Treat PCOS Naturally – 10 Effective Herbal Remedies

Treat PCOS Naturally – 10 Effective Herbal Remedies

Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS is an endocrinal disorder that affects women, impairing metabolic, endocrinal, and reproductive functions. Not only does this adversely impact fertility, but it also makes women susceptible to other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Classified as a chronic condition, PCOS requires lifelong treatment and care. Unfortunately, most conventional medications only provide symptomatic relief and prolonged use of some of these drugs can result in other side effects. This makes natural PCOS treatments particularly important in the management of the condition. Medicinal herbs are among the most effective natural treatments for PCOS and Ayurveda gives us a wealth of information on such herbs.

The Best Herbs for PCOS

Herbs can be used as culinary ingredients, to prepare herbal teas, or may be consumed as supplements and in polyherbal medications for PCOS. The most powerful herbal remedies for PCOS include the following:

  1. Amla

Amla is one of the most widely used herbs in natural cosmetic products and immunity tonics, but it has much wider applications in Ayurveda. The herb is regarded as a powerful detoxifier that can help fight any buildup of ama or toxins in the body, addressing the underlying cause and also relieving PCOS symptoms. Studies have confirmed the efficacy of amla as a PCOS herbal remedy, highlighting its antioxidant, anti-diabetic, and hypolipidemic properties, as well as its protective role against ovarian cancer.

To reap these benefits you can consume amla in its raw form, extract the juice, or combine it with other foods. Amla is also available as a powder, which can be easily mixed with warm milk or water for consumption, or in supplements and polyherbal formulations.

  • Haldi

Turmeric is a popular culinary spice and can be used for food garnishing, as well as in beverages. The benefits of this herb for PCOS can be traced to its main bioactive compound – curcumin. This compound has been the subject of numerous studies, with plenty of evidence showing that it has anti-inflammatory powers and can also reduce insulin resistance, which is a major risk factor for diabetes.

Keep in mind that curcumin from turmeric is not easily absorbed by the body, but the absorption rates are greatly improved when combined with black pepper. Alternatively, you could use supplements that have a higher bioavailability.

  • Fenugreek

Better known to most of us as methi, this herb is widely recognized as a healthy food that offers numerous benefits. Ayurvedic literature has long recognized the value of methi, not just as a food, but also as medicine. Through research, we now know that fenugreek can help restore hormonal balance, regulate menstruation, and reduce the formation of ovarian cysts, making it one of the best natural remedies for PCOS.

Methi can be consumed in a variety of forms, as your main culinary ingredient or with other foods. In addition to the leaves, methi seeds can also be consumed to get the same benefits. Methi seeds can be soaked in water overnight and ingested the following day.

  • Jeera

Like methi, jeera or cumin seeds are a staple ingredient in most Indian kitchens. Generally used as a digestive aid, the seeds can also help in the treatment of PCOS. Phytoestrogens in the seeds may help to regulate and normalize hormonal levels, which are at the root of PCOS. Studies show that jeera can also protect against PCOS complications because of its anti-diabetic and cholesterol lowering effects.

If you’d like you can consume jeera in its raw form or simply add a handful of seeds to water and boil it before consuming. If you like the taste, you can also try adding jeera to your herbal teas, but try to consume at least two tablespoons of the seeds daily.

  • Tulsi

Tulsi occupies an exalted position in Ayurveda, ascribed with medicinal properties and spiritual significance. It is used in a variety of herbal medications, including those used to treat PCOS and other female reproductive disorders because of purported benefits for fertility and menstruation. The herb also has proven benefits that can protect against PCOS complications like weight gain, high cortisol levels, and diabetes.

Tulsi is another herb that can be easily added to your diet as garnishing in salads along with salad dressings, it can also be steeped along with herbs like ginger and turmeric to prepare herbal teas, or added into your fruit juices and smoothies. If you’d like you can even chew on a few leaves of tulsi before you start your day. It’s also a common ingredient in herbal PCOS medications, so if the dietary route doesn’t work for you, there are other options.

  • Gokhru

This is perhaps the most important Ayurvedic herb for PCOS and is a major ingredient in supplements for sexual wellness. The raw herb is not as easy to come by or use, which is why it’s best to rely on supplements or Ayurvedic PCOS medications containing the herb. From research, we know that gokhru can help to improve endocrine function, stimulate ovulation, normalize the menstrual cycle, and inhibit cyst formation. This makes it an essential herb for PCOS treatment.

Gokhru may be hard to come by in its raw form as it is not a culinary herb. However, you can use gokhru powder to prepare a decoction by adding a tablespoon to 2 cups of water and bringing it to a boil. Make sure to consume this daily. You can also consider using gokhru supplements or medications containing the ingredient.

  • Cinnamon

Cinnamon or dalchini has become a popular culinary spice in global cuisine. However, it’s been recognized for its therapeutic potential in Ayurveda for millennia. It may be added to food and beverages or in herbal preparations to treat PCOS, as it has proven benefits of improving insulin sensitivity and regulating the menstrual cycle.

Cinnnamon is again an easy ingredient to incorporate into your daily diet itself. You can use cinnamon in a variety of dishes, including cakes, muffins, buns, yogurt, and tea. You can also use cinnamon powder, even sprinkling it over your food or beverages for some added flavor, and of course for those health benefits!

  • Ashwagandha

It may not be the first herb to come to mind when talking about women’s health because of the association with bodybuilding and male sexual health. However, some of those same mechanisms can also provide therapeutic benefits for PCOS afflicted women. The herb has been found to lower insulin resistance and cortisol levels, protecting against diabetes and heart disease.

Ashwagandha is not a culinary herb and it’s unlikely that you could obtain it in the raw form or even add it to cuisine. However, ashwagandha supplements and powders are widely available and have proven efficacy. Dosage requirements can vary, depending on the strength of the supplement, but most experts recommend 250–500 mg daily for at least 2 months.

  • Indian Long Pepper

Commonly described as pipli, Indian Long Pepper is often used alongside other herbs in popular Ayurvedic medications. In the context of PCOS, the herb can help remedy menstrual irregularities, cramping, and fertility problems associated with the condition. Some studies suggest that in addition to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, pipli also has antidepressant properties that can help address PCOS mood swings.

Like other types of pepper, pipli can be used as a spice or seasoning ingredient when cooking. It can also be combined with milk or honey for daily consumption.

  1. Shilajit

Strictly speaking, shilajit is not classified as a herb in botany, but it is widely used as a natural organic ingredient in Ayurvedic herbal remedies for PCOS, among other conditions. Hard to obtain or even use in its raw form, shilajit benefits are best obtained from supplements and polyherbal medications. The ingredient has been shown to offer possible benefits for PCOS through ovogenic effects or the stimulation of ovulation.

As mentioned earlier, shilajit is not herb that can be added to your food. It is extracted and sold in a powder or supplement form, which can then be added to milk or water for consumption. High quality shilajit from reputed brands has higher efficacy and requires smaller dosages. On average, the recommended daily dose is around 300 to 500 mg.

The use of Ayurvedic herbs and polyherbal medications can improve PCOD symptoms and lower the risk of complications, but to see such results you need to use them consistently for a period of time. More importantly, you need to make dietary and lifestyle changes that support the action of PCOS remedies and medications. In addition to the herbs listed above, others like ashoka and shatavari are also known to be helpful. When using raw ingredients, exercise caution and try to focus on herbs like cinnamon, jeera, methi, and haldi, which can be easily incorporated into your diet. Other herbs are best consumed in supplements or herbal Ayurvedic medications, as this ensures optimal dosage and combinations that offer greater efficacy. Keep in mind that herbal remedies for PCOS are not a substitute for medical care and you should speak to an Ayurvedic physician for guidance when using supplements.

Author’s Bio-

Dr. (Mrs.) Surya Bhagwati (BAMS, DHA, DHHCM, and DHBTC) is the lead Ayurvedic physician at Dr. Vaidya’s. She is a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner who brings a wealth of experience spanning over 25 years in the science. Prior to Dr. Vaidya’s, she has worked at the prestigious Saifee Hospital in Mumbai where she still continues her association in a consulting capacity. Her expertise lies in the prevention of chronic ailments.

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