3 Ways Women Can Lower Their Testosterone Naturally
Excess testosterone may sound like a dream if you are a man, but for women, it can lead to detrimental hormonal shifts that cause symptoms such as facial hair, acne, period irregularity, mood disorders, and more. In fact, elevated testosterone is a tale-tale sign of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), a prevalent endocrine condition that affects women.
While there are medications that doctors often prescribe to address high testosterone, natural remedies are also highly effective. It’s certainly worth trying out the natural methods to see if you can lower your testosterone, especially if you’re someone who prefers to stick to natural medicine.
Here are some tips that may help.
1.Include Herbal Teas In Your Day
I’m not saying you can’t have your morning coffee, but there are several herbal teas you can drink throughout the day that are both delicious and have testosterone-reducing properties.
Peppermint tea has been shown in a few research trials to lower testosterone in women. This is theorized to be due to specific compounds in spearmint that activate enzymes that can lower testosterone. I have personally found peppermint tea to be very effective in lowering testosterone in clinical practice, and it often helps encourage menstruation in PCOS clients with missing periods.
Not sure if you have high testosterone? One indicator is the appearance of dark hair on the upper lip, chin, chest, or back on a female—a condition called hirsutism. One study in Hungary tested the effectiveness of spearmint tea on reducing testosterone and the coinciding effect of hirsutism. Compared to the placebo group, the group that drank the tea twice a day had significantly lowered their testosterone levels, and they self-reported a higher quality of life score based on the appearance of less unwanted hair.
Another similar study reported that women with PCOS saw improved symptoms when drinking spearmint tea once a day. This was due to the fact that the tea reduced their androgen levels (including testosterone). The study also acknowledged that more studies are needed to further support these results. And it’s also important to note that there can be too much of a good thing! Too much spearmint can negatively impact the liver, so don’t go overboard. Try one to two cups a day and see if you notice a difference!
Licorice root has been a trusted herb for centuries, but one of its medicinal properties now being studied is that it lowers androgen levels, including testosterone. One study showed that when women were given licorice during their luteal phase, their serum testosterone levels decreased for two months in a row. When they stopped taking licorice, their testosterone returned to the same initial level.
While the study was small, the results are certainly convincing, and it can’t hurt to drink a cup of licorice tea each day to lower testosterone levels naturally.
The major side effect of licorice root to be aware of, is that it can interfere with some medications like blood pressure medicines, so be sure to talk to your dietitian or doctor prior to use!
Red Reishi and Green tea
There are also herbs that contain compounds that inhibit an enzyme (5 Alpha reductase) responsible for converting testosterone into more potent forms like DHT, such as Red Reishi and Green tea.
Green tea is easy to find and you may enjoy making iced green tea from a variety of different flavors.
Reishi on the other hand may be a bit harder to find at your local grocer, but you can still find it online or at health food stores (Traditional Medicinals is a familiar brand). Typically it is sold as a powder that can be mixed in with water or coffee or in a tea bag.
2.Boost Your Fiber Intake
Excess testosterone and estrogen are cholesterol-based products that eventually get incorporated into a substance called bile, which is stored in the gallbladder. When we eat a meal, bile is secreted to help us digest fat. However, when bile comes in contact with fiber in the stomach, it becomes trapped and eventually makes its way to the colon for excretion. This means that excess testosterone can be excreted via this route as well!
The common denominator I see in women with high testosterone is a very low fiber intake. So simply increasing your fiber intake can help your body naturally excrete excess testosterone. My rule of thumb is to have at least 7 grams of fiber per meal to support this process.
You might be familiar with the terms soluble and insoluble fiber. Both are important for a healthy body and effective digestion. It’s important to get fiber from various sources and to get it from whole foods whenever possible. Check out this article to learn more about the types of fiber and the best foods to get it from.
In the meantime, here’s a quick list of some high-fiber foods:
Whole fruits and vegetables
Flax and other seeds like chia
3. Watch Your Fat Intake
Excess fat, especially polyunsaturated fats, has been shown to contribute to small increases in testosterone, which could have a significant effect over time. The biggest exception would be omega 3’s from fish oil which have been shown in some studies to decrease testosterone in women when taken at doses over 2000mg.
Another type of fat, known as monounsaturated fat, found in foods such as avocados and olive oil, does not cause increases in testosterone in women, so it may be wise to focus on getting most of your fat from these sources.
Fats are an essential part of a balanced intake, but many of us don’t realize how much we’re getting in our daily diets. That’s why dialing in your fat intake with the help of a professional can help ensure your testosterone isn’t increasing due to fat intake.
I recommend working with a dietitian to determine the amount of fat needed for your body, in relation to your dietary needs and hormonal patterns to ensure that you do not eat too little or too much dietary fat.
4. Eat Carbohydrates Wisely
Some studies have demonstrated that eating meals with a healthy glycemic load can lead to reduced androgens like testosterone, especially in women with PCOS. Glycemic load reflects the ability of specific food to raise blood sugar after eating. This is very important because eating meals or snacks that cause large spikes in insulin have been shown to negatively impact our hormones in a variety of ways even beyond testosterone.
The best way to ensure you are not causing spikes in insulin is to make sure you are eating high fiber carbohydrates and pairing them with other foods groups like fat, and protein. For example if you have oatmeal, trial adding a good source of fat and protein like full fat whole milk, or nuts/ nut butter. If you have a bagel, opt for a bagel made from whole grains and pair it with fat like avocado, and a protein like home-made chicken sasuage or egg white.
It is also best to buy grains in their least processed form as it does impact the insulin response. For example, eat steel cut oats instead of instant oatmeal.
You will also be happy to know that most fruit have a low glycemic load, but try to limit consumption of fruit juices. You should also try to limit foods like rice, white potatoes, chips, deserts and sweetened beverages.
5. Be Careful What You Read!
If you have done your research on what foods can lower testosterone, you may find that there seems to be a lot of conflicting advice. This is because foods that lower testosterone in women may raise testosterone in men, and vice versa. The varying effects are due to specific enzymes and how they are expressed in women versus men.
For example, some alcoholic beverages have been shown to lower testosterone in men, but have been shown to have the opposite effect in women. You may also see conflicting evidence about fat intake and testosterone, as studies in men and women often yield different results.
When reading about hormones, always make sure the article or study specifies whether the effects were seen in men or women—don’t accept generalizations about the impact of a certain food or drinks on hormone levels.
It is also very hard to conduct research in the area of nutrition and natural medicine since every human being is different. There are thousands of genes that regulate our ezymes and hormones that may result in two people, regardless of gender, having a different response to a food or herb. That is why it is so important to work with a professional that can systematically measure your outcomes to ensure you are seeing the results you need to see.
Let’s Chat About Your Hormone Levels
From unwanted dark hair on your face to painful ovarian cysts, excess testosterone in women causes medical and cosmetic issues. If you’re concerned that your testosterone levels are too high, or if you are concerned about a very irregular period, I’d love to chat with you!
I’ve had a lot of success helping women control their hormone levels naturally. Just fill out the contact form on my website to get started!