Feb. 22, 2007 — Drinking spearmint tea may spur a hormonal shift that helpswomen curb unwanted hair (hirsutism), a Turkish study shows.
If confirmed in other studies, spearmint may become an alternative tohormonal treatments for the condition, write the researchers at SuleymanDemirel University’s medical school in Isparta, Turkey.
Mehmet Akdogan and colleagues studied 21 hirsute women seen at theirendocrinology clinic.
Twelve of the women had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonalcondition that often involves hirsutism. The cause of the hirsutism was unclearin the other nine women.
The researchers asked the women to drink spearmint tea twice a day for fivedays. The tea was brewed by pouring boiling water over a heaping teaspoon ofdried spearmint leaves.
Blood tests showed that the women’s levels of androgens — hormones thatinclude testosterone — dipped after drinking the spearmint tea for the fivedays.
It’s normal for women to have androgens, but having high androgen levels andhair follicles that are sensitive to androgen can lead to hirsutism, Akdogan’steam notes.
The hormonal shift the women experienced after drinking spearmint tea mightreduce hirsutism, the researchers say.
However that’s not certain, since the study lasted only five days and didn’tinclude any before-and-after measurements of the women’s excess hair.
The study appears in the “Early View” online edition ofPhytotherapy Research.