(Natural News) Women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) know just how much of an inconvenience it can be. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this hormonal disorder affects up to 12 percent of American women who are of reproductive age, making it the most common endocrine disorder in women.
PCOS is characterized by high progesterone and low estrogen levels. Women with this condition also exhibit a three-fold increase in the ratio between luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in the body. These abnormalities in hormone levels lead to symptoms such as menstrual irregularity, acne, excessive body hair, and irregular ovulation. Studies have also associated PCOS with an increased risk of metabolic disorders such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, and coronary heart disease. Moreover, it has been shown to be the leading cause of female infertility.
The different complications associated with PCOS highlight the need for understanding and the treatment of the disorder. Fortunately, scientists have found natural remedies that can alleviate PCOS symptoms. In one of these studies, a team of researchers from Gazi University and Afyon Kocatepe University in Turkey found that hazel essential oil has potential use for this purpose.
Hazel (Corylus avellana) is a large shrub that is abundant in Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. This plant produces an edible seed that’s covered by a hard, woody shell, which has been used as a traditional remedy for varicose veins, hemorrhoids, diabetes mellitus, and gynecological disorders. Previous studies have shown that hazel is rich in vitamin E, B6 and B9, unsaturated fatty acids, plant sterols, and polyphenols that possibly contribute to its benefits. Moreover, it has high amounts of polyunsaturated fats and soluble dietary fibers that help reduce cholesterol levels and consequently improve the heart and digestive health.
In this study, the researchers collected extracts from dried and ground hazelnut seeds and determined their phytochemical content. Upon analysis, they identified the main components of the oil as alpha- and gamma-tocopherol, squalene, beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol. After this, the team proceeded to determine the effects of hazel essential oil in Sprague Dawley rats induced to have PCOS.
Results showed that rats with PCOS who were left untreated exhibited an increase in body weight, severe follicular cysts, and high FSH, LH, estradiol, progesterone, and lipid levels. On the other hand, these parameters were observed to be normal or varied to a lesser degree in rats that were administered with hazel essential oil. Moreover, treated rats exhibited an increase in antioxidant potential, as shown by improvements in superoxide dismutase, malondialdehyde, catalase, glutathione peroxidase levels.
Overall, the results of this study prove that hazel essential oil has potential use as a natural remedy for PCOS, which works by regulating hormone and lipid levels. Moreover, the oil exhibited antioxidant activity.
Natural ways to treat PCOS
There are other natural treatments that can help you manage PCOS. Some examples of these include the following:
- Following a healthier diet — As much as possible, women with PCOS should go for whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes so that your endocrine system can easily process them. On the other hand, they should avoid processed and heavily preserved foods since these can increase inflammation and insulin resistance. (Related: Gynecologist uses her practice to spread the word about how a whole-foods plant-based diet helps women avoid disease.)
- Getting a decent amount of exercise — When it comes to exercise, it is important not to overdo it otherwise it can disrupt your hormones and worsen PCOS symptoms. You can go for mild exercises like yoga or pilates, which you can do for longer durations, or you can opt for shorter periods of high-intensity training.
- Reducing stress levels — People who are extremely stressed have high amounts of cortisol that disrupt the balance of your hormones. To achieve normal cortisol levels, relieve stress by sleeping, reducing caffeine intake, or doing whatever activities you enjoy.
For more articles on the health benefits of essential oils, visit EssentialOils.news.