9 magical ayurvedic herbs that can help manage PCOS

The disorder impacts a woman's physical and mental health and along with medicines it is imperative to make lifestyle changes and eat a balance meal

Karishma ShahUpdated: Sunday, January 02, 2022, 08:03 AM IST

Sometimes you’re fine, often you’re not! You become introspectively gloomy or euphoric. You’re constantly ricocheting between mental states. Perhaps you’re experiencing a havoc condition influencing chronic pain, body symptoms or you’ve noticed a 5 o’clock shadow on your face and thinning hair on your scalp. Are you a woman whose symptoms seem to pile up and you can’t figure out what to do? Well, PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is a complex phenomenon and it is difficult to grasp a comprehensive picture of its diverse symptoms.

Today, women are strenuously battling various challenges and their quality of life is being interrupted by this underlying disease that originated due to complex hormonal conditions. PCOS is a hormonal endocrine disorder that is typically earmarked by irregular periods, scanty bleeding or no menstruation at all. Dramatic hormonal imbalances, hirsutism, acne, metabolic disturbance and infertility are classic hallmark features of this condition. PCOS is estimated to affect about nine million women globally. One in every 10 woman of reproductive age is affected by PCOS worldwide (six are teenagers).

PCOS often goes undetected for years due to the lack of awareness. Women with PCOS exhibit multifarious symptoms that affect their overall health and appearance. Women are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and fatty liver. Women with PCOS also suffer from various mental health problems like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, mood swings, etc. Hence, complications fabricated due to PCOS may trigger and/ or progressively exacerbate a woman’s life. And, hence, women should have a holistic approach to rejuvenate their life.

Miraculous ayurvedic herbs

Allopathy believes in offering quick relief. Its analytic understanding of physiology mainly attempts to suppress the intensifying symptoms but unfortunately, allopathy manifests itself through a spectrum of side effects. For instance, most women with PCOS are on a regimen of common allopathic medications like Metformin and oral contraceptive pills, but these medicines are significantly associated with lower serum levels of B12. You may be at risk for developing megaloblastic anaemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency. What women don’t realise is that consumption of these medications can interfere with the absorption of vitamin B12 and it is a serious deficiency that can result in permanent neurological and nerve damage. In contrast, Ayurveda provides natural relief. Ayurvedic herbal treatment has evolved as a holistic system that has an understanding of physiology enabling it to maintain and revive health with no side effects.

Ayurvedic herbs are an imperative complementary and alternative medicine as there are few truly efficient pharmaceutical options available for PCOS. While more research is required to support the traditional uses, evidence has found that it can successfully treat PCOS amenorrhea. Evidence has revealed that consuming the right kind of herbs can reinstate the balance of perplexing hormones and assist in the normal functioning of the ovaries.

Ayurvedic herbs are filled with phytoestrogen that efficiently lessens inflammation, improves insulin resistance and increases the chances of conception in women. Ayurvedic herbal treatment for PCOS usually includes a combination of herbs like cinnamon, ashwagandha, maca, holy basil, curcumin, liquorice, shatavari, gandhari and varuna. Now, let us get an overview of the plethora of impressive benefits these amazing herbs possess and are effective in managing PCOS.

1) Cinnamon: Cinnamon has an insulin sensitising effect and enhances the cyclicity of menstruation in women with PCOS. A recent study has found that there has been an enormous interest in the use of cinnamon to suppress the symptoms by reducing insulin resistance in PCOS. Cinnamomum cassia is most likely to be responsible for this biochemical interplay due to its active component--cinnamaldehyde.


Ashwagandha |

2) Ashwagandha: According to a 2016 study of 52 women under chronic stress and anxiety due to PCOS consumed ashwagandha which gave them instant relief. Ashwagandha can effectively help in balancing cortisol levels to improve stress and PCOS symptoms. It has incredible properties which are sought to balance blood sugar levels. It is an extraordinary feat for managing metabolic syndrome experienced by women in PCOS.

3) Maca: The roots of the maca plant are consumed to boost libido and fertility in women with PCOS. Maca impacts the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. It helps these glands to control the menstrual cycle by stimulating the ovaries.


Maca |

4) Holy Basil: It is referred to as “queen of herbs”. Holy basil has properties that control androgens and control the insulin level in women with PCOS. It has anti-androgenic properties that can help manage the symptoms of PCOS. Women with PCOS have to deal with acne and hirsutism due to the excess production of male sex hormones. Holy basil is an excellent agent that aids in reducing the male sex hormones in a woman with PCOS. In the pathogenesis of PCOS, oxidative stress is a potential factor. Holy basil is a marvellous antioxidant agent that fights oxidative stress and protects the body from harmful symptoms.

5) Curcumin: Curcumin, the orange compound present in turmeric, contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer properties. A 2016 study claims that curcumin is as effective as clomiphene citrate in treating PCOS. It consists of possible mechanisms that reduce blood sugar levels and significantly enhance the level of the female hormone, estradiol.

6) Liquorice: It contains anti-inflammatory properties. Nerve pain and period cramps lie at the heart of PCOS. In liquorice, the glycyrrhizic acid is metabolised into cortisol, which efficiently fights inflammation at all levels. The result – less painful period, reduces nerve pain and alleviates ovarian cysts. It also improves hormonal imbalance.

7) Shatavari: Phytoestrogen and other natural phytochemicals present in shatavari are extremely beneficial for women with PCOS. It helps rectify the hormonal imbalance. It has a powerful effect on insulin resistance.

8) Gandhari: It is beneficial for cyst dissolution as it thins out the walls and propels cysts to drain. It stimulates the ovaries and restores normal functioning.


Varuna |

9) Varuna: This (crataeva nurvala) helps in clearing the channel, reduces the size of the cyst and regulates the menstruation cycle.

(The writer is Integrative Nutritionist and Holistic Life Coach)

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