, balancing hormones, and more! How can you do this? Through herbs! There are numerous studies and thousands of anecdotes that suggest the right herbs can help alleviate your PCOS symptoms. Below, I’ve listed 24 herbs to help you get your body back to normal:

24 Best Herbs for PCOS

best fertility herbs for pcos

Fertility Herbs for PCOS

Trouble conceiving and maintaining a normal period is one of the great challenges women with PCOS endure. However, there are many ways to aid reproductive health that you can hear about HERE. Until then, I’ve got some herbs to help support that healing process:

Cinnamon 

Studies have shown that cinnamon helps regulate periods for women with PCOS! With regular periods and ovulation cycles, conceiving becomes easier as well. 

Chaste Tree Berry

Like cinnamon, research suggests chaste tree berry (AKA vitex) helps to regulate menstrual cycles and stimulate healthy ovulation. 

Maca

A blend of maca and vitex is what showed the most benefits for fertility and menstrual cycle regulation in this study! You should consult your doctor about taking a chaste tree berry and maca supplement if you’re struggling to conceive. 

Adaptogen Herbs for PCOS

Adaptogens are active ingredients inside certain plants that help your body manage cortisol levels (stress hormones). Many Cysters struggle with elevated levels of stress hormones that exacerbate symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, and weight gain. Adaptogens have been shown to help balance hormones and restore feelings of peace and alertness. 

Holy Basil

Holy basil has been shown to regulate insulin levels, lower inflammation, and assist with liver detoxification. All of those things contribute to stress hormone production, so holy basil seems to be a great adaptogen for women with PCOS.

Ginseng

Ginseng, like holy basil, helps increase insulin sensitivity! Studies have also identified properties of ginseng that assist with regulating menstrual cycles, which is another reason this is a potentially effective herb for PCOS.

Ashwagandha

Many studies suggest that Ashwagandha is anti-inflammatory, boosts energy, lowers blood sugar, and reduces stress. It’s a powerful adaptogen! 

Anti-Androgen Herbs for PCOS

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have a few hormonal imbalances. One that affects Cysters deeply is elevated androgen levels! These are male hormones that can wreak havoc on our bodies, leading to acne, facial hair, balding, and irregular menstrual cycles. 

Black Cohosh

Research has found that black cohosh helps reduce extra androgen levels in the body and it can prevent testosterone from converting into another more active form of testosterone. This more aggressive form is what causes some of the extreme PCOS symptoms Cysters often face. 

Green Tea

That same study and more shows that green tea further assists in decreasing androgen conversion. The research also suggests green tea has insulin sensitivity benefits! 

Chinese Peony

Chinese peony not only helps reduce that androgen conversion, but it also helps promote aromatase production, which is the enzyme that helps transform testosterone into estrogen (the primary female hormone)! 

best acne herbs for pcos

Herbs for PCOS Acne

We discussed how androgens can cause acne! Luckily there are a few ways to help with hormonal acne that you can read about HERE. Of course, there are herbs that have been shown to help too, which I’ll discuss below: 

Spearmint

In research studies, spearmint has been shown to have big antiandrogen benefits! That means spearmint could help with acne, excess body hair, and menstrual regulation. 

Licorice

Licorice helps fight abnormalities that lead to acne, research shows! In fact, many studies indicate that licorice can have a significant anti-acne response.

Stinging Nettle Leaf 

Stinging nettle leaf can help contract tissue to soak up excess secretions that cause acne according to various studies. (I know, gross wording. The point is, it can help!) Stinging nettle leaf could also be anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory based on research. 

Herbs for PCOS Hair Loss

Hair loss is another difficult PCOS symptom. Our hair is part of our feminine identity, so though this isn’t a painful symptom, it’s definitely one we should work on healing to maintain our sense of self and mental wellbeing. There are herbs that may help you reverse hair loss, and you can find other natural methods of alleviating hair loss HERE.  

Rosemary

Though rosemary won’t have your hair back in minutes, studies indicate that over time, rosemary oil can help stimulate hair growth in women with PCOS or other disorders that cause androgenetic alopecia. 

Horsetail

Horsetail may be able to help stop hair loss in its tracks, according to this study. Not only did horsetail in this research help stop the effects of hair loss, it did so with no irritation or additional side effects! 

Red Clover

Like rosemary and horsetail, red clover is another herb that supports hair growth and helps stop hair loss before it starts. 

Herbs for PCOS Hirsutism

Hirsutism is excess body hair growth on women. If you have PCOS, you may be all-to-familiar with this symptom. Like many other side effects of polycystic ovarian syndrome, this one comes from high levels of androgens, mostly testosterone in the body. 

Lavender

Lavender, when safely applied to areas of the skin with excess hair growth, has been shown to help diminish excess hair growth! This is because lavender is anti-androgenic and it actually stimulates the production of our primary female hormone, estrogen. For more on safe application of lavender essential oils, check out this article

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil when combined with lavender oil could be the key to remedying hirsutism, early studies suggest!

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is another known anti-androgen that helps reduce the amount of testosterone in the body, therefore, can potentially help with PCOS-related hair loss. 

best herbs for pcos weight loss

Herbs for PCOS Weight Loss

Losing weight with PCOS can feel impossible. Whether it’s insulin resistance, hormonal imbalances, or other PCOS comorbidities, losing weight with PCOS is anything but easy or normal. Here are some herbs that may be able to help:

Fenugreek

It has been suggested in studies that fenugreek can help with weight loss because it can improve insulin resistance. As your glucose metabolism increases with fenugreek, your eating habits can improve too! 

Cardamom

Cardamom in recent studies, has been shown to help lower cholesterol and prevent peritoneal fat deposition. Basically, cardamom can help ensure you don’t accumulate fat around your midsection. (Just in time for bikini season!)

Herbs for PCOS Weight Gain

Though many Cysters struggle with losing weight, some women with PCOS struggle to gain weight. If you’re struggling with this, I see you too! Naturally healing your body with PCOS can help you get back to a healthy weight, and these herbs may be able to support your journey:  

Blessed Thistle

Simply put, blessed thistle can help you gain weight by stimulating your appetite! It’s commonly used to gain weight and increase milk supply in nursing mother. 

Dandelion Root

Dandelion root can increase appetite like blessed thistle. It can also help detoxify your liver to balance hormones, which supports alleviation of your overall symptoms of PCOS. 

The right herbs may help support your PCOS healing journey. 

PCOS treatment isn’t easy, and you may not get the support from your doctor that you need to reverse and manage PCOS. However, you can take control of your polycystic ovarian syndrome naturally using the right foods, exercises, and mindset changes that you can learn more about on my blog and podcast. And, don’t think you need to go at it alone, join The Cysterhood to find a community of women just like you overcoming their PCOS. It is possible!

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