While a certain among of fine, nearly invisible facial hair is normal in women, having an inordinate amount is known as a "male pattern" hair or hirsuitism. Hirsutism develops when hair follicles are over-stimulated by male sex hormones called androgens. Polycystic ovary syndrome or POS is a common hormonal disorder in women that causes abnormally high levels of androgens and may lead to excess facial hair, according to the Mayo Clinic. Certain herbs are purported to discourage unwanted facial hair in women. Always talk to your doctor before taking herbs for medicinal reasons.
Black cohosh is used commonly used to diminish hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Black cohosh may also help decrease facial hair in women due to its anti-androgenic effects, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Check with your doctor before taking black cohosh for hirsuitism.
Chasteberry may be useful for women with unwanted facial hair because of its anti-adrogenic effects, notes the UMMC. Chasterberry should be taken in the morning before eating breakfast. Ask your doctor about using Chasteberry for unwanted hair growth.
Licorice is a widely-used in traditional Chinese medicine for an assortment of medical conditions and it appears to improve hirsuitism. A study published in October-November 2004 in the journal Steroids found that licorice shows promise as an alternative therapy for excess hair growth in women. The study was headed by D. Armanini with the Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences-Endocrinology, University of Padua, Italy. Talk to your doctor about using licorice supplements for medical reasons.
Saw palmetto is often mentioned as an herbal remedy for prostate health but it may also help fight hirsuitism due to its anti-androgenic effects. Saw palmetto has been proposed as an herbal remedy for polycystic ovary syndrome, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Consult with your doctor about the possible benefits of taking saw palmetto for hirsuitism.
Drinking spearmint tea may help treat some cases of hirsuitism, according to the UMMC. Researchers in the United Kingdom concluded spearmint has the potential to be an effective natural treatment for hirsutism in PCOS. The findings were published in February 2010 in journal Phytotherapy Research. The study was headed by Paul Grant of Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Eastbourne District General Hospital, East Sussex, UK. Check with your doctor about using spearmint for unwanted facial hair.