The 7 Best Natural Anti-Androgen Supplements for Women

woman with a mustache

Natural anti-androgen supplements reduce testosterone or block its effects. In women, androgen blockers can improve androgen or testosterone symptoms, such as hirsutism, acne, and weight gain. In other words, they can treat PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and other types of androgen excess.

Anti-androgen supplements are not a stand-alone treatment for facial hair or acne. You still need to fix the underlying reason for androgen excess or the underlying driver of your type of PCOS. For example, if you’ve been taking a masculinizing type of birth control, then the best plan is to stop taking it. If you have PCOS, then identify your type of PCOS and treat that.

👉 Tip: Watch, listen, or read Help for post-pill acne, hair loss, and weight gain.

Restoring normal ovulation can go a long way to reducing testosterone because both estrogen and progesterone have beneficial anti-androgen effects.

Natural anti-androgen supplements for hirsutism


Zinc improves ovarian function thereby decreasing androgens and increasing progesterone, which is a natural androgen blocker. Zinc also downregulates the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, reducing the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

In a recent clinical trial, zinc supplementation significantly improved hirsutism in just eight weeks. The recommended dose is 30-50 mg taken directly after dinner. Don’t take zinc on an empty stomach; it could make you feel sick. Read Why zinc is my favorite prescription for healthy periods.


Progesterone reduces testosterone in three ways: It downregulates 5-alpha reductase, blocks androgen receptors, and reduces luteinizing hormone (LH), thereby reducing LH stimulation of the ovary to make testosterone. The best way to obtain progesterone is to ovulate and make your own. You can also supplement progesterone as cyclic progesterone therapy.

 👉 Tip: There’s no progesterone in hormonal birth control. They’re progestins, some of which are more similar to testosterone than they are to progesterone.

Peony & licorice combination

Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) slows testosterone production and promotes the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogen. Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) downregulates the enzyme (CYP17A1) that produces testosterone and contains phytoestrogens that downregulate androgen production and block androgen receptors. Together, the two herbs have the synergistic effect of normalizing pituitary hormones. Peony & licorice combination did well in a 2017 clinical trial for PCOS. Licorice raises blood pressure, so consult a clinician about safe use.

Reishi mushroom

Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) inhibits 5-alpha reductase, which is the enzyme that converts testosterone to the more potent DHT hormone. This natural anti-androgen has many other health benefits, including immune enhancement and stabilization of the HPA (adrenal) axis.

DIM (diindolylmethane)

DIM (diindolylmethane) is a phytonutrient derived from broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale. It acts as a natural anti-androgen by blocking androgen receptors. Because DIM inhibits the aromatase enzyme, it could have the unwanted effect of decreasing estrogen, but clinically, I’ve found it to be quite effective for both acne and hirsutism. I usually recommend 100 mg per day.


Melatonin did well in several clinical trials for PCOS and androgenetic alopecia. It works by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.


Vitex agnus-castus lowers prolactin and can improve the high-prolactin type of androgen excess, which is quite different from PCOS. When prolactin is high, it can cause androgen excess by 1)  increasing the adrenal androgen DHEA and 2) up-regulating 5-alpha reductase. When prolactin is not high, vitex can worsen the androgen excess PCOS. Read the Dos and don’ts of Vitex.

👉 Tip: You don’t need all of these supplements. Start with the core treatment for your type of PCOS, and then choose one additional anti-androgen treatment, such as zinc.

How long does it take to treat hirsutism?

Hirsutism can take a long time to improve

Facial hair or hirsutism is one of the most frustrating symptoms of PCOS and the slowest to improve. Even once you have all the right treatment in place, you may still have to wait twelve months to see an improvement.

Further reading:

What is your experience with natural testosterone blockers?

Dr Lara Briden
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