Natural Treatment of PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome)

Contributed by Dr. Elise Schroeder and Liz Richards, L.Ac. of Blossom Clinic

What is PCOS?

Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance condition found in women of childbearing age. PCOS is characterized by some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Irregular periods
  • Fertility problems
  • Difficulty losing weight with a distribution of weight around the middle
  • Unwanted hair growth on the chin, jawline, chest or upper legs
  • Acne
  • Loss of scalp hair
  • Ovarian cysts (This is where the name poly cystic ovarian syndrome originated. However, since not all women have this sign, it is a bit of a misnomer)

It is typically diagnosed by the presence of any combination of these symptoms when other diagnoses are ruled out.

Twenty years ago PCOS was uncommon. Most doctors knew it as Stein-Leventhal syndrome and it was considered a very rare condition. Not so today. According to the Office on Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services: “Between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20 women of childbearing age has PCOS. As many as 5 million women in the United States may be affected. It can occur in girls as young as 11 years old.” Continue reading

Acupuncture Reviews for Blossom Clinic in Portland, OR


Acupuncture Reviews for Blossom Clinic

Fertility Enhancement:

Just What we needed!!!. My wife and I had been trying for some time to get pregnant to no avail. We decided to look into the Acupuncture route for increased fertility, At a friends suggestion (who had enjoyed success using their service ) we went to Blossom. Today we heard our soon to be babies heartbeat for the first time!! Our experience at Blossom was professional , pleasant and informative , and most important of all SUCESSFUL!! Big Thanks to all the staff at Blossom! CM

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Chaste Tree Berry: A Girl’s Best Friend

chaste tree vitexIndigenous to the Mediterranean countries and Asia, Chaste Tree Berry has been renown as both an aphrodisiac and an anaphodisiac.

It was known in the middle ages as Monk’s pepper because of its reputed ability to suppress sexual desire in celibate monks.  Now in the 20th century it is being touted as the natural female “Viagra”. Chaste Tree Berry’s effects lie in its ability to stimulate and regulate anterior pituitary functions.  In particular it can normalize the amount of progesterone in our bodies. German research has discovered that Chaste Tree Berry does this by binding to dopamine2 receptors in the anterior pituitary and decreasing secretion of prolactin. This decrease in prolactin leads to increased progesterone production in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.  Additionally, Chaste Tree Berry seems to increase luteinizing hormone and help to lengthen a women’s luteal phase.  Luteinizing hormone is produced in the pituitary and it is what signals the female body to release an egg. Once the egg is released it is the empty follicle called the corpus lutetium that is responsible for manufacturing female’s monthly surges of progesterone.

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Hormones Rule: From Menstruation to Menopause

fertility yogaHormones Rule: From Menstruation to Menopause

A Healthy Hormone Dialogue

Ever wonder why you get bloating, cramps or irritability before your period?  Foggy thinking, hot flashes and weight gain getting you down?  OR are you suffering with unwanted hair growth and irregular periods.  These familiar symptoms are all signs of hormone imbalance.

To find out more about how to solve YOUR hormone imbalance symptoms, join us at the Blossom Clinic Tuesday October 4th at 7 PM Continue reading

Chaste Tree Berry: A Girl’s Best Friend

Indigenous to the Mediterranean countries and Asia, Chaste Tree Berry has been renown as both an aphrodisiac and an anaphodisiac.  Continue reading

Summer MediClear Cleanse

The MediClear Cleanse is user friendly.  In this cleanse, you eliminate foods that are commonly allergenic or inflammatory for 15 days. Continue reading

Acupuncture for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Acupuncture for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome:

Click here for a link to a recent study conducted by Elisabet Stener-Victorin at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Chaste Tree Berry: A Girl’s Best Friend


Indigenous to the Mediterranean countries and Asia, Chaste Tree Berry has been renown as both an aphrodisiac and an anaphodisiac. It was known in the middle ages as Monk’s pepper because of its reputed ability to suppress sexual desire in celibate monks.  Now in the 20th century it is being touted as the natural female “Viagra”. Chaste Tree Berry’s effects lie in its ability to stimulate and regulate anterior pituitary functions.  In particular, it can normalize the amount of progesterone in our bodies. German research has discovered that Vitex does this by stimulating the production of luteinizing hormone (LH).  Luteinizing hormone is produced in the pituitary and it is what signals the female body to release an egg. Once the egg is released it is the empty follicle called the corpus lutetium that is responsible for manufacturing female’s monthly surges of progesterone.

Recent findings confirm that Chaste tree berry can restore normal estrogen to progesterone balance. Chaste tree berry has been successfully used to regulate irregular menses and PMS symptoms including dysmenorrhoea, fibroid cysts, and hormonal constipation.  It can be used to stabilize the cycle after withdrawal from progesterone birth control pills.  For women trying to get pregnant, or who are experiencing amenorrhea or PCOS,  it can help regulate the ovulatory cycle. It is reported to be safe to take after the third month of pregnancy but not recommended, because it may bring on milk flow too early.  After the birth however, it may again be taken to stabilize the hormones and increase lactation. Research as shown it to be most effective taken the first ten days after birth.

In England and increasingly in the United States, Chaste tree berry is being used to relieve the symptoms of menopause.  Both PMS and menopause symptoms are commonly caused by estrogen dominance and can benefit from the use of Chaste tree berry.  For practitioners of Chinese medicine, Peter Holmes categorizes Chaste tree berry as entering the Liver, Spleen and in particular regulating the Chong and Ren pathways. (Traditional Chinese Medicine uses a similar herb Man Jing Zi, or Vitex Rotoundifolia. Both species are from the same family, verbenaceae, but have been used differently.  Man Jing Zi is used to relieve wind heat, and clear heat from the liver.  It is used for headaches and eye pain or in combination with other herbs for Wind heat colds.)

Clinical research shows that Chaste tree berry may work in as fast as ten days, but for lasting and full benefit one should take it for 6 months to a year at a time. With PMS, positive results may be seen by the 2nd cycle but permanent improvement may take up to a year.  Vitex has no reports of side effects and can be taken as an infusion, tablet or tincture.  Dosage would be one half to one gram dried berries infused for 10-15 minutes or 1-2 ml of tincture three times a day. For pills, we usually recommend 800 mg per day.

References:

*Breezing Through the Change, Managing Menopause Naturally by Ellen Brown and Lynne Walker Frog Ltd, Berkeley, California 1994

*Botanical Influences of Illness, a sourcebook of clinical research, Melvyn Werbach, M.D., and Michael Murray, N.D.  Third Line Press, California 1994

*Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica, Dan Bensky & Andrew Gamble, Eastland Press, Washington 1986

*The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism, Simon Y Mills M.A., M.N.I.M.H.  Healing Arts Press, Vermont 1988

*The Energetic of Western Herbs Vol. II, Peter Holmes, Artemis, Colorado 1989

*Health World Online, http://www.healthy.net/library/books/hoffman/materiamedica/chaste.htm

*What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Perimenopause, John R. Lee M.D., Jesse Hanley, M.D., and Virginia Hopkins Warner

Contributed by Rylen Feeney, Independent Practitioner at Blossom Clinic, Portland, Oregon