Effect of spearmint teas on androgen levels in women with excess hair

Effect of spearmint (Mentha spicata Labiatae) teas on androgen levels in women with hirsutism

Funded by:
FOFOI-IMSS; Grant Number: 2002/097

Mentha spicata; androgens • hirsutism • women

Mentha spicata Labiatae, known as spearmint and Mentha piperita Labiatae, known as peppermint can be used for various kinds of illnesses in herbal medicine and flavoring in industry. M. spicata Labiatae grows on the Anamas plateau of Yeniþarbademli town of Isparta, located in southwest part of Turkey. In this town, clinicians thought that consumption of tea steeped with M. spicata or M. piperita caused a diminished libido.

Because antiandrogenic effects of spearmint and peppermint were found previously in rats, it was decided to observe the effect of this herbal tea on the androgen levels in hirsute women.

Twenty-one female hirsute patients, 12 with polycystic ovary syndrome and 9 with idiopathic hirsutism were included to the study. They were took a cup of herbal tea which was steeped with M. spicata for 5 days twice a day in the follicular phase of their menstrual cycles. After treatment with spearmint teas, there was a significant decrease in free testosterone and increase in luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone and estradiol. There were no significant decreases in total testosterone or dehydroepiandrostenedione sulphate levels. Spearmint can be an alternative to antiandrogenic treatment for mild hirsutism. Further studies are needed to test the reliability of these results and the availability of spearmint as a drug for hirsutism.

Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Received: 4 April 2006; Accepted: 1 November 2006
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Mehmet Akdoan 1, Mehmet Numan Tamer 2 *, Erkan Cüre 2, Medine Cumhur Cüre 1, Banu Kale Körolu 2, Namik Deliba 1
1Department of Clinical Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Suleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Turkey
2Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, School of Medicine, Suleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Turkey

email: Mehmet Numan Tamer (mntamer62@yahoo.com)

*Correspondence to Mehmet Numan Tamer, Suleyman Demirel University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 32260 Isparta, Turkey.