PCOS is a leading cause for obesity, menstrual irregularity, sub-fertility and infertility in women across the world. Persistent acne, hair loss, unwanted facial hair and dark pigmentation of skin especially around the neck i.e. acanthosis nigricans, add to the woes of women with PCOS.
Underlying insulin resistance, high level of male hormone testosterone i.e. Hyperandrogenism; imbalance of LH- Luteinizing hormone and FSH- follicle stimulating hormone, make PCOS a very complex metabolic disorder.
Ayurvedic treatment has a holistic approach towards management of PCOS. Each patient is given a unique therapy based on her specific health needs due to PCOS, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Such personalized approach helps in re-balancing the hormones naturally. Ayurvedic therapy focuses on balancing tissue nutrition, rectifying the imbalance of dosha-bio-energies that govern the body and boosting metabolism. Ayurvedic therapies also help in gradual and wholesome weight loss, reduce hair, facial hair growth and reduces acne.
Thus, Ayurvedic therapy not only helps in controlling PCOS; it also helps in restoring health and well-being.
The main aim of Ayurvedic therapy in women with PCOS are:
- Detoxification of body
- Strengthening and revitalizing the female reproductive system and regularizing menstrual cycles.
- Rectifying hormonal imbalance
Five common Ayurvedic medicines that help in the management of PCOS:
- Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
Shatavari helps in promoting normal development of ovarian follicles, regulates menstrual cycle and revitalizes the female reproductive system. Shatavari also helps in combating the hyperinsulinemia- i.e. high levels of insulin, mainly due to its phytoestrogen (natural plant based estrogen).1
- Guduchi (Tinospora Cordifolia)
Guduchi is a powerful anti- inflammatory herb. Chronic inflammation in tissues is the root cause for insulin imbalance and ovarian cysts. Guduchi helps in revitalizing all the body tissues and boosts metabolism naturally. It also helps in lowering insulin resistance.
- Shatapushpa (Foeniculum vulgare)
Fennel seeds also known as shatapushpa in Sanskrit are a good supplement for PCOS. They are rich source of phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens in fennel, helps in reducing insulin resistance and in bringing down the inflammation in PCOS. Phytoestrogens are also believed to help reduce the cellular imbalance which leads to metabolic disturbances in PCOS.2
A mixture of three fruits- Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) and Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellerica) blended in it; Triphala is one of the most popular Ayurvedic classical formulations! It is a rich source of vitamin C- a powerful natural antioxidant that helps in reducing inflammation by scavenging free radicals. Triphala helps in cleansing and detoxifying your system and hence is best taken prior to taking any other Ayurvedic medicines.
- Aloe Vera- Kumari (Aloe barbadensis)
Aloe vera is yet another Ayurvedic herb that is extremely beneficial in treating PCOS. It helps in regularizing the menstrual cycles, promotes normal mestruation and normalizes ovarian hormonal imbalance.3
Note : The prescription of the above medications should be administered by a trained Ayurvedic doctor. The above recommendations should not be taken without proper consultation from a Ayurvedic doctor. My experience has been that – proper diet , lifestyle , yoga combined with Ayurveda has very high chances of managing the condition.
For consultations on PCOS and other women’s health condition, please refer to my services section.
- Hannan, J. M. A., et al. “Antihyperglycaemic activity of Asparagus racemosus roots is partly mediated by inhibition of carbohydrate digestion and absorption, and enhancement of cellular insulin action.” British Journal of Nutrition 107.09 (2012): 1316-1323
- Jungbauer, Alois, and Svjetlana Medjakovic. “Phytoestrogens and the metabolic syndrome.” The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology 139 (2014): 277-289
- Maharjan, Radha, Padamnabhi S. Nagar, and Laxmipriya Nampoothiri. “Effect of Aloe barbadensis Mill. formulation on Letrozole induced polycystic ovarian syndrome rat model.” Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine 1.4 (2010): 273.