Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which there is a female sex hormone imbalance in women of reproductive age. PCOS is characterized by a higher-than-normal level of androgens (male hormones) in the woman. Furthermore, PCOS may lead to menstrual cycle irregularities, difficulty in getting pregnant, cysts in the ovaries and other health challenges.
Research has also linked high levels of insulin to PCOS as high levels of insulin tend to make the ovaries produce abnormally high levels of male hormones.
The exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is unknown. However, genetic predisposition is acknowledged as one of the leading cause of PCOS.
Symptoms of PCOS include;
- Not experiencing your period after having a couple of menstruation during your puberty (secondary amenorrhea)
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Increased body hair (hirsutism) especially on the belly, chest, face and around the nipples
- Acne on face, back, and chest
- Pelvic pain
- Weight gain
- Thick patches of skin
Women with PCOS having a higher risk of getting diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, when dealing with PCOS;
- Try as much as possible not to use plastics in your food preparation, consumption, and storage.
- If you are overweight, endeavor to lose the excess fat. This would help reduce the male hormonal levels.
- Stop consuming processed foods.
- Birth control pills help women have their normal periods, reduces male hormone levels, and helps alleviate acne. As such you may take birth control pills after consulting your healthcare provider.
- Include foods rich in chromium, iron, vitamin B and fiber into your diet.
- Drop the bad habit of smoking. Smoking tends to increase your androgen levels and exacerbates the PCOS symptoms.
- You could also consider acupuncture and acupressure to help normalize your hormone imbalances.
- Control your stress level properly and avoid stressful situations. You could take up relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation to control your stress levels.
- Ensure you stay active and exercise regularly. This would help control your insulin and your weight.
Below are natural treatments and home remedies for PCOS;
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
The anti-glycemic nature of apple cider vinegar makes it an excellent remedy for polycystic ovaries. Apple cider vinegar aids in regulating the insulin levels in the body and treats the condition in a simple yet effective manner. Fill a glass with warm water and add 2 teaspoons of unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Drink it on an empty stomach every morning. Gradually, start taking it 2-3 times during the day before eating your meals.
Put 1 tablespoon of licorice root in a cup and pour warm water over it. Let it steep for a few minutes. Strain the concoction and drink it once every day. Licorice is known to regulate the amount of serum testosterone, which is often high in women having PCOS. Licorice works by inhibiting the enzyme required for testosterone production. It also induces ovulation thereby improving the condition.
Fenugreek seeds assist in optimizing the metabolism of glucose in the body and prevent the occurrence of type 2 diabetes in women suffering from PCOS. Additionally, fenugreek seeds also help with weight management. Put about 3 teaspoons of fenugreek seeds in half a cup of water and let it soak overnight. Strain the water and consume the soaked seeds with a little honey. Do this twice every day, in the morning and 10 minutes before any of your meals (lunch or dinner).
4. Indian Gooseberry Juice
Indian gooseberry or amla is an excellent remedy for the polycystic ovary syndrome. Indian gooseberry induces detoxification and helps in normalizing the body’s hormone balance. Extract half a cup of fresh Indian Gooseberry juice and dilute it with a cup of water. Drink it once every day preferably in the morning for maximum effect.
5. Castor Oil
Castor oil has a unique characteristic of penetrating deep into the body through the skin. For this reason, it is often used in medicine to cure numerous health problems. Applying castor oil would improve circulation and promote lymph functions.
Take a piece of flannel cloth and soak it in castor oil. Remove the excess oil. Now lie down on your back and place the cloth on your abdomen. Wrap the area with a plastic wrap. Then, place a hot water bottle over it and let it stay for half an hour. Finally, remove the plastic wrap and wash the area thoroughly with water and soap. Do this about 3 to 4 times, weekly, for about a month. You may reuse the flannel cloth until it starts to smell bad or changes its color. Make sure you store it in a ziplock after every use.
6. Cinnamon And Honey
Cinnamon is helpful in increasing insulin sensitivity. Therefore, it can be used to treat PCOS. It also reduces the level of cholesterol from the body. In addition, cinnamon aids in burning more calories. Combine a teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of honey and eat it once every day.
7. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera juice is yet another beneficial ingredient for reducing the symptoms of PCOS. Aloe vera restores the ovarian steroid status by lowering the levels of cholesterol in the blood. It is recommended to drink a glass of aloe vera juice every morning for a few weeks to reap its health benefits.
8. Fennel Seeds
The anti-hirsutism properties of this natural ingredient can effectively treat the condition in a natural way. Fennel seeds also help in reducing the levels of androgen in the body. All you have to do is soak 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds in about 1 glass of water overnight. In the morning add another glass of water to the mixture and boil it for 5 minutes. Strain it and drink the fennel seed tea, warm, every day in the morning.
Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids which promote healing in a natural way. Studies show that essential fatty acids are useful in lowering the levels of testosterone and regulate the menstrual cycle in women with PCOS. Omega-3 fatty acid also helps in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol and keeps your heart healthy. Include it in your diet on a regular basis to reap its benefits.
Chasteberry or Vitex agnus-castus would help in treating PCOS to a great extent. Chasteberry has a regulatory action on the pituitary gland which helps in maintaining the hormonal balance in the body, thereby, relieving PCOS symptoms. Take chasteberry supplements on a regular basis to improve your condition.
11. Cumin Water
Cumin or jeera can be effectively used to treat PCOS. All thanks to cumin’s unique characteristic of regulating the level of sugar in the body, thus, helping to stabilize insulin. Furthermore, the numerous antioxidant properties of cumin aid in detoxification and promote healing. Add one teaspoon of cumin seeds (grounded) to 1 cup water and mix well. Consume it twice every day.
12. Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil improves metabolic function and reduces the levels of high cholesterol in the body. Therefore, it is helpful in treating the symptoms of PCOS. It also relieves premenstrual syndrome and PCOS-like symptoms. Take a tablet of evening primrose oil every day. For best results, start taking the supplement from day one of your menstrual cycles until the ovulation.
13. Vitamin D
Deficiency of vitamin D may affect the functioning of the reproductive system in women. Vitamin D not only plays an important role in several ovarian processes but also affects homeostasis of glucose. Taking a vitamin D supplement on a regular basis may re-establish the ovulation and menstrual regularity in an excellent way. Test your vitamin D levels and consult your doctor if they are unusually low for dose recommendation.
14. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has medium chain fatty acids essential for regulating blood sugar levels. Furthermore, it helps in regulating insulin secretion, thereby reducing the PCOS symptoms in a natural way. Coconut oil is also helpful in reducing bad cholesterol from the blood. Consume 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (virgin) every day for effective results.
15. Royal Jelly
Royal jelly is nothing but the food of the queen bee living in a beehive. The unique blend of nutrients present in royal jelly is proven to work well in reducing PCOS symptoms. Royal jelly normalizes an irregular menstrual cycle with its estrogen-like effects. It improves the functionality of the ovaries thereby improving your condition.
16. Palm Jaggery
Including small amounts of palm jaggery in your diet may have a beneficial effect in reducing PCOS symptoms. The levels of insulin are high in women suffering from PCOS. Since palm jaggery regulates the insulin levels by reducing the levels of blood sugar, it is an effective treatment for PCOS.
17. Saw Palmetto
Saw Palmetto is an anti-androgenic plant which helps in reducing hirsutism. Therefore, it reduces excessive hair growth common in women suffering from PCOS. Take saw palmetto supplement on a regular basis for effective results. Consult your doctor for exact dosage and avoid taking it if you are pregnant or nursing a baby.
Flaxseeds are great for treating PCOS. Flaxseed not only checks the level of androgen in the body but also enhances the production of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) which reduces testosterone levels in the blood. It also reduces hirsutism in an excellent way. Include flaxseeds in your diet on a regular basis to reap the benefits.
19. Spearmint Tea
Spearmint is another easy and effective remedy for PCOS and hirsutism. Spearmint inhibits follicle stimulating hormone and helps in reducing the growth of unwanted hair in women. Make spearmint tea and consume it every day for several weeks.
Staying active is important if you have PCOS. As little as 30 minutes of exercise every day would bring in a lot of difference. Start with simpler exercises that you can take up to 5 days in a week and slowly increase your intensity. Brisk walking, bike riding, and pilates are a great way to stay active. You may also try yoga poses that are effective in treating PCOS in addition to improving your overall health.
Basil has high medicinal value and is often used to treat numerous health conditions. It regulates androgen levels in the body and stabilizes insulin. As such, it improves the functioning of ovaries. Basil is high in antioxidants which would improve the overall health in a natural way. Take 10-12 leaves of basil and wash it properly. Eat them first thing in the morning every day on a regular basis.
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