Are herbs answer to ovarian syndrome?

Lily Lai, acupuncturist and herbalist from Hemel Hempstead.
Lily Lai, acupuncturist and herbalist from Hemel Hempstead.

An expert in Chinese medicine from Hemel Hempstead is carrying out a pioneering study into the healing powers of traditional herbs.

Lily Lai, who practices as a herbalist and acupuncturist at a sports therapy clinic in Apsley and Sportspace in Berkhamsted, wants to discover whether the herbs can be of benefit to women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

She said: “It’s quite a common hormonal condition. It affects women in a range of ways from excessive growth of hair to more serious conditions like increased risk of diabetes.

“There’s quite a range of conventional medical strategies but some people get side effects from it. The medicines might be effective but women can’t stand the side effects.”

Lily is hoping to find around 40 suitable women to take part in the NHS-funded study, which involves taking a mixture of eight to 10 herbs in a hot drink on a daily basis for six months.

The treatment package is worth up to £1,000.

Though the herbs can help with a wide range of PCOS symptoms, the aim of this work is to discover whether the herbs are able to regulate periods.

The study is being carried out at the University of Southampton, where Lily is a researcher working towards a PhD, and it will be overseen by GPs and other researchers.

Lily said: “Women with PCOS don’t always have a great deal of success with conventional medical treatments and this study would provide women with an interest in using herbs the chance to try them for free whilst being followed up regularly by a registered medical herbalist.”

If you would like to take part contact Lily by emailing, calling 07527 929322 or visiting