PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is a hormonal disorder that can lead to irregular periods, excess body hair, skin issues, weight gain, and also anxiety. A 2021 article in the Journal of Diabetology states that globally, the prevalence of PCOS is estimated to be between 5.5% and 12.6% in women in the age group of 17–45 years. In India, the prevalence estimates are between 8.2% and 22.5%, depending on the diagnostic criteria used.
While a healthy diet and active lifestyle may help manage the condition, including certain spices in your diet, too, can help you with PCOS, according to Ayurveda. Dr Dixa Bhavsar Savaliya, an Ayurvedic expert, listed fennel, black pepper, and fenugreek seeds as the spices that may help balance hormones in PCOS.
“An easy way to prevent and manage PCOS naturally is by making healthier lifestyle choices (healthy eating, regular exercise, breathwork, sound sleep, and effective stress management). Along with this, three spices present in your kitchen can help you with PCOS,” she wrote on Instagram.
Fennel seeds help in reducing androgen, a male hormone, in the body which can help decrease hirsutism (excessive hair on the face). “Take 1 tsp of fennel seeds and soak them overnight, boil for 3-5 mins in the morning, strain, and sip on it,” Dr Dixa suggested.
Black pepper helps in reducing excess fat (reduces obesity) and improves insulin sensitivity. It also works as an anti-inflammatory agent which, in turn, helps in balancing the hormones. The expert recommended taking 1 black pepper (freshly crushed) first thing in the morning with 1 tsp of organic honey.
Fenugreek seeds help stabilise insulin levels and glucose tolerance and also regulate hormones which, in turn, help in neutralising the production of excessive testosterone. “Take 1 tsp fenugreek seeds and soak them overnight, boil for 5 mins next morning, strain and sip on it,” she wrote.
You can also combine these three spices, Dr Dixa said. “Take 1 glass of water, add 1 tsp fennel seeds, 2 black peppers, 1 tsp fenugreek seeds, 1 small piece of jaggery and boil it until it reduces to half,” she concluded.