Natural Remedies: Flax Seeds

SHBG and Testosterone with PCOS
As we saw in the last post, SHBG (Sex-Hormone-Binding-Globulin) is a very important protein that binds some of the total testosterone and reduces the availability of free testosterone in the blood stream. Low levels of SHBG implies high levels of active testosterone and a higher likelihood and intensity of manifestation of acne, hirsutism and alopecia areata.

Remedy: Flax
PCOS patients are advised a diet rich in fiber and lignans to maintain healthy levels of SHBG. Flax seeds are a very good source of fiber and lignans. Furthermore, they contain high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and help with glucose metabolism and increase insulin-sensitivity. The seeds also help with eliminating breast-tenderness (one manifestation of premenstrual syndrome) that may occur post-ovulation.

Treatment Methodology
Patients are advised to consume 2-3 tablespoons of powered raw Flax seeds everyday. Powered Flax seeds are readily available in standard stores. The seeds taste bland and may be mixed with breakfast cereals or sprinkled on a salad (more fiber!). They are best eaten raw (rather than cooked).

One sample recipe using Flax with Ragi (Indian millet, Eleusine coracana) is listed below for those who may like to try something different. Ragi seeds (see picture below) are rich in calcium, iron and and contain amino acids that support good liver health.

Ragi Seed Porridge
-Ground Ragi Seeds : 2-3 tbsp
-Ground Flax Seeds : 2-3 tbsp
-Cinnamon : wee bit for taste (Optional)
-Salt : for taste
-Curds/buttermilk : 100 ml

Boil the ground Ragi seeds in water. Keep stirring continuously. Once it becomes thick, let it cool. Add the ground Flax seeds, curds/buttermilk, salt and cinnamon to the paste and mix well. Add water if it the porridge is too thick.

As with any herbal protocol, treatment with Flax seeds should be in conjunction with good dietary regimen and other supporting herbs (which will find mention in other blogs in this website) and will take at least 2-3 months to show improvement in acne, hirsutism and alopecia areata.

No comments: