What Are the Best 10 Herbs for PCOS?

What Are the Best 10 Herbs for PCOS

What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS is a very complex endocrine issue that at least 10% of women in the world happen to face, and there is no known cause for it either. Women who have PCOS end up having higher testosterone and androgen levels than other women who don’t have the condition. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

Therefore, the common symptoms of the condition are obesity, diabetes, acne, facial hair, even balding, irregular or absent periods, or heavy bleeding when menstruation does happen.

There are also cases of cysts on the ovaries that appear to be like a string of pearls. PCOS also has a negative effect on female fertility which causes either irregular ovulation or anovulation.

 

What Causes PCOS?

It is unknown what causes the condition in women, though it is believed that there must be a history of PCOS on either of the parents’ side. It can also be caused by abnormal fetal development due to environmental factors.

The condition can vary by severity in women who have it. Some women who have a mild case of PCOS may not be obese or have acne or facial hair, and they may ovulate 6 times a year instead of 12 which is normal. That means that they would technically not be considered infertile.

PCOS signs, symptoms and causes

However, some women who have PCOS have it severely who have all of the symptoms as well as not having menstruation at all, and are obviously would be anovulatory as well.

 

Clomid and PCOS?

Fertility drugs such as Clomid will help most women with PCOS ovulate and conceive the baby boy or girl of their dreams. However, PCOS can also be controlled and if it is controlled by diet, exercise and certain herbal supplements, these women may not need fertility drugs at all to help them conceive. With excellent lifestyle changes, in addition, to help with safe herbal remedies, they will end up having normal ovulatory cycles.

The reason that diet has a huge impact on women with PCOS is that the majority of them are insulin resistant. Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas that is meant to help convert the glucose into the blood to energy and keep the blood sugar under control. It also plays a significant role in managing metabolism, fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

However, sometimes, especially when it comes to the majority of women who have PCOS, the body’s cells end up becoming resistant to insulin and its effects. That said, higher levels of insulin are needed in order to have the right effect and when that happens, the pancreas is having to work even harder to produce more insulin.

Also, when too much insulin is produced and the cells are not responding to it, it causes hunger. That will then cause overeating and consuming more calories than the body can burn, hence the tie between obesity and women with PCOS.

Clomid and PCOS

Insulin actually tells the ovaries to produce more testosterone, while the hormones that help ovulation happen are not able to function at all which is what causes irregular cycles and anovulation. This is also why many women with the condition have facial hair and balding. Ironically, insulin also causes the body to produce even more estrogen which can inhibit ovulation.

This is exactly why Clomid is helpful for women with PCOS because Clomid suppresses estrogen and encourage the other hormones that help ovulation to get to work. There have been very high success rates for women with PCOS achieving a healthy pregnancy.

However, Clomid should be used for women with the condition who are trying to conceive as a last resort because changing lifestyles, as well as taking the safe herbal remedies to help treat the condition may be enough to restore fertility again.

 

What is a PCOS Diet?

The foods that cause insulin resistance to be uncontrollable are foods that have a high-glycemic index, which are foods that will cause blood sugar levels to spike right away. Also, that goes for refined carbohydrates and simple sugars. Foods like that include white bread, white pasta, white rice, white crackers, candy, pastries, cake, potato chips, soda, sweetened fruit juices, fast food and other junk food.

Women with PCOS need to either avoid or at the very most tightly limit junk food (like sticking to a small serving of it once a week) in order to help control insulin resistance.

The foods that they need to eat instead are foods with a low-glycemic index which will not cause blood sugar levels to spike, and that are composed of complex carbohydrates which will help provide the energy that will be properly used, along with fiber so hunger does not strike so quickly.

Good foods include whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, whole grain rice and whole grain crackers, most vegetables, most fruits, beans, quinoa, sweet potatoes, seeds like flax seeds and legumes like peanuts.

That means one way to help is to use whole grain bread to make sandwiches instead of white bread. That simple switch will be helpful. Women with the condition must also focus on eating proteins like lean meats, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish (but avoid tuna and shark meat as the mercury levels are high and can have a negative impact on fertility as well as the growth of the developing fetus), and plant-based proteins.

Also, healthy fats are a must as well to help with hormonal levels and that means to help lower testosterone and estrogen levels too- in order to keep those levels proper. These fats come from olive oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds.

Full-fat dairy is okay as well simply because it helps increase fertility, but it is best to eat those in moderation. In fact,  since dairy is important to consume, it is best to only stick with full-fat dairy products instead of skim-milk products which could actually be bad for fertility and increase testosterone levels. Therefore a good lunch would be a cheddar cheese sandwich with whole-grain bread, along with some fruit.

However, the bad fats like foods that are high in saturated fats and trans fats need to be avoided or at the very most tightly limited. That includes fatty meats like red meat, bacon and fast food. It is fine to enjoy it once a week but not any other time in each week.

Fruits and vegetables that have a high-glycemic index need to be limited as well due to causing blood sugar spikes, but not avoided because these fruits have plenty of excellent nutrients that you don’t want to skimp on either. These fruits are cherries, watermelon, grapes, kiwi, cantaloupe, dried fruits, canned fruits, bananas, mangos, papaya, passion fruit and even pineapples.

Therefore, tropical fruits are very nutritious but it is best to limit to one serving a day. Vegetables such as carrots, plantains, beets, squash, peas, corn, and potatoes. Therefore, don’t avoid these fruits and vegetables as they will not cause harm if you eat them in moderation. They are really good for you and can help you with any weight loss goal.

It is also a very good idea for women with PCOS to take cod liver oil because it contains the fats that are needed to help regulate hormones, and help with ovulation.

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Now that the best diet for women who have PCOS to utilize in order to help themselves lose weight and to help increase fertility- extra help can be there to even make the process quicker and easier by taking safe herbal remedies. Let’s go down the list of the 9 herbal remedies that women with PCOS should be taking in order to help their condition and to help increase fertility- while they are sticking with the best diet to help themselves:

 

Licorice Root

Licorice root or Glycyrrhiza glabra is an herb that helps the body have a normal hormonal function, and this herb supports healthy insulin levels and liver health as well. This is incredibly important for women who have PCOS to take, so while sticking with the helpful diet, utilize this herb as well to help you even more.

Licorice Roots Benefits

Maca Root

Maca or Lepidium meyenii is meant to help balance the levels of estrogen and progesterone which is essential for regulating cycles and ovulation. Maca does not contain any hormones itself but it does help balance hormonal levels, as well as the endocrine system. In fact, even with women who don’t have PCOS take this herb to help increase their fertility as well.

Vitex

Vitex or Chaste Tree Berry is a powerful fertility herb that helps women with PCOS and even women who are struggling with unexplained fertility to conceive. This herb helps balance all hormones and corrects the problems causing anovulation or irregular cycles.

Tribulus

Tribulus or Tribulus Terrestris is an herb that has been used for centuries to help infertile women get pregnant. This herb helps balance hormonal levels and helps correct the timing of ovulation, and is very nourishing for the female endocrine and reproductive system.

Tribulus

White Peony

White Peony or Paeonia lactiflora is an excellent herb for women who have PCOS to take because it helps lower testosterone levels, and it if is taken with licorice root, it becomes a powerful aid to help women with PCOS fight infertility by keeping all hormonal levels perfect- and which will help with proper ovulation and healthy cycles.

Saw Palmetto Berry

Saw Palmetto berry or Serenoa repens is another great herbal remedy for women who have PCOS because it helps reduce facial hair and acne, as well as help with hormonal levels, become more balanced.

Gymnema

Gymnema or Gymnema Sylvestre is not necessarily a fertility herb, but it is extremely helpful for women with PCOS when it comes to helping reduce insulin resistance, which will at the end of the day improve fertility. This herb blocks the paths that sugar molecules take while digestion is happening which will delay sugar absorption. Therefore, it has a positive effect on the pancreas and insulin resistance will not be an issue that is getting in the way of proper ovulation and hormonal levels. It also helps with weight loss.

Gymnema Sylvestre

American Ginseng

American Ginseng or Panax quinquefolius is a fantastic herb for women with PCOS to take because it not only helps regulate hormonal levels, but it nourishes the endocrine system and lowers blood glucose levels. This herb is also very important for helping to strengthen the immune system too.

Dong Quai Root

Dong Quai Root or Angelica Sinensis is an herb that helps improve circulation for the female reproductive system, which helps strengthen the uterus for implantation and to help ease difficult cycles. Women with PCOS may have heavy periods so this herb will help correct that.

ConceiveEasy

If these herbs are a bit intimidating to you, you can try a fertility blend like ConceiveEasy that has a pre-measured concoction of the best and most powerful fertility herbs, vitamins, and minerals. Studies have shown that Conceiveeasy has proven quite effective for women suffering from PCOS.

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In Conclusion

Women with PCOS who are taking any of these herbs along with eating the right foods and avoiding or tightly limiting foods that can cause harm should have no reason to believe that pregnancy will not happen and be maintained. Especially after seeing weight loss results and noticing that their cycles are improving.

However, occasionally if the PCOS is on the severe end, more help will likely be needed such as having to take Clomid or Metformin along with Clomid to help further if insulin resistance is a huge problem.

These women may want to make sure that their progesterone levels are adequate after pregnancy has been achieved because if not, then miscarriage is likely. They may want to use progesterone cream if their doctors feel it would be helpful.

Common sense would be to always avoid alcohol, smoking, illegal drugs and to put a tight limit on the consumption of coffee and other sources of caffeine like chocolate while trying to conceive. Also, it is essential for these women to take folic acid before conception because it helps reduce any chance of the unborn baby developing neural tube defects.

Women with PCOS who do get pregnant must stay careful to eat the diet consisting of foods discussed in this article in order to lower the chances of developing gestational diabetes which can be quite serious for the mother and unborn baby if not controlled.

There is most definitely hope for women who have PCOS to conceive and to keep their symptoms under control by sticking to the diet along with taking these herbal remedies.

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Dr. Renee Hanton, MD
Dr. Renee Hanton, MD | ConceiveEasy
Dr. Renee Hanton is ConceiveEasy's Senior Physician with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. Dr. Hanton specializes in the endocrine causes of infertility, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).