3 herbs for natural pcos treatment

I manage my pcos naturally, and help many clients do the the same. here are 3 must have indian ayruvedic herbs to add to any natural pcos treatment plan

The basis for PCOS (at a very simplified level) is that there is too much insulin in the body, and this causes excess testosterone levels in the ovaries. Causing all the issues that ensue.

Doctors may argue that not all PCOS patients are insulin resistant, or that there are multiple causes, but I have found that for 90% of people – even those who are thin – this is the main issue.

​Sometimes insulin resistance is caused by excess weight, sometimes it is caused by genetic factors, but the bottom line is that managing blood sugar is a key part of any natural PCOS treatment plan. 

Here are 3 herbs that I use as part of my natural PCOS treatment plan to help me manage my blood sugar naturally. Of course these are used in conjunction with a low carb lifestyle. I like using herbs and spices in cooking because they are beneficial to the body, and make you feel nourished in way that non-home cooked food just can’t.

These are safe and natural, and can be used by anyone – even if you are just trying to reduce belly fat. You don’t have to have PCOS to benefit from these herbs. 

1) Cinnamon: 

Cinnamon is an amazing aromatic spice that has been used for centuries in India to treat muscle spasms, digestive issues, and diabetes. Not only does it add amazing flavor and aroma to all foods but is also has been shown to reduce fasting blood sugar in insulin resistant individuals and Type II diabetics, as well as improve the ability of the body to absorb glucose in insulin resistant individuals.  You want to make sure you are using Ceylon cinnamon. Why? This is true cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon is the most common form. But Cinnamon Verum (true or ceylon cinnamon) is the sweeter, and more beneficial of the 2 forms. It is also better for your liver over time.  Finding a good, organic (very important when it comes to herbs) is not that easy. I find that buying my herbs online in bulk saves me time and money.

Here is my favorite source.    naturalpcostreatmentcinnamon

2) Fenugreek: 

This is a spice you likely are not as familiar with. Fenugreek is commonly used in South Asia, East Asia, and the Middle East. It contains a hormone like compound known as diosgenin. Due to its hormonal properties, it’s often used to regulate menstrual cycles and increase libido. It helps increase breast milk and reduce inflammation. It’s an adaptogen – meaning it helps to balance the body and mind during “off times”. It’s been used for centuries to control blood sugar. Its has been shown to lower daily blood sugar levels, as well as A1C (the measure of sugar in blood over time). Fenugreek works by stimulating the insulin signaling pathway. In this way it helps to move glucose out of the blood and into cells – where it can be used. With herbals – if you are going to use the for medicine – getting a good potent source is essential. It has take me some trial and error to find the brands that work best.

here is the one I recommend most

Brands from the drug store, or even the India grocery store, are just not as pure or potent in my experience. 

3) Bay Leaf: 

Bay leaf is another Indian spice that is used for its aroma and flavor in cooking. But did you know that Basil is also great for reducing blood sugar? Individuals that took Bay Leaf supplements had bigger  drops in blood sugar levels over those who only took a placebo.

   bayleafnaturalpcostreatment

In addition to the many antioxidants in bay leaf, it contains bioactive compounds that improve insulin sensitivity (ability of the hormone insulin to move glucose out of the blood stream and into cells). You can find good quality organic bay leaves at Whole Foods or any quality grocery store for pretty cheap. 

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fix craving for sweets in a natural way

Craving for sweets is a natural thing. We need glucose (blood sugar) to fuel our brain and muscles quickly.

Unfortunately it’s so hard to stick to a low glycemic and PCOS friendly eating plan we when are craving sugar.  Thankfully – there are an increasing number of healthy and “natural” alternative sweeteners that are popping up on the market. The post is about one is particular.

So what is this sweetener I love so much?

It’s Yakon syrup. It is relatively new to the “alternative sweetener” scene but it’s one you are going to want to add to your pantry for it’s ability to reduce cravings for sweets.
Formatted Version
Formatted Version

Here are a few reasons why I am loving this stuff:

  • It acts as a pre-biotic (helps to promote healthy gut bacteria and aids in digestion)
  • It works well in cold drinks, hot drinks, and in baking
  • Extremely low glycemic (means it doesn’t raise your blood sugar), spike your insulin level, or cause afternoon energy crashes
  • The flavor is a cross between brown sugar and molasses
  • It reduces craving for sweets naturally

There is a lot of hype going around that Yakon syrup increases your metabolic rate and suppresses appetite.

The reality is that any soluble fiber will make you feel fuller longer – so you are less likely to snack…

craving for sweets

Yakon is tuber grown near the Andes. It’s not the prettiest looking thing – but it contains a natural sugar called a fructooligosaccharide (say that 10x fast!).

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are indigestible to humans.

That means they have no caloric value and pass straight through the digestive tract. In this way, Yakon acts similar to many sugar alcohols. And for this reason – you are going to want to try a small amount to see how it suits you. Some people just don’t do well with FOS. 

Want to know how to actually use this stuff?

Here is my recipe for Yakon tea biscuits, which reduce craving for sweets (gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free) and also my favorite source of Yakon Syrup.

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Reduce Sugar Cravings, Try Yakon Syrup Tea Biscuits

As someone from New England, when I think seasonal change I think baking.

I grew up making all kind of yummy cookies and cakes, and the smell of cinnamon to me = heaven. Fast forward 20 years. I am insulin resistant and avoid refined sugar and gluten. What’s a girl who loves her cookies and chai to do? Here is my current solution.

These are my Nourish biscuits made with Yakon syrup, coconut flour and almond flour. They are filling but still sweet and pastry like – making them perfect for tea time!

reduce sugar cravings

Ingredients:

2.5 cups Almond Flour

1.5 cups Coconut Flour

1/2 cup Shredded Coconut 

1/2 cup Coconut Oil melted

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1/3 cup Yakon Syrup 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon Ceylon Cinnamon

Handful Cardamom Seeds crushed (optional)

A few squares of 85% or more Dark Chocolate (optional)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 10 minutes

Makes: 25 Cookies

Instructions:

1) Mix dry ingredients together.

2) Mix wet ingredients together.

3) Mix both together. Using hands mash into a dough ball.

4) Create small balls the size of a melon baller. Place on parchment paper on baking sheet.

reduce sugar cravings

5) Bake in oven at 350 for 10 minutes. (half way through the baking can “smoosh” down balls with a fork)

6) Poor some melted chocolate over cookies once out of the oven

7) Enjoy with some gingery chai! It’s good to reduce sugar cravings!

 

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Berry Balancing Smoothie: Healing Hormone Imbalance

A while back I gave you 5 reasons to love coconut. In case you missed that post you can read it here.

As the weather warms up ( I am in NYC this week and it’s hot and humid!) here is a quick recipe you can use to get more coconut and tame hormone imbalance. Plus it’s a great way to start the day.

Berry Balancing Smoothie for fighting hormone imbalance

  • 1/2 cup organic frozen berries ( I use blackberries and raspberries).
  • 1/4 teaspoon Maca powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (I like to use 1/2 cup coconut milk, half cup coconut cream to make it extra rich and yummy. I like to use the a brand that is organic uses BPA free cans)
  • 1 scoop chocolate flavored protein powder. I like to use a brand that does not have whey or Soy  – but does not taste grainy and blends really smooth.
  • Handful of ice cubes

Throw into a strong blender like a Vitamix and enjoy! 

recipe for healing hormone imbalance

  • Berries are a low glycemic fruit, that won’t spike your blood sugar in the AM but they have a ton of antioxidants. Keeping you insulin levels low also helps with pcos and belly fat.
  • Maca contains adaptogen which is a great remedy for reproductive hormone imbalance (estrogen in women AND testosterone in men) and boosting energy levels. I like to use one that is gelatinized with clients – because there is less starch, making it easier to digest and absorb.
  • Coconut balances your endocrine system in addition to all the great benefits (healing hormone imbalance, making your skin glow).  It also is also a great way to stop curb sugar cravings naturally.
  • Protein balances blood sugar

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Curb Sugar Cravings Naturally with Coconut

One of the best ways to refresh yourself after time outside is with coconut water. Once relegated to hot yoga studios, coconut water is now the “go to” choice for smart, natural hydration. It’s filled with natural sugars and electrolytes that give curb sugar cravings naturally, and give you energy after sweating, time in the sun, or time in the studio.

But there are many reasons to love coconut and here are 5 of them….

curb sugar cravings naturally
1)It’s high in lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium-chain that converts to monolaurin in the body, which is known for its anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-protozoa properties.

2) It contributes to weight loss. Even though coconut oil contains saturated fat, 48% of its saturated fat is made up of a medium-chain fatty acid. Medium-chain fatty acids stimulate your body’s metabolism, which can lead to weight loss.

3) It acts like a carbohydrate—without messing with your blood sugar. Because medium-chain fatty acids are delivered directly to your liver to be processed, they provide quick energy, without the insulin spike you get when eating carbohydrates. People who fast in the am often use some coconut oil in their coffee to power through the morning. There is a reason why…

4) It stands up to higher heat cooking. Unlike other liquid oils that turn rancid and become oxidized when cooked at high temperatures, coconut oil remains stable, making it the ideal oil for baking and cooking.

5) It conditions your skin. When applied topically, coconut oil can help protect your skin from the elements that speed up aging and heal conditions such as psoriasis and eczema due to its anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. For the same reason, when it comes to oral hygiene, a spoonful of coconut oil can clean your mouth more thoroughly than brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash.

The whole “avoid coconut because it’s saturated” is so yesterday. Whether you use the oil, cream, milk, or pulp…it’s time to get more coconut into your life. (note: Almond Joys don’t count!) Sprinkle my favorite organic shredded coconut on your morning cereal, carry coconut water with you to the gym and add coconut milk to your favorite smoothie recipe
(Note: Be sure that the label says “unsweetened coconut” because you don’t want to be adding a bunch of refined sugar to your body – you want the low glycemic properties of natural coconut sugar)
 

Curb sugar cravings naturally, heal hormone imbalance, and look and feel great with one ingredient! 

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