Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a complicated endocrine disorder affecting many different areas of a sufferer’s body and life. Reliable information can be hard to come by and symptoms such as infertility, excess facial and body hair, acne, fatigue and excess weight can leave women with PCOS feeling inadequate, demoralised and depressed with life.
There are many simple steps that women with PCOS can incorporate into their lives to gain control over PCOS and put them on the path to better health. In this series of articles, we will explore 20 simple and easy steps that can make a difference to PCOS.
Step # 16
Supplement with herbs and nutrients which support healthy hormone balance: Liquorice, Paeony, Vitex, Dong Quai, Blue Cohosh, Saw Palmetto
Liquorice and Paeony are the two ingredients in the traditional Japanese herbal formulation Shakuyaku-Kanzo-To (TJ-68) which has been found in studies to normalise the hormones which are dysregulated in PCOS. It is suggested that TJ-68 acts directly on the ovary first, increasing the activity of aromatase, which promotes the synthesis of estradiol from testosterone, thus lowering serum testosterone levels. Furthermore, the effect on catecholamines results in gradually improving the dissociate phenomenon of LH/FSH ratio.
Vitex agnus castus is one of the most popularly taken herbs for female hormonal and menstrual disorders in Europe with a solid body of clinical evidence supporting it’s 2500 year history of traditional use. It has a gentle and effective mechanism of action, working to stimulate the hypothalamus-pituitary axis to secrete the right hormones in the right amounts at the right time to restore hormonal balance naturally. The timing of hormones released from the pituitary governs menstruation, fertility and other processes. It is through Vitex’s subtle action on the pituitary gland that it can encourage the restoration of hormonal balance and regulate the female reproductive cycle.
Dong quai (angelica sinensis) is a herb which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 1000 years. It is sometimes called “female ginseng” for its ability to relieve painful periods, cramps, irregular menstrual cycles, infrequent periods, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and menopausal symptoms. It also improves circulation, relieves pain, particularly to the female reproductive organs and stimulate and relax the muscles of the uterus. In combination with other herbs it is frequently used in the treatment of PCOS.
Blue cohosh is a herb that is used to tone the uterus, ease spasms and regulate the menstrual cycle. It is particularly helpful for amenorrhoea, or bringing on delayed or absent periods. It is a herb that is frequently used in combination with other herbs in the treatment of PCOS.
Saw palmetto can be helpful in regulating the hormones oestrogen and testosterone which are frequently disordered in PCOS. Saw palmetto has been shown in studies to inhibit the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), increase the rate at which DHT is broken down and inhibit the ability of DHT to bind to receptor sites in the body where it causes problems like hirsutism and hair loss.
Next article in series: 20 simple steps you can take to control polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) #17
To read more articles by Anne Seccombe click on the links for Health, PCOS or Low Carbohydrate Lifestyles.
You can also find more information on PCOS at My PCOS Info.
This article was originally published at My PCOS Info – News & Research. Further references and links to the studies mentioned can be found there.
(C) Copyright 2012 Anne Seccombe. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without the express permission of the author. All rights reserved.