A while back I did a post about spearmint and how it has been used as a treatment for PCOS. Even though I already experimented with taking it before, I decided to do it again to see if anything would be different this time around
Read on for my results!
Spearmint and hormones
Just in case you don’t feel like looking back on my past post about spearmint, I wanted to do a bit of a write-up about it on this one.
Spearmint is just one of the 100 different varieties of plants in the mint family. Other common ones in this family include peppermint, watermint, pennyroyal and chocolate mint.
These plants are native to Europe and Asia with the production of spearmint being the highest here in the United States. Mint varieties are used in cooking/drinks (i.e.Middle Eastern cuisine and mint juleps), candy (i.e. peppermint hard candy), teeth/mouth products (i.e. toothpaste), insect repellent, aromatherapy and traditional medicine.
Spearmint in particular has a good amount of nutrients in it. These include potassium, vitamin B6, iron, vitamin C and vitamin A. This plant is mainly known for its possible antioxidant, antibacterial, soothing, analgesic and decongestant effects- although it is not as powerful as peppermint.
Some specific things that people have claimed spearmint helps with are osteoarthritis, GI issues, IBS, memory, cognition, sore throats, headaches and congestion.
You can get spearmint by growing or buying it. The plant comes in tea bag, liquid extract, essential oil, capsule, seed, dried leaf, fresh leaves and powder form. You will find different dosage recommendations so it is important to do your research on how much to take. If you take too much, you may harm your liver and/or kidneys.
Spearmint as a PCOS treatment
Spearmint has some scientific and anecdotal evidence that suggests it may be able to treat aspects of PCOS.
In one study, there was shown to be some antiandrogen effects of spearmint. These included a decrease in free and total testosterone. The women in the study felt like the consumption of spearmint led to a reduction of androgen-related hair growth. Researchers concluded that the study was not long enough though.
When it comes to fertility, a study was done that showed a slight increase in LH. This hormone is necessary for ovulation which may lead to pregnancy. The conclusion of the study was that there was just not enough evidence for the use of it as a fertility treatment despite the increase.
Another spearmint study was done on rats. This one combined flaxseed with the spearmint as a treatment for PCOS markers that were induced in them. The results showed that there was improvement in hormone levels and ovarian health.
Basically, spearmint needs to be looked at more because it does show promise. The studies need to be longer in addition to there needing to be more.
In terms of anecdotal results, people have reported positive and negative things. Here are some of the things that people experienced:
- Controlled acne.
- Reduced oiliness.
- Reduced the growth and amount of excess hair.
- Started their periods.
- Regulated their periods.
- Made periods come two times a month.
- Caused lengthy periods.
- Caused or worsened acne.
- Caused thinning on the head.
- Decreased blood pressure too much.
- Made them feel dizzy and/or tired.
In the scientific and anecdotal reports, two cups of spearmint tea a day was the amount consumed.
Why I tried it again
I have PCOS (obviously). My excess facial hair showed up when I was 14 and it was all on my upper lip. I got it waxed once a month and didn’t worry about it the rest of the time.
Fast forward to now, I have upper lip and chin hair that need to be shaved twice a day. Yes, you read that correctly- twice a day! That is how fast it grows back.
Needless to say, I am at my wit’s end.
I used to take Spironolactone for acne, oiliness and excess hair. It did make my facial hair come in slower which was nice but it didn’t do anything else. Plus, I didn’t like the side effects it gave me (weakness and skin rashes).
When I saw that spearmint tea was used as an alternative, I was immediately interested. I thought that maybe I wouldn’t get the same side effects and I liked that I wouldn’t have to get a prescription for it. So I decided to try out taking capsules of it twice a day.
I did this for a 1.5 months with great results but ended up quitting due to various reasons. Because my hirsutism is even worse now, I decided to try consuming the plant again.
This time I used spearmint extract in my water, once a day (500 mg, total) instead of taking capsules. The taste was very pleasant in my opinion.
After only 10 days, I noticed that I no longer had to shave in the evening. I also was not bloated at the time in my menstrual cycle that I would normally be.
I have now been taking the extract for a month. Currently, I am sitting here and have not had to shave in three days. As far as acne goes, I still have gotten one pimple since I started but I am okay that it hasn’t completely cured my hormonal acne (I don’t get much anyways).
My plan is to keep taking 500 mg of spearmint everyday because it works so well for me. I don’t want to take any more than that to avoid possible liver and kidney problems.
I will still be keeping around my shaving devices though as I still will always have some amount of facial hair to deal with. What works for me are Bic disposable razors for sensitive skin and women’s painless hair removers.
There are many options if you are considering trying out spearmint to treat PCOS issues. The following are three great ones to check out:
- Swanson Full Spectrum Spearmint Leaf- These are capsules that contain 400 mg of the leaf in each of them. The price is great and it is an easy way to consume spearmint.
- Traditional Medicinals Spearmint- These are tea bags from a great brand.
- Bulk Supplements Spearmint Extract- This is the powder I use. I also have a small kitchen scale that I use with it so that I can get the exact amount I want.
Even though there haven’t been a ton of studies done on the use of spearmint for PCOS, people have gotten great results from consuming it. One of those people is me and I will be making the plant a daily thing for as long as I can.
It is important to realize that spearmint may not work for you if you choose to go this route. Also, you need to do your research on it and talk to your doctor before you even begin taking it.
Have you used spironolactone or spearmint before for your PCOS symptoms? Did they work for you?
Thanks for reading!
Health disclaimer: I am not a doctor therefore what I say should not be a substitute for medical advice. It is important that you talk to your medical provider before adding anything into your diet and making other changes that may impact your body. Your health is your own and I am not liable for any consequences you suffer due to your choices.
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#spearmint #herbalmedicine #traditionalmedicine #hirsutism #pcos #hormones #tea