We always hear about how amazing turmeric is for our health. So, it probably comes as no surprise that there are plenty of potential benefits to using turmeric for PCOS.
Some experts see chronic, low-grade inflammation as a major factor in the development and progression of PCOS. As for turmeric, it’s anti-inflammatory properties and high antioxidant content has been well studied. Therefore, using turmeric powder could be very helpful in addressing the inflammation that drives polycystic ovary syndrome.
So, in this post we’re going to look at the benefits of turmeric and how to include into your PCOS care plan.
Note: this post contains some affiliate links and I earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) if you use them to make a purchase.
BENEFITS OF TURMERIC AND HOW IT CAN HELP PCOS
1. Curbs Inflammation
The most researched ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is an antioxidant that is said to lower inflammation at the molecular level (source).
This can be incredibly helpful for PCOS because chronic inflammation and elevated cortisol usually go together.
And once cortisol is high, then this can also contribute to:
- high insulin.
- elevated blood sugar.
- increase in androgens (male hormones).
All three of the above are common in women with PCOS. So, addressing the underlying inflammation with an herb like turmeric, could help provide natural relief.
2. Supports Healthy Liver Function
Toxins in our food, water and environment are major contributors to stress and inflammation.
And when those toxins pile up in the body, the liver has to work harder to filter them out.
So, this means that in order to improve PCOS symptoms, you need a liver-friendly herb like turmeric.
Research shows that turmeric can protect the liver by (source):
- Significantly reducing bile duct blockage. The bile duct connects to the liver and when it’s blocked, bile accumulates in the liver. This can cause all sorts of issues with liver function.
- Preventing damage to liver cells (which can easily occur when inflammation is high)
So, based on the above, using turmeric powder for PCOS can help your liver to function optimally.
3. Lowers Oxidative Stress and Boosts Antioxidants
According to a 2016 study “PCOS can be considered as a purely oxidative state, where the body antioxidants cannot outweigh the excessive production of free radicals.”
Basically this means that women with PCOS tend to have more harmful free radicals than antioxidants (which fight off or neutralize free radicals).
So, what are free radicals and why do they matter in PCOS?
They are mainly molecules that are byproducts of various metabolic processes.
And normally, free radicals are neutralized by antioxidants.
However, when there are more free radicals in the body than there are antioxidants, that’s a breeding ground for conditions like PCOS.
The good thing is you can change that by eating more antioxidant-rich foods.
Turmeric, in particular, is very beneficial because it:
- Contains antioxidants.
- Boosts the activity of the body’s own natural antioxidant enzymes.
That’s a win-win all around 🙂
4. Improve Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is another major factor in PCOS.
And studies indicate that turmeric is effective at improving insulin resistance.
For example, a study done in Thailand showed that turmeric supplements can prevent pre-diabetic patients from progressing into diabetes (source).
Therefore, by improving insulin resistance, turmeric can help PCOS symptoms like weight gain, irregular periods, acne and much more.
HOW TO USE TURMERIC POWDER FOR PCOS
There are 4 ways you can include turmeric into your diet and lifestyle:
- Drink turmeric milk (aka golden milk).
- Take a turmeric supplement.
- Use turmeric essential oil.
- Add turmeric (fresh or dried) to more of your meals.
1. Drink Turmeric Milk (aka Golden Milk) For PCOS
Turmeric milk (also referred to as golden milk or turmeric tea) is a soothing and delicious drink that you can enjoy daily.
You can drink it any time of day. However, it’s particularly beneficial as an evening drink because it helps you unwind, de-stress and sleep more soundly (at least it does for me!)
To make turmeric milk, all you need is cinnamon, ginger, coconut oil, black pepper and raw honey (full recipe is at the bottom of this article).
Not only do these ingredients taste delicious together, but they’re also very helpful for PCOS.
2. Take A Turmeric Supplement for PCOS
Consuming turmeric in supplement form allows you to get much more of the active ingredient, curcumin, than you would from eating it.
Now, there’s no shortage of turmeric supplements on the market! But before you grab any old supplement, make sure that you use one that:
- contains the whole plant extracts.
- uses a gentle extraction method like supercritical CO2 extraction. This preserves the ingredients and results in a higher quality supplement.
My favorite turmeric supplement that happens to meet both of the above requirements is Turmeric Supreme from Gaia.
Whether I’m looking to support my hormones, boost my immune system or even reduce pain from a pinched nerve, this supplement has never disappointed me!
3. Add Turmeric Essential Oil To Your Routine
Turmeric essential oil is anti-inflammatory and can be used for PCOS symptoms like menstrual cramps.
In addition, turmeric oil blends very well with clary sage and ylang ylang (both hormone-balancing oils) and ginger oil (great for painful periods).
Now, if you’ve never used turmeric essential oil before, here are a couple of easy blends you can try:
Post Shower Body Oil (2% dilution)
- Combine 6 drops each of turmeric, clary sage and ylang ylang oil with 1 ounce of almond oil
Menstrual Cramp Relief Oil (4% dilution):
- Combine 12 drops each of turmeric, clary sage and ginger oil with 1 ounce of almond oil
For the best quality turmeric oil, I suggest using Plant Therapy’s certified organic turmeric oil (available on Amazon). This a CO2 extracted oil and as far as quality, this extraction method yields the best essential oils (even better than the standard steam distillation that is used for most oil).
4. Cook With Fresh or Dried Turmeric Root
Aside from drinking turmeric milk, you can get regular doses of turmeric powder into your PCOS diet by adding it to meals and recipes, such as:
- scrambled eggs
- stir fries
- fermented veggies
Experiment and see what works best for you!
HOW TO MAKE TURMERIC MILK FOR POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME
1 cup plain almond milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of black pepper
1 to 2 tsp raw honey to sweeten
- Combine all the ingredients (except the raw honey) in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Simmer gently for approximately 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Pour into a cup and sweeten with honey as desired.
HOW TO MAKE A TURMERIC MASK FOR PCOS ACNE
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties aren’t just limited to internal use. It can also provide relief from hormone-related acne.
Below is a simple recipe that uses turmeric powder and raw honey (anti-bacterial and also, anti-inflammatory). The honey is particularly soothing to inflamed skin and acts as a natural humectant (draws moisture to the skin).
- equal parts raw honey and turmeric powder (if your honey is really thick, warm it up first to make it more fluid).
- mix the ingredients to form a paste.
- apply to clean, slightly damp skin (the dampness will help balance honey’s stickiness).
- leave on for about 10 minutes.
- rinse off with warm water.
Use this mask 2 to 3 times a week, depending on the severity of your acne.
NOTE: turmeric stains so the more frequently you use this mask, the more staining will occur.
RELATED QUESTIONS ABOUT TURMERIC AND PCOS
Does turmeric help fertility?
Even though turmeric isn’t known to take any direct action on hormones, it does reduce inflammation and support liver function, both of what are essential for regulating hormones.
Ovulation, the menstrual cycle and fertility are all affected by hormones. So, turmeric may be beneficial for natural fertility.
How can I improve my egg quality with PCOS?
Diet is one of the first and most important things to look at when you want to improve egg quality. Consuming anti-inflammatory foods like fatty fish as well as whole fruits, veggies, grains, nuts and seeds can be helpful.
In addition, consuming herbal teas that support your hormones and reproductive organs can provide additional benefit.
For a complete guide on foods and herbs for fertility, make sure to read this guide on how to create a fertility diet to improve egg quality.
To summarize, turmeric’s power anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are just what you need in your PCOS diet.
I hope the tips in this article have given your more clarity about how to use this potent herb as a natural remedy for PCOS.
If you have any questions or feedback, go ahead and drop a comment below!