12 Best Teas for PCOS: Herbal Teas for Acne, Fertility & Sleep

Teas are an ancient remedy for all sorts of ailments -- here's how they can help manage your PCOS.

3 min read

If you're looking to improve your PCOS, you might want to start drinking more herbal teas.

You've probably heard there's a tea to treat almost all of your polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) symptoms:.

Endless social media posts and blogs tout tea as the perfect PCOS remedy. And it's easy to see why. Compared to pharmaceutical options, tea is natural, affordable, and relatively free of side effects.  But are these claims backed by research and do they deserve the hype?

I've dug into the science supporting herbal tea for PCOS treatment, and the evidence is substantial. Tea is remarkably beneficial for managing PCOS and is widely considered a safe, long-term treatment.

That said, while tea may help regulate blood sugar levels, improve fertility, and reduce acne, it's not a one-size-fits-all solution for PCOS. Some women find drinking tea helps control their symptoms, while others may find that it doesn't have a significant impact.

Check out this post if you’re curious about PCOS teas and which ones really work.

Does tea help PCOS?

There is some evidence to suggest that tea may help improve some symptoms associated with PCOS. Several studies show herbal teas like green tea, spearmint tea, and chamomile tea are effective at reducing insulin resistance and androgens. These teas have been linked to weight loss, clearer skin, better fertility, and less excess facial hair.

In addition, herbal teas are often rich in antioxidants, which can protect your cells from damage. Some herbal teas are also associated with lower rates of high blood pressure and inflammation.

So whether you're looking to manage your blood sugar or promote weight loss, adding some herbal teas to a balanced PCOS diet is a great way to start.

What tea is good for PCOS?

Green tea can be beneficial for insulin resistance and acne, while spearmint tea has anti-androgenic properties, meaning it may lower testosterone.

Ginger is another herbal tea that can be beneficial for PCOS treatment. Research suggests that chamomile can help reduce stress and insomnia.

As you'll see in greater detail below, each tea produces a specific health benefit for PCOS, and here's a brief overview:

  1. Green tea: improves acne, fertility, and insulin resistance 
  2. Spearmint tea: potential fertility tea for PCOS - may improve ovulation and lower free testosterone levels (male hormones) 
  3. Peppermint tea: promotes weight loss
  4. Chamomile tea: improves sleep
  5. Rooibos tea: regulates blood sugar
  6. Cinnamon tea: improves insulin resistance, acne, and inflammation
  7. Ginger tea: reduces blood pressure and inflammation
  8. Nettle tea: balances hormones
  9. Licorice tea: supresses inflammation 
  10. Rosehip tea: reduces period pain
  11. Raspberry leaf tea: tones uterine muscles
  12. Maca tea: improves ovarian function

12 best PCOS teas and what they mean for your health

Below, scientific research and medical experts provide answers regarding PCOS teas. Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

1. Green tea

Green tea is frequently recommended as a herbal tea for PCOS treatment because it’s bursting with natural antioxidants. Researchers believe antioxidants may improve PCOS symptoms, according to the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

‍Along with being rich in antioxidants, green tea has also been credited with lowering insulin resistance. Some of us with PCOS also have insulin resistance, meaning our bodies don't respond well to insulin.

Normally after you eat, your pancreas releases the hormone insulin to take excess glucose, or blood sugar, from your bloodstream to your cells. If you have insulin resistance, however, your body’s cells don’t easily take the excess glucose. This leads to elevated levels of blood sugar and insulin. 

Here's a look at some of the other beneficial effects of green tea for PCOS:

  • Improves fertility: Research shows green tea may improve male and female fertility, due to its antioxidant properties. 
  • Clears skin: Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, green tea extract is also a proven natural acne treatment.  A meta-analysis published in the Phytotherapy Research journal found topical green tea extract reduced acne without side-effects.
  • Balances hormones: Research suggests green tea reduces fasting insulin and free testosterone, according to a 2017 study by the Journal of Education and Health Promotion. For this study, women took a green tea pill for 12 weeks.

‍Originating in China, green tea is an ancient natural remedy.  Loose-leaf green tea was found in the tomb of Emperor Liu Qi, or Emperor Jing of Han, who died in 141 B.C. So, by all accounts, it's been considered a natural remedy for a long time.

Photo by Laårk Boshoff on Unsplash

Personally, I’m a major green tea fan. In 2021, I battled insomnia for several months. I was desperate and decided to cut my coffee consumption. Back then, I was drinking about three to four cups of coffee per day. Green tea replaced coffee, becoming my official morning drink. ‍

Dr. Carmen James, an integrative doctor and health coach, said green tea provides a sustained release of caffeine. James recommends using organic tea, with loose-leaf tea being the best choice. That’s because tea bags might contain microplastics, adds James. 

2. Spearmint tea

Spearmint tea is made from the leaves of the Spearmint herb and is the internet's most well-loved PCOS tea. 

Go onto TikTok and you’ll find people preaching about very specific spearmint tea benefits for PCOS. Advocates say it can fight everything from hormonal acne to unwanted facial and body hair, or hirsutism. So, what’s the science behind the internet lore? 

As it turns out, the health properties of spearmint tea are widely studied. 

One 2017 paper reviewed the current research and suggested there was evidence that spearmint tea lowered “androgenic hormones”, meaning they reduce testosterone. Androgens are sex hormones. Both women and men make androgens, but when women have excess androgens we typically develop acne, excessive hair growth, and irregular periods. Yep, all the awesome PCOS stuff. The research review cites a study where women drank spearmint tea for five days and reported that their hirsutism had improved. 

A 2020 review of 10 human trials showed spearmint tea reduced free testosterone levels and improved luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels. Luteinising hormone triggers ovulation while follicle stimulating hormone is responsible for egg production in the ovaries. These findings may suggest spearmint is a potential fertility tea.

During my search, however, I couldn’t find any recent research supporting the claim that spearmint tea cures acne. Of course, this might change because, in 2019, researchers in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition called for further research into the preventative health benefits of herbal teas like spearmint tea.

The verdict? Spearmint tea is great, but it isn't the only polycystic ovary treatment you should be using.

Dr. Bryant Esquejo, a naturopathic doctor, said he wouldn't recommend spearmint as a first line of treatment for PCOS acne. That's because spearmint tea might not treat the root cause of a PCOS patient's acne, Esquejo explains on TikTok.

For me, I drink a mint tea combination  -  a mix of peppermint and spearmint. I’ve noticed an improvement in unwanted body hair and my skin has totally cleared. 

Though, I’ve also made major changes to my diet and lifestyle. For example, I limit simple or refined carbs, and I exercise regularly.  My skin was at its worst when I ate tons of fast food and was largely inactive. Don't get me wrong, I'm not at the gym every day. Still, I'm engaging in some physical activity most days, even if that's 10 minutes of yoga. Remember even a brief exercise slot is better than nothing.

For more on the benefits, brands, and dosage, check out my blog post on spearmint tea for PCOS.

3. Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea is brewed from peppermint leaves. 

While similar in flavour to spearmint, peppermint tea has a more pronounced minty tang.

There is some research into mint tea’s benefits for PCOS. According to the International Journal of Advanced Research, peppermint is a good “alternative therapy” for PCOS. The study was conducted with rats and showed peppermint decreased body weight and testosterone levels. 

4. Chamomile tea

Studies suggest that chamomile tea can help reduce stress, improve sleep, and balance hormones.

Chamomile tea tea contains flavonoids, a natural compound found in plants to protect against plagues. According to the Journal of Nutritional Science, flavonoids are used in a number of medical and cosmetic products because of their “anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory” properties.

So is it any good for PCOS? Let's investigate:

  • A study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences conducted with 80 women showed a reduction of total testosterone. The women consumed a chamomile capsule for three months.  Another Journal of Reproductive and Infertility study conducted among rats found chamomile extract reduced cysts in ovarian tissue. That's not all -- researchers in this study also observed improved endometrial tissue.
  • Then, a 2015 study concluded that chamomile tea reduced insulin levels among patients with diabetes. During this clinical trial, patients drank a cup of chamomile tea three times per day after meals for eight weeks.  

I added a cup of chamomile tea to my bedtime routine to deal with my insomnia. However, I'd be misleading you if I made it seem like chamomile tea alone cured my sleeplessness. My recovery included discussing solutions with my doctor and initiating major lifestyle changes. Part of those changes included actually establishing a bedtime and morning routine. That looked like avoiding screen time 30 minutes before bed and waking up around the same time each weekday.

5. Rooibos tea

Rooibos tea comes from the leaves of a plant that naturally grows in South Africa. 

Rich in antioxidants, it’s also frequently recommended to control blood sugar. That’s because Rooibos tea is a source of aspalathin, and research suggests that aspalathin lowers blood glucose levels. In a study conducted with mice, aspalathin reduced fasting blood glucose and improved glucose tolerance. 

Professor Christo Muller, who researches the prevention and treatment of insulin resistance, said while Rooibos tea could help regulate blood sugar, this natural remedy had its limits. 

“Rooibos can add beneficial polyphenols to your diet that help the body better regulate blood sugar levels and improve blood lipid levels,” Muller said. Polyphenols are micronutrients that improve heart health, boost immunity, and protect against cancers. But the “polyphenolic content” varied widely, making it hard to recommend an exact dosage, said Muller.  

I drink rooibos with almond milk and honey because it’s a great sweet beverage. Since eliminating caffeine, a rooibos cappuccino is my go-to drink at coffee shops.


6. Cinnamon tea 


Cinnamon is loved as a spice, but it’s also a proven PCOS treatment. 

‍Many studies show cinnamon tea can reduce insulin resistance, acne, and inflammation:

I get my dosage of daily cinnamon when I add it to my morning smoothie. You can also try this easy cinnamon tea recipe for PCOS. 

7. Ginger tea

Ginger is a remedy for lowering blood pressure, and it also has an anti-inflammatory effect. 

Research shows ginger can improve insulin sensitivity, according to the Advances in Biological Sciences Research. Dr. Swati Gaikwad, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, said ginger contains multiple health benefits

“Ginger contains vital ingredients like gingerol, shogaol, paradol, and zingerone, can allow you to lower inflammation, and relieve period pain. Not only this, it is an effective antiviral, antibacterial and antioxidant spice to keep the immune system strong while having PCOS.” 

Check out this simple fresh ginger tea recipe

8. Nettle tea

Derived from nettle extract, nettle tea is known for balancing hormones in PCOS.

‍One 2021 animal study found that nettle extract when combined with lutein, reduced inflammation, and improved overall reproductive function among mice with PCOS.

‍Research suggests nettle may also regulate sex hormones for PCOS. Specifically, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). This hormone is responsible for circulating androgens and estrogen in our blood. In PCOS, levels of sex hormone-binding globulin are low, according to the International Journal of Women’s Health:

"Low serum SHBG levels are considered a biomarker of metabolic abnormalities and are associated with insulin resistance (IR)... and abnormal glucose and lipid metabolism in PCOS patients." 

A 2022 review of the literature finds nettle may produce a balancing effect on these particular hormones: 

“In patients with polycystic ovary syndrome, the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) level is very low and the production of the male hormone testosterone is more. This plant is used to decrease the testosterone level and increase the production of SHBG, and thus, correct the hormonal imbalance in PCOS patients.”

9. Licorice root tea

The benefits of licorice root tea for PCOS are well-studied.

Licorice root is an ancient natural remedy. It’s been used in traditional Egyptian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Greek medicines to suppress inflammation and other ailments. 

Modern researchers have set out to examine licorice root tea’s purported health benefits.

In 2018, researchers published an animal study examining the impact of licorice extract on rats with PCOS. According to their results, licorice balances hormones and reduces follicular cysts on the ovaries.

Another 2020 paper published in the International Journal of Reproductive Medicine found licorice appeared to decrease “ovarian cysts” and improve fertility among mice with PCOS. 

In addition to being a great PCOS tea, licorice root is also a popular hormone balance supplement.

10. Rosehip tea

Rosehip tea may reduce period cramps, according to research published in the 2020 Nutrition and Food Science journal.  The study found consuming rosehip tea twice daily was associated with less intense PMS symptoms, including menstrual cramps and anxiety. 

Rosehips have anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce pain. Research suggests that consuming rosehip tea may help reduce inflammation in the body, per Healthline.

There are many ways to make rosehip tea, but the most common method is to steep rosehips in hot water for 20 minutes before straining the liquid. 

11. Raspberry leaf tea

Raspberry leaf tea may improve period cramps, reports BBC Good Food.

"Raspberry leaf contains fragrine, which helps tone and tighten the muscles in the pelvic area. As a result, it may be beneficial in reducing mild period cramping. Research is scant but a long history of anecdotal reports appear to support the tea’s use easing cramps."

A review of the research shows raspberry leaf tea has been used in pregnancy to tone the uterus.


12. Maca tea

An established herbal remedy, Maca, also known as Peruvian ginseng, may be beneficial for fertility.

As Marie Reilly, medical herbalist, writes in Herbal Medicine and Reproductive Health:

"Lepidium meyenii (maca) can also help to improve ovarian function in women with premature ovarian insufficiency. "

Reilly talks about Maca's ability to address hormonal imbalances.

“This improves ovarian function, and thereby increases production of both oestrogen and progesterone, reducing symptoms associated with low ovarian hormone levels, such hot flushes, sweating, sleep disturbance,mood changes, joint pains, and heart palpitations.”

Turn herbal teas into your go-to natural PCOS remedy 

Tea is a natural, low-cost treatment for PCOS, especially when you're following a PCOS management plan. 

Herbal teas contain compounds that reduce insulin resistance and androgens. This can help to improve your blood sugar control and reduce your risk of developing diabetes or other conditions related to high levels of inflammation.

And while tea is amazing, you need to support it with a holistic approach.‍

In all honesty, I wasn't a tea drinker until I discovered the health benefits associated with tea. When I decided to dig into the evidence-backed reasons teas are beneficial for PCOS, I learned about how I could use herbal tea as a PCOS treatment.‍

Now, I'm devoted. I drink up to four cups per day, and I love it.‍

Yes, I’ve been drinking a number of teas to help me better manage my PCOS. Yes, my symptoms have improved. But I can't chalk up any of those improvements to tea consumption alone.

Apart from adding tea to my diet, I’ve sought medical advice and made several lifestyle changes. The results have been incredible: my skin cleared up and I dropped 10kgs. So, while I advocate for tea as a PCOS treatment, ideally, you should consult with a medical professional and incorporate tea into a broader PCOS management plan.

If you're struggling to manage PCOS symptoms, speak to your doctor and try different treatments until you find one that works best for you.