There is new hope this week for women battling against hirsutism, with news that spearmint tea appears to limit the unwanted hair growth.

Hirsutism, which derives from the Latin for shaggy or hairy, causes considerable distress for thousands of women, due to the presence of excessive hair in places normally associated with male growth.

Because of an unusually high level of androgen hormones, some women will find that hair is beginning to appear on the face, breasts and stomach, generating major cosmetic and psychological concerns.

But according to research published in Phytotherapy Research, drinking two cups of spearmint tea a day for five days will successfully reduce the level of androgens in the body.

The scientists were first alerted to spearmint tea’s potential when reports emerged that it appeared to lower libido in men. It was hypothesised that libido was being affected by reduced androgen levels and it appears this assessment was accurate.

“Current therapies use either oral contraceptives to suppress androgen production, or medications such as spironolactone that prevent the body responding to androgen – but this study shows that spearmint could be a good natural alternative for women who have mild symptoms,” commented Professor Mehmet Numan Tamer.

According to the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), many women choose mechanical treatments to get rid of the symptoms. Electrolysis, for instance, sees an electrical current passed into a hair follicle through a needle, to permanently destroy the hair root. Laser treatment – which similarly damages the hair root – is also popular, but this is not necessarily permanent.

The BAD indicates that losing weight can also slow the hair growth, although the effects of this strategy are not universal.

(By Keep the Doctor, Feb 2006)
Article URL:, 2006


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