PCOS is one of the most common endocrinopathy affecting women with prevalence of 3.7% to 22.5%. surprisingly, 9.13% to 36% of total are adolescents only as per the study conducted in India.
The wide variation in prevalence might be due to heterogeneous presentation of symptoms, diagnostic criteria practiced, limitation in diagnosis, age group and ethnic population studied therefore it is essential to consider these factors before diagnosis or management is initiated.
Evidently, PCOS is not just a disorder of hormonal misbalance or cyst in ovary but associated with many other complications which may disturb the patient's life that includes bodyweight, stress, acne and hirsutism (excessive growth of thick dark terminal hair in women where hair growth is normally absent).
As prevalence is wide, the most common symptoms of PCOS can range from menstrual disorder, infertility, hyperandrogenemia to metabolic syndromes i.e Insulin resistance. Elevated insulin resistance may lead to the development of PCOS by contributing to the underlying abnormality seen in the hypothalamic- pituitary-ovarian axis.
So, management of PCOS stretches beyond the realm of symptomatic treatment and encompasses long-term consequences that have clinical and psychological effects on women with PCOS. Both pharmacological and psychological management is crucial in overall management of PCOS. Where pharmacological management includes menstrual irregularity, Insulin Resistance, pregnancy complication hyperandrogenism and hirsutism and psychological management includes depression, negative self-image, social phobia and other similar physical manifestations also.
Considering the pharmacological & psychological effects, the philosophy of Ayurveda provides an authentic approach to benefit such patients. As per Ayurveda balancing pharmacological effects is priority but psychological manifestations are equally important.
Ayurveda provides an ideal management of PCOS, focuses on 3 major treatment regimen- Hormonal, Emotional, and nutritional balance.
Many herbs are very well researched in Ayurveda to overcome PCOS and have been studied with proven clinical results as per more modern Sciences as well, which works on all these three regimens:
1. Restores Hormonal Balance- Supplements phytoestrogens, increases SHBG level and provides SERMs from Gainda (Marigold)-Lutein, Sunti (Gingiber Officinale)-Gingerols, Jivanti (Leptadenia reticulate)-leptidin, Shatavar (Asparagus racemosus)-Shatavarin-1, Gokhru (Tribulus terristeris)-Furostanol Saponin, Amra Beej Majja (Mangifera indica Linn)-Isomangeferin.
2. Normalizes Emotional Balance- Regulates HPO axis, reduces stress and provides adeptogenic actions with Hirabol (Commiphora myrrha)-Commiferin, Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera)-Withaferin, Haridra (Curcuma longa)-curcumin.
3.Maintains Nutritional Balance- Provides nourishing phytonutrients, supplements bioflavonoids,glucosides, micronutrients thus strengthens uterines muscles, relieves severity & duration of pain with Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)-Omega-3, Methi (Trigonella foenum-graecum)-Folic Acid, Putrajeevak (Putranjiva Roxburghii) –Flavonoids, Pumpkin Seeds -magnesium & Zink, Nagkesar (Mesua ferrea)-transcaryophyllene, Cumin (Cuminum cyminum)-Iron & Folic acid.
All the herbs mentioned above are scientifically proven and clinically tested as, a randomized Clinical trial of herbal formulation altogether with natural insulin sensitizer was undertaken in 24 patients of PCOS for a period of 3 months by Dr. Asha R Paranje and were published on Bombay Hospital Journal (vol. 47, No. 4, 2005) with improvement in ovulation and fertility rate as 60% of the patients conceived with the therapy.
Study Established that:
- Therapy restores ovarian functions & hormone level.
- Increases the level of SHBG
- Significantly lowers insulin resistance
- Reduces symptoms like obesity, hirsutism, and Acne.
- No Adverse effects.
But incorporating all these herbs with correct Ayurvedic Principles is a big challenge and only few products are available in the market which follow all the parameters.
It is high time that we put weight behind the concepts of Ayurveda and brings the change in the patient’s life.