Sometimes, traditional medicines and treatments are not enough. In some cases, such treatments are too invasive, or the medications are too difficult on a woman’s system, that she hopes to be able to treat her condition through other means, such as herbal medicine. PCOS, also known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is one of these conditions.
Because PCOS is a chronic (recurring and/or long-term) condition, some people believe that it can be treated herbally. Herbs tend to be much more gentle on the body than synthetic drugs are. Herbs are also generally able to be used for longer time periods, while many medications are not indicated for long-term or repeated use.
One popular herbal supplement that many women use is evening primrose. Evening primrose is used to help with PMS, as well as with skin problems. It is thought to help women who have irregular menstrual cycles as well. Some think that evening primrose oil will aid with cholesterol problems, blood pressure problems, and heart disease.
Chasteberry, also known as Vitex and Angus Castus, is an herb commonly used for treating PCOS. This is because this particular herb has an immediate effect on the pituitary gland; the pituitary gland is responsible for hormone production, which is at the root of many of the symptoms of PCOS, such as weight gain and unwanted hair growth or hair loss. Some people believe that chasteberry is what is known as an “adaptive herb.” An adaptive herb is one which does whatever the body needs it to do.
Another herb that is widely used by women with PCOS is Dong Quai. Dong Quai is a Chinese herb, and has even been referred to as a “female ginseng.” Dong Quai, like chasteberry, can be used for longer periods of time. Dong Quai helps the endocrine system as well as the liver. Dong Quai is thought to help also with irregular menstruation, Premenstrual Syndrome, and other female problems.
Some woman have had success with Black cohosh. Black cohosh is also used for PMS, amenorrhea, and irregular menstruation. Saw Palmetto is another herb that is sometimes used, and it is an anti-androgen, which means that it will fight many of the symptoms and side-effects of PCOS.
As always, check with a qualified herbalist to make sure the herbs you would like to take are compatible with other treatments you may be taking. In some cases, the herbal treatments are not compatible with what your medical physician may have prescribed.