Gynecomastia is a condition that causes the enlargement of the gland tissue of the male breast. This condition most commonly manifests during puberty but can also occur at any time during a man’s life. Obese men have pseudo gynecomastia because of fat deposits in the breast. There are no scientifically proven remedies besides surgery, exercise and hormone therapy to treat this condition. However, several herbal remedies do have purported effectiveness in treating gynecomastia. However, clinical studies do not confirm or support these herbal remedies for the treatment of gynecomastia.
High estrogen levels are a primary cause of gynecomastia. Estrogen is a female hormone. When men have a high level of this hormone, they may manifest feminine traits such as breast development. Tribulus terrestris is a flowering plant the “Natural Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine” recommends to increase testosterone levels. The herb does not have the testosterone hormone, but it does increase the luteinizing hormone secreted by your pituitary glad. This in turn may stimulate your gonads to produce additional testosterone.
Soy and flaxseed don’t increase testosterone levels, but they can reduce estrogen levels in your body. Besides reducing the levels of estrogen, soy and flaxseed have other health benefits that can help treat the symptoms of gynecomastia. Replacing dairy milk with soy milk and adding flaxseed oil to your diet can help you decrease your cholesterol levels. Lower cholesterol levels combined with a decrease in the consumption of animal fat can help you lose weight throughout your whole body, including your chest.
Red clover is an estrogen-reducing herb with phytoestrogens. Red clover has a strong estrogen-reducing agent called genistein. You can consume red clover in supplement form or you can make a tea with the red clover. If you take any hormone supplements, you should discuss the use of red clover with your physician prior to use.
Exercise and Diet
Exercise can also reduce the symptoms of gynecomastia. Building chest muscles can help reduce the size of the breast tissue. Diet is also important. You should eat foods low in fat. Reducing your overall body fat content will also reduce the amount of fat in your breast tissue. According to “Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics,” combining an exercise regimen with a low-fat diet can effectively treat some of the symptoms of gynecomastia.
- MayoClinic.com: Gynecomastia
- "Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine"; Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno; 1997
- "Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics"; Robert Kliegman, et al.; 2007
Jessica Jacobs is a registered dietitian and professional writer, contributing to "Fitness Magazine" since 2003. She received a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University and an M.S. in nutrition and food sciences from the University of Texas at Austin.