Help PCOS With Herbs

Can We Keep The Hair Confined To The Head Please?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition which will affect between four and ten percent of women and often goes undiagnosed until such time as a woman wants to have a baby. One of the tell-tale signs of PCOS in women is the imbalance of hormones, especially androgens, the male hormones. Women with PCOS have a high level of testosterone in their bodies which leads to such troublesome issues as hirutism, the irregular growth of hair in all the wrong places, and acne. It is the excessive levels of testosterone, androstenedione and DHEA that are believed to be the cause of hirutism and male pattern hair growth in women with PCOS.

Most frequently, PCOS is treated with medicinal drugs used for birth control, fertility treatments or diabetes. These drugs are useful and often help a woman to ovulate more regularly. However, they also come with side effects which can often be very unpleasant to endure. There has long been a search for something natural that would address the symptoms without the side effects.

Off In A Tiny Corner Of The US Growths The Humble Palm

In the south-eastern US there is an indigenous, small palm tree that has provided its berry-fruit to the people of that area for hundreds of years. The tree is called Serenoa Repens and the name of the fruit is sabal palmetto, or, more commonly, saw palmetto. This fruit has been used very successfully to treat men with enlarged prostate glands which are caused by a metabolite of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.

The Fruit Of The Palm Is Powerfully Effective

Saw palmetto may reduce DHT by interfering with its production as well as by breaking the metabolite down. It is also known to inhibit the binding of DHT to its cells' receptors. Saw palmetto inhibits the enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase which means there is less DHT produced and ultimately less hair growth. Women with PCOS also have high levels of estrogen which also may inhibit the elimination of DHT. Saw palmetto is reported to have an anti-estrogenic effect which, in turn, helps with the elimination of DHT as well.

Drug Treatment Vs. Natural Treatment

Two drugs that are often prescribed for women with PCOS are spironolactone (Aldactone) and finasteride (Propecia, Proscar). Spironolactone, a diuretic, is used to block the production of androgens. There are two pathways to production of androgens; one is by inhibiting 5-alpha-reductase. Some of the side effects of spironolactone are irregular bleeding, nausea, indigestion or fatigue. Finasteride also blocks 5-alpha-reductase and is used primarily to deal with male-pattern baldness in women and for men with enlarged prostate glands. Saw palmetto does not have side effects and is less expensive than these drugs.

DHT has another effect when it is excessively produced and that is acne, another symptom of PCOS. By regulating hormones, saw palmetto has the ability to address acne problems effectively. Because is it a natural diuretic, it also helps to relieve high blood pressure.

It Seems To Be Working Quite Well

The American Medical Association reviewed saw palmetto and concluded that it is as effective as finasteride when it comes to the treatment of enlarged prostate glands in men. Even though there are no studies proving the viability of saw palmetto in the treatment of PCOS, women who use the herb are experiencing very convincing, positive effects.


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