Hair today, gone tomorrow

By Jo Finzi pictureDrinking two cups of spearmint tea a day could help women to get rid of excess body hair, researchers claim.

Hirsutism is the term for a condition which causes women to grow extra hair on their faces, breasts and stomachs, because of abnormally high levels of “masculine” androgen hormones.

These hormones, such as testosterone, are found naturally in both sexes but in greater quantities in men.

The condition can be a symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). But a study of 21 women in Phytotherapy Research, suggests that spearmint tea can have a beneficial effect.

The study followed other reports that spearmint could reduce libido in men, and that the extracts reduced androgen levels in rats. In blood tests, researchers found a “significant decrease” in freely circulating testosterone—but no decrease in the total level of testosterone.

This suggests that “spearmint can be an alternative to anti-androgenic treatment for mild hirsutism”.

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