The objective of the present study is to investigate whether acupuncture could significantly enhance the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) in treating polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) rats by testosterone propionate. Forty female Sprague–Dawley rats were equally divided into normal control group (Group A), model group (Group B), CHM combined with acupuncture group (Group C) and CHM group (Group D), with ten rats in each group. A rat model of PCOS was established by single injection of testosterone propionate at 9th day after birth. After treatment, the levels of total testosterone (TT), sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), androstenedione, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) in the serum of rats were examined with ELISA and the peroxisome proliferator- activated receptor gamma (PPARG) mRNA expression in ovaries of the rats were measured by real-time quantitative PCR. The serum LH/FSH, free androgen index (FAI) and androstenedione levels were eminently lower and PPARG mRNA expression in the ovaries of the rats in Groups A, C and D were significantly higher than those of Group B (P<0.05). There was no significant difference of serum LH/FSH levels between Groups C and D (P>0.05). However, the serum FAI and androstenedione levels were markedly lower and PPARG mRNA expression in the ovaries of the rats in Group C was significantly higher than those of Group D (P<0.05). Acupuncture treatment could significantly enhance the efficacy of CHM in rats with PCOS.