Hirsutism is a condition in which too much hair grows on the face or body and is usually only recognized in women because they consider it a problem. Women with the disorder may develop dark, thick hair on their face, chest, back and abdomen. High levels of male hormones called androgens cause some cases of hirsutism, and many alternative remedies exist to treat the condition from that perspective, according to FamilyDoctor.org. Other cases have unknown underlying causes.
General Nutrition as Treatment
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), good dietary and nutrition decisions can lead to improvement in hirsutism. Eating antioxidant foods such as blueberries, cherries, tomatoes, squash and bell peppers are general health decisions that may help to balance the body’s hormonal system and bring symptoms like hirsutism back in line.
The same theory is applied to the avoidance of refined foods, such as white breads, pastas and sugar. More lean meats and cold-water fish are recommended for protein intake, while staying away from red meats and trans fats.
Regular exercise, plenty of water and abstaining from tobacco and alcohol are also recommended.
Several herbal remedies may help the symptoms fade away. Taking 160mg of Saw Palmetto extract twice daily may reduce the androgenic effects. Chaste tree extract (20 to 40mg daily before breakfast) and Black cohosh extract (20 to 40mg twice per day) are said to have similar effects.
A preliminary study suggests that women who drink a cup of spearmint tea twice a day will have less free testosterone in their blood. The research suggests that the tea may reduce symptoms in mild cases of hirsutism, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
One small study of women showed that acupuncture reduces hair density and length. The acupuncture appeared to also reduce the amount of testosterone occurrence in the women, according to UMMC. More research is necessary to determine which underlying causes of hirsutism respond best to acupuncture.
Other nutritional supplements that appear to have benefits concerning hirsutism when caused by an abundance of male hormones are Calcium-D-Glucarate (200mg twice daily) and Diindolylmethane (120mg daily).
Calcium-D-Glucarate may help detoxify the hormones and decrease symptoms, while Diindolylmethane will help with hormone imbalances and has anti-androgenic effects.