For males, having a healthy amount of facial and body hair is often seen as a desirable trait across different cultures. It is part of what gives men their masculine characteristics and attracts members of the opposite sex. Women on the other hand generally have little to no facial and body hair and typically incorporate shaving, tweezing or waxing into their grooming routine to manage the growth and visibility of hair.
There is however a significant population of women who experience excessive growth of facial and body hair which can be embarrassing and even socially inhibiting. It is a very common side effect of androgen overproduction in women. The official medical term for this condition is referred to “hirsutism” and it is defined as abnormal amounts of facial and body hair growth in women. Women with androgen-dominant PCOS make up a significant part of this group.
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that is characterized by the presence of multiple cysts in one or the two ovaries of a woman. PCOS is as well characterized by a lot of hormonal imbalances including an excess of male hormones referred to as androgens.
Hirsutism is frequently connected to hormonal imbalance in the body and when treating hirsutism, the goal is the reduce the level of masculinizing androgen hormones that is produced in the body and responsible for the growth of facial and body and hair. We recently covered the topic how to reduce androgen naturally in females, check out the article here.
The good news for women with this condition is that there are all kinds of depilatories to help manage the hair growth and herbal remedies which have been studied for their ability to naturally manage androgen levels while balancing hormones.
Hormones that may lead to excessive facial and body hair
The main androgen that is responsible for excessive hair growth is the testosterone hormone. Conventional medicine typically turn to oral contraceptives and popular anti-diabetic drugs, spironolactone or metformin as a way to lower testosterone and control the hair growth. While these medication are well known for their abilities to reduce and eliminate the production of androgen in the female body, they are not with their side effects and disadvantages.
For those seeking a natural alternative to these commercial drugs, regular intake of spearmint has been shown to produce decent result after extended period of use. Research studies conducted on the effect of spearmint tea on hirsutism and published in Phytotherapy Research shows that spearmint tea may help to heal hirsute women.
According to the study, hirsute women who took two cups of spearmint tea for a period of five days or longer witnessed significant reduction of free testosterone in their blood. Free testosterone is a particular type of testosterone that is metabolically active in the body.
The results of the study also show that Spearmint tea in addition to reducing androgen level, on the flip side increased estradiol levels in the body of hirsutism study participants. In layman terms, spearmint helps to decrease abnormal masculinizing hormones while increasing the level of female hormones in the body.
Research on spearmint tea to reduce excess facial and body hair
The study according to the spokesman of the research team, Mehmet Numan Tamer, concluded that spearmint tea can be used as an excellent natural alternative for women who have mild symptoms of hirsutism. The study was conducted at the Suleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Turkey. In the trials, the herbal tea was prepared by pouring a cup (250ml) of boiling water over 1 heaped teaspoon (5g) of dried leaves, and allowing it to stay for 5 to 10 mins. In our Spearmint tea blend, we’ve used all natural and organic spearmint leaves and blended with green tea, white peony and licorice, all popular herbs used to control excess male hormones that may lead to overgrowth of facial and body hair.
The research was motivated by an earlier research which showed that extracts of the spearmint plant (Mentha spicata Labiatae) could reduce libido in men and a probable reason why there was reduction in male libido is due to a reduction of androgen level.
Nevertheless, spearmint tea should not be seen as the sole treatment of hirsutism. It needs to be combined with the appropriate nutrition and fitness regimen. Diet and exercise play a very key role in the management of androgen levels and hormonal health in women. There are certain foods that can trigger the overproduction of these masculinizing hormones such as refined carbohydrates and sugars. In addition, a sedentary lifestyle can also lead to the overproduction of these male hormones in women.
Therefore the best practice for tackling the imbalance is to combine adequate exercise, at least 45 minutes, 5 days a week with a healthy and nutritious diet high in protein, fruits and greens and spearmint tea.
It is important to also point out that the cause of excess androgen may be as a result of high levels of hormone- insulin. Insulin is what triggers the production of the male hormones. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) usually have high levels of insulin and as a result are common sufferers of hairiness, acne weight gain and infertility.
How to use spearmint tea to reduce excess hair growth
Spearmint tea apart from its health benefits tastes great due to the presence of mint in it. Try to get the pure spearmint leaves preferably in loose leaf to get the full benefits. The mint adds a tip-off of sweetness so it can be taken without sugars or sweeteners. Even when brewed alone, it tastes great and is highly refreshing.
Brewing spearmint tea to reduce body and facial hair growth
Place 1 heaping teaspoon of dried, ground spearmint leaves or 1.5 teaspoon of fresh, thinly chopped spearmint leaves in a tea cup.
Pour 1 cup of boiling water in the tea cup, on top of the spearmint leaves.
Brew the tea for 10 minutes.
Add a pinch of natural sweetener such as stevia, agave or honey to enhance the flavor if needed. I personally drink mine unsweetened.
Enjoy two 8-ounce cups of spearmint tea every day.
I know it can be challenging 2-3 cups of tea everyday. Tried it myself and by the end of the week, I could barely stand looking at any tea. There is an option to purchase spearmint capsules. You can find those for sale here.
Before starting any at home herbal remedies, it is always best practice to consult with a physician and rule out any serious medical condition. Typically, hirsutism is more of a cosmetic condition and does not pose major health risks.
The University Of Maryland Medical Center states that the majority of hirsutism cases are not serious and have no fundamental cause, but “every now and then, there is a more serious underlying condition, like Cushing’s syndrome.” After ruling out any serious conditions and a natural approach is desired to reduce excess hair growth, incorporating spearmint tea into your daily diet can offer noticeable effects long term.
Other ways to reduce excessive hair growth
In the article five popular ways to remove hair that you should know about, we list some other effective ways in which you can manage excessive hair growth.
Have you tried spearmint tea to manage hair growth? Please share your results, thoughts and insights in the comment box below.
Learn how to balance hormones naturally and reduce hair growth in women.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. (2007, February 28). Spearmint Tea: Possible Treatment For Mild Hirsutism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 24, 2014 from