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Herbal Treatment for Excessive Facial Hair on Women

| By Sarah Terry
Herbal Treatment for Excessive Facial Hair on Women
Saw palmetto may help reduce your unwanted facial hair caused by a hormonal imbalance. Photo Credit palms and saw palmettos image by Stacey Lynn Payne from Fotolia.com

You could have excessive facial hair growth due to genetics, a hormonal imbalance or a related underlying medical condition. Many women have abnormal hair growth due to a condition called hirsutism, and some could have polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. Certain herbal remedies could help reduce your facial hair growth, but consult your doctor before trying any natural remedy.

Identification

Abnormal, excessive facial hair growth in women is often due to hirsutism, a condition involving elevated androgens or male sex hormones, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center. These increased hormone levels can cause dark, coarse hair growth on a woman's face, chest and back. Although the condition often doesn't have a clear cause, hirsutism may occur due to a genetic trait or by congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which causes increased androgen and cortisol production, MayoClinic.com notes. In many cases, abnormal hair growth due to hirsutism is accompanied by acne, irregular menstrual cycles and other masculine traits such as enlarged muscles, a deep voice or male-pattern balding.

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Significance

In some cases, excessive facial hair growth could occur due to a more serious underlying medical condition such as Cushing's syndrome, PCOS, or ovarian or adrenal-gland tumors, MayoClinic.com says. Certain medications such as the endometriosis drug danazol can also cause hirsutism. PCOS is a chronic condition involving cysts that develop on immature egg follicles. It causes inadequate or inexistent ovulation, as well as increased male-hormone production, male-pattern hair growth, obesity and insulin resistance, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Cushing's syndrome involves elevated levels of the hormone cortisol.

Prevention/Solution

Certain herbal remedies can potentially counteract the increased androgen hormone production that usually causes hirsutism. You can take medicinal herbs such as saw palmetto, black cohosh, chaste tree or spearmint tea for their anti-androgenic effects, says the University of Maryland Medical Center. If you have hirsutism due to PCOS, you could take cinnamon, chromium or green tea to help reduce your symptoms, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Other natural supplements such as inositol, N-acetylcysteine, B-complex vitamins, calcium-D-glucarate and diindolylmethane, or DIM, could also help treat hirsutism. The typical dosages are 1 cup twice daily of spearmint tea, 160mg twice daily of saw palmetto, 20mg to 40mg per day of chaste tree or black cohosh, 200mg daily of calcium-D-glucarate, 100mg twice daily of inositol, and 1.2g per day of N-acetylcysteine. Ask your physician about the dosage that's right for you before taking any herbal or natural supplement for abnormal facial hair growth.

Considerations

Other natural treatments can also help reduce facial hair growth. You could try acupuncture or a healthy diet that's rich in antioxidant foods to reduce your hair growth, says the University of Maryland Medical Center. You might take care of your facial hair by bleaching, plucking, shaving, waxing or using topical hair-removal chemicals, MayoClinic.com notes. Laser therapy and electrolysis are more permanent solutions to getting rid of hair. Alternatively, your doctor may prescribe birth control pills, anti-androgen drugs such as Aldactone or topical creams such as Vaniqa to treat hirsutism. Removing tumors or your ovaries could be necessary if you have related underlying medical problems.

Warning

Because many herbal remedies for hirsutism can affect your hormone levels, don't take them without first consulting your physician--especially if you're pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to become pregnant or taking other medications that affect your hormones, warns the University of Maryland Medical Center. Before you try any treatment for excessive facial hair growth, see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis of the cause. Unless the cause is undetermined, you'll likely need treatment for the underlying medical condition.

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author image Sarah Terry
Sarah Terry brings over 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.
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