Herbs For Endometriosis
Conventional hormone treatment with its well-known side effects, and surgery, with the risks it entails, may seem like rather drastic options for women looking for a way to manage their endometriosis. This may be why many women look to herbal remedies and diet supplements as an alternative to medical treatment, or as a way to complement the drugs they are already taking. Women who are suffering from infertility as a consequence of their endometriosis, and for whom getting pregnant is a priority, are advised not to dispense completely with conventional medicine for the sake of exploring natural remedies. Indeed, anyone who is considering beginning a course of alternative treatment should not only consult a qualified herbalist who can advise them about safe dosages and combinations, but also their usual medical health care provider. Your doctor must know when you begin any therapies that may interfere with your normal treatment. Some women report that natural remedies take longer to work than conventional drugs, but can be very effective.
Reducing Your Oestrogen Levels
The hormone oestrogen is what "feeds" the excess endometrial tissue growing in all those places where it shouldn't be inside your body. Therefore your herbalist will prescribe remedies designed to reduce the oestrogen levels in your body. These may include the herbs and supplements listed below.
These herbs are usually administered as teas or infusions. Your herbalist should provide you with information regarding correct dosages.
Vitex agnus cactus (or vitex berries) such as chaste tree or chasteberry. These berries are thought to help balance your female hormones and decrease oestrogen levels. They may be combined with other herbs such as angelica sinensis, dandelion, prickly ash and motherwort. Vitex berries may need to be taken for 12 to 18 months before their full effect becomes apparent.
As your liver helps to break down and expel toxins from the body, it also helps to rid the body of excess oestrogen. Therefore, herbs which are thought to boost liver function may be recommended. These include milk thistle, burdock, dandelion, choline, inositol and methoionine.
Certain diet supplements may help to control oestrogen levels. Ask your herbalist and your doctor about safe dosages.
Calcium d-glucarate is thought to help expel toxins from the body and get rid of excess oestrogen
Diindolylmethane is though to help the body process oestrogen correctly and reduce the harmful effects of excess oestrogen.
Natural Hormone Creams
Natural creams which contain progesterone may help to balance your oestrogen levels. These creams are administered to the skin. Never begin using such a cream before speaking to your doctor, especially if you are already receiving hormone treatment for your endometriosis.
Treatments For Symptoms
In addition to decreasing the amount of oestrogen in your body, your herbalist will seek to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms associated with endometriosis. Herbs which may be prescribed for this purpose include:
Cramp bark, wild yam and ginger to reduce muscle cramps and pain.
Red raspberry to reduce bleeding and strengthen the uterus.
Horsetail, which is said to help scar tissue (resulting from the endometriosis) remain flexible.
Echinacea to strengthen the immune system.
Certain dietary supplements are also though to combat endometriosis symptoms. These include:
Fish oil, which has been shown to reduce symptoms of endometriosis in animals, however, studies have yet to be carried out on humans.
Vitamin C, which helps alleviate swelling and inflammation.
Iron supplements, which replace iron lost during heavy menstrual bleeding.
Vitamin E, which helps to balance hormones and boost the immune system.
Essential fatty acids (found in evening primrose oil and flaxseed oil), which reduce prostaglandin levels in the body and thereby alleviate cramps and inflammation.
Calcium and magnesium, which also reduce prostaglandin levels.
Castor oil, which is thought to strengthen the immune system in the pelvic area.
Do Natural Remedies Work?
You are the only person who can answer this question. There is no solid scientific evidence to guarantee that herbs and supplements will ease your symptoms or help you get pregnant, however, many women do swear by them. The type of treatment you use for your endometriosis will depend on your priorities, namely, getting pregnant, relieving your pain, or both. You should also consider whether or not conventional treatments have been successful for you in the past.