Does Cinnamon Help with Hirsutism Symptoms?
Cinnamon adds a layer of flavor to so many dishes. It tastes amazing with apples, spiced lattes, oatmeal. There’s very little foods that can’t be improved with a dash of cinnamon. Recently, some people have been talking about the potential health benefits of cinnamon. It’s full of antioxidants, and may have anti-inflammatory properties, but does cinnamon help with hirsutism symptoms?
What Is Cinnamon?
We know that cinnamon is delicious, but what is it? Cinnamon is a spice made from several species of the Cinnamomum tree. There are two types of cinnamon that can be easily found in stores – Cassia and Ceylon.
Cassia cinnamon is the inner bark of the Cinnamomum Cassius. It’s robust, and is often used in cooking as it keeps its flavor and aroma. It can be found as a stick, or in powdered form. It’s the most common type of cinnamon. It has higher levels of coumarin than some other cinnamons. Coumarin is toxic in high doses and should only used sparingly.
Ceylon cinnamon is sometimes referred to as true cinnamon. It’s more expensive than Cassia, and can be harder to find. Some people consider to be superior to the more easily available cassia cinnamon, as it has a sweeter flavor, and lower levels of coumarin. As it also contains Coumarin, although much less than Cassia, it should also be used sparingly only.
Cinnamon has been used in traditional medicine for aiding the digestive system. But does it help with the symptoms of Hirsutism?
What is Hirsutism?
Hirsutism, the growth of excess hair, is considered a rather common condition, as it affects around 5% – 10% of women. Women with Hirsutism experience the growth of hair in areas where men typically have a lot of hair growth, such as the chin, chest, arms and legs, back and buttocks. The severity of the symptoms can differ greatly from woman to woman. The Ferriman-Gallwey score is sometimes used to determine the severity of the condition.
Hirsutism can usually be attributed to an underlying cause. There are some cases of idiopathic hirsutism, meaning that there is no identifiable cause. But in most cases, doctors can identify what causes Hirsutism, and treat it. In many of these cases, it’s due to a chronic hormonal condition called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Other causes include Cushing’s syndrome, certain medications, tumors or a familial (genetic) predisposition.
In order to understand what causes male-pattern hair growth, several blood tests will be performed in order to measure hormone levels. An ultrasound scan of the abdomen may also be required. The aim is to understand what causes the excess testosterone in the the system. It is important to understand whether the hirsutism is idiopathic or is caused by another condition.
Are There Treatments for Hirsutism?
How Hirsutism is treated depends on its root cause. If the excessive hair-growth is caused by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), it can be treated with medications that reduce the body’s effective testosterone, like the contraceptive pill. Anti-androgens are sometimes prescribed as an alternative. It can take several months for the treatment to take effect.
In order to decrease the social and psychological impact of hirsutism, cosmetic treatments are often recommended and seeking the advice of a dermatologist is encouraged. Different options include shaving, depilatory creams, waxing, sugaring, electrolysis and laser hair removal, which is becoming increasingly popular with women suffering from the condition.
Some women have also seen success with natural supplements such as spearmint tea as an add-on to their treatment. Remember, if you want to start any new supplement, always discuss them with your doctor first.
Is Cinnamon Useful for Hirsutism?
Hirsutism is usually caused by a hormonal imbalance. This usually means that the body is producing more ‘male’ hormones, or androgens than a woman actually needs. This is why one of the symptoms of hirsutism is excess hair growth that follows a typically male pattern.
Can Cinnamon have an effect on the hormonal imbalance in Hirsutism, and help with the reduction of hair growth?
Even though there have been some early, small studies studying the effect of a cinnamon extract on the menstrual cyclicity of women with PCOS, there have been little to no scientific evidence of the effect of cinnamon on Hirsutism or hair growth.
Hirsutism, or the presence of excess hair growth, can be very distressing for women that are affected by it. As there may be serious underlying causes for the excess hair growth, it is key to discuss the symptoms with a doctor, as they can identify the underlying cause and together you can discuss treatment options.
Currently, there is no evidence that cinnamon can be beneficial for the symptoms of Hirsutism. Remember that before starting any supplement, always discuss them with your doctor first, as some can interact with other medication that you may be taking.
Tip: If you would like to learn more about the best natural remedies for hirsutism, read our detailed overview HERE.