Excessive body hair: Causes and Management

Dr Sandra
December 19, 2023

Unwanted body hair is something that many of us deal with, and it can sometimes feel like a bit of a confidence buzzkill. But guess what? There are ways to tackle this issue head-on. In this blog, we're going to explore why excessive body hair happens, its connection to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and how you can manage it using Ayurveda, a holistic approach to wellness.

The whys:

Hormone Highs and Lows: When it comes to unwanted body hair, hormones are often the culprits. It's all about the androgens (male hormones), especially testosterone, going a bit haywire.

The PCOS Connection: You might have heard about PCOS – it's an abbreviation for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. PCOS can mess with your hormones and lead to hirsutism, which is the scientific term for excessive hair growth.

Blame it on the Genes: Sometimes, it's all in the family. If your relatives have a history of dealing with excess hair, it's possible that genetics are playing a role.

Medication Mayhem: Certain medications, like steroids and anti-seizure drugs, can also cause unwanted hair growth as a side effect.

Going natural with Ayurveda:

So, how can Ayurveda help you manage this hairy situation naturally? Let's break it down:

Understanding Hirsutism and PCOS in Ayurveda:

In Ayurveda, we might not use the term PCOS, but we do have descriptions of conditions that sound a lot like it. Let’s take "Pushpaghni Jathaharini," described by Acharya Kashyapa in Revathi Kalpa or the concept of “Nashtarthava” by Acharya Sushruta for instance. It mirrors the symptoms of PCOS, suggesting that the condition is treatable. It often involves anovulatory cycles, a bit of chubbiness, and facial hair growth, which is linked to excess androgens.

Strategies for taming excessive body hair:

Balancing Your Doshas: Ayurveda is all about finding balance. Hirsutism is often linked to an aggravated Pitta dosha, so we focus on cooling and calming strategies to bring it back to equilibrium.

Mindful Eating: Tailoring your diet to your dosha can make a big difference. Cooling, hydrating foods are your friends (when Pitta dosha is high) , while spicy and greasy foods are best enjoyed in moderation.

Chill Out: Stress can make hormonal imbalances worse. That's why Ayurveda recommends practices like Meditation, Yoga, and Pranayama to keep stress in check. Nadi Shuddhi Pranayama & Brahmari Pranayama are recommended. 

Herbal Heroes: Ayurvedic herbs like Shatavari, Ashwagandha, and Guduchi are known for their hormone-balancing magic. They can help regulate your menstrual cycles and tone down hirsutism. These should be taken under medical supervision.

Detoxify with Panchakarma: Panchakarma treatments, like Virechana and Basti, can detoxify your body, remove excess heat, and help balance your hormones. Doctors may prescribe these treatments according to your condition. 

Lifestyle Tweaks: Establishing a regular daily routine, getting good rest, and practising sleep hygiene can contribute to hormonal harmony. Take little steps, You will find your way there.

Spearmint Tea: Some studies have suggested that spearmint tea may have anti-androgenic properties, meaning it can reduce the levels of male hormones like testosterone in the body. Lowering androgen levels can potentially lead to reduced hirsutism symptoms. It's important to note that results may not be immediate, and consistency in consumption is key. However, if you decide to take spearmint supplements or extracts in concentrated form, be sure to follow the recommended dosage and consult with a trusted healthcare provider.

Dealing with excessive body hair can indeed be quite a challenge, but the good news is that there are options available to address it. Ayurveda provides holistic approaches that can prove effective by addressing the root causes. However, it's essential to keep in mind that Ayurveda should complement and work in conjunction with medical guidance, especially if you suspect an underlying condition like PCOS.

At Curate Health https://www.curate.health/ , our expert panel of Doctors, Yoga/ Strength Training Experts, Health Coaches - everyone does their best in reversing your PCOS condition as a team. Join us now!