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Oakland, CA – Reducing PCOS Symptoms Using Acupuncture, Herbs, and Supplements

SYNOPSIS: Five to ten percent of women struggle with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) symptoms of menstrual cycle irregularity, unwanted hair growth, and more. Acupuncture, herbs, and supplements can help!

Acupuncture, herbs, and supplements for PCOS

BY: JANET THOMSON, Inspire Family Acupuncture

Doctors estimate that 5-10% of women have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a syndrome characterized by irregular menstrual cycles, lack of ovulation, unwanted hair growth, weight gain, and difficulty regulating blood sugar. Often women are not diagnosed with this condition for years, leading to confusion about fertility struggles, acne, and unwanted weight.

The keys to restoring balance and health with PCOS revolve around reducing stress levels, balancing blood sugar and having a healthy diet, and reducing testosterone levels. There are a handful of approaches to achieve this — lifestyle changes, supplements and herbs, and holistic medical care.

Lifestyle Changes

irregular blood sugar levels tend to be a hallmark of PCOS, and women are often placed on metformin, a pharmaceutical medication that helps to regulate blood sugar. You can manage blood sugar levels on your own by:

  • Reducing simple carbohydrates (think sugar, white bread, potatoes, rice) and pairing complex carbohydrates (brown rice, quinoa, wheat bread, etc.) with fat and protein so that they cause less of a rise in blood sugar.
  • Eating on a regular schedule so that you don’t become too hungry between meals. Aim for three regular meals and one snack if needed.
  • Include the following in your diet to help manage blood sugar levels: buckwheat, omega-3-rich fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring), and legumes (garbanzo beans, kidney beans, etc).
  • Prioritize 8 hours a night of sleep. Regularly having high quality long nights of sleep will reduce food cravings that can throw off your attempts to balance your blood sugar.

Supplements and Herbs

  • Inositol is a supplement that helps to manage blood sugar and can reduce testosterone levels and improve fertility. Your supplement should include myoinositol and d-chiro-inositol.
  • Vitamin D has been shown to improve ovarian reserves ovarian follicle health, and overall fertility, and is helpful even if you’re not technically Vitamin D deficient.
  • Omega-3-fatty acids can reduce testosterone levels and improve both insulin sensitivity and menstrual regularity. These should be supplemented for 2-6 months.
  • N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) lowers insulin and androgen levels and improves menstrual regularity.
  • Selenium can help regulate insulin levels when taken daily for at least 8 weeks.
  • L-carnitine improves ovulation rates in women with PCOS.
  • Melatonin decreases testosterone levels and improves menstrual regularity when taken at 2mg daily in women with PCOS.
  • Alpha-lipoic-acid (ALA) can improve insulin sensitivity, decrease abdominal fat, and reduce inflammation.
  • Chinese herbal formulas can be tailored to support women with PCOS to assist with hormonal balance and stress management (which in turn both help with blood sugar regulation). White peony in particular is shown to reduce testosterone levels, and white peony with licorice improves ovulation and fertility for women with PCOS.

When considering supplements I recommend working with a health care provider (herbalist, naturopath, or other provider) to ensure you are taking the right balance of supplements. My favorite supplements and the recommended doses can be found at:


For women with PCOS, acupuncture is used to balance hormones, reduce stress, increase blood flow to the uterus when supporting fertility, and reduce overall inflammation. Acupuncture and herbal medicine in combination can be powerful in reducing PCOS symptoms.

You CAN significantly improve your health through dietary changes, lifestyle adjustments, and appropriate use of acupuncture and herbal medicine. Here’s to your health!

“Best Acupuncturist in Oakland, CA”

Top Rated Local Acupuncture / Chinese Medicine Specialist / Herbal Therapist

East Bay Area: Oakland, Piedmont, Emeryville, Berkeley, San Leandro, CA


“Best Acupuncturist in Oakland, CA”

Top Rated Local Acupuncture / Chinese Medicine Specialist / Herbal Therapist

East Bay Area: Oakland, Piedmont, Emeryville, Berkeley, San Leandro, CA

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Inspire Family Acupuncture

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523 47th Street,
Oakland, CA 94609, USA

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523 47th Street,
Oakland, CA 94609, USA



BIO: Inspire Family Acupuncture focuses on treating children's health, stress/anxiety/insomnia, women's health conditions, pain, and digestive disorders. I am passionate about helping my patients learn about themselves and become empowered to make needed changes to restore balance and gain strength in their physical and emotional lives.


Oakland, CA – Reducing PCOS Symptoms Using Acupuncture, Herbs, and Supplements