What is the holistic treatment?
The difference diet can make.
Fats and dairy products can stimulate oestrogen production, aggravating symptoms of endometriosis. Stick to low-fat, high fibre foods, including abundant amounts of vegetables and fruits. Avoid partially hydrogenated oils, including margarine, and increase your intake of essential fatty acids from salmon, nuts and seeds.
Phytoestrogens found in Soya based foods and other beans can help prevent natural or synthetic oestrogens from over stimulating body tissues. Eat these foods regularly, daily if you can.
And cut down on those lattes, colas and chocolate binges – caffeine dramatically worsen symptoms of endometriosis.
Acupuncture has been shown to reduce greatly and sometimes eliminate menstrual pain. One preliminary study indicates it may also be effective in treating infertile women who have endometriosis.
Antioxidants can help prevent tissue damage and reduce inflammation and scarring. Try the following regimen:
- Vitamin E: 400 – 800 IU
- Vitamin C: 2,000 milligrams
- Grape seed or green tea extract: 200-400 milligrams
- Magnesium: 500 milligrams
Drink 2 cups of this tea per day for 2 weeks for a single course of treatment
- 1 teaspoon agnus castus berries
- 1 teaspoon red clover blossoms
- 1 teaspoon wild yam
- 1 teaspoon guilder rose
- ½ teaspoon horsetail
- ½ teaspoon red raspberry leaves
- ½ teaspoon motherwort
- 900 millilitres water
In a medium saucepan, combine the herbs and water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let steep an additional 15 minutes. Strain and discard the herbs.
Many herbalists use caster oil packs for any kind of pelvic pain. Preliminary studies suggest that they improve immune system functioning. To make a caster oil pack, saturate a piece of flannel or wool folded in four thicknesses with cold pressed caster oil at room temperature. Put the flannel directly on your lower abdomen. Cover it with a plastic bag, and then place a hot-water bottle or a heating pad on top of the plastic. Try using the pack for an hour at a time, three times a week, for at least three months. If you find that it relieves symptoms of endometriosis, scale back to once a week.
This herb has been used for centuries to treat conditions associated with pain, including menstrual difficulties. Experimental studies have shown it acts as a mild sedative and relieves cramping.
Typical dosage: 300 – 400 milligrams in capsules standardised to 0.5 per cent essential oil per day; or 20-60 drops of tincture per day
A popular calming herb with antispasmodic properties, camomile may help quell cramps. It also soothes a mildly upset stomach, a symptom some women experience along with abdominal cramps.
Typical dosage: up to six 300-400-milligams capsules per day; or 3-4 cups of tea per day (steep ½ to 1 teaspoon of dried flowers in ¼ litre of hot water for 10-15 minutes); or 10-40 drops of tincture 3 times per day. CAUTION: Some people experience allergic reactions to chamomile.
Native Americans regarded guilder rose, also known as cramp bark, as a uterine sedative and tonic by relaxing uterine muscles, the herb has been beneficial in treating menstrual cramps, discomfort during pregnancy, and in the prevention of miscarriage.
Typical dosage: up to 3 cups of tea per day (steep 1 teaspoon of bark in ¼ litre of water for 10-15 minutes) CAUTION: do not use if you have kidney stones.
Various wild yams are used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. The root of this particular species of wild yam has anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful in relaxing uterine spasms.
Typical dosage: up to two 400-milligram capsules per day; or 20-40 drops of tincture up to five times per day.
Chinese researchers have found that motherwort increases the volume of blood circulation and stimulates uterine activity. It can help with such endometrial symptoms as late periods and sluggish menstrual flow.
Typical dosage: 3 cups of tea per day (steep ½ to1 teaspoon of dried herb in ¼ litre of hot water for 10-15 minutes); or 20-50drops of tincture 5 times a day. CAUTION: do not use if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant
A proven remedy for migraines, feverfew also has a 2,000 year history as a folk medicine for regulating women’s menstrual cycles. How it works isn’t known, but it may be worth a try.
Typical dosage: up to 400 milligrams in standardised capsules per day; or two average-sized fresh leaves per day; or15-30dropsof tincture per day. CAUTION: do not use if you are pregnant
Agnus castus normalises and stimulates the pituitary gland functions, particularly those regulating female sex hormones.
Typical dosage: up to three 650-milligram capsules per day; or 15-40 drops of tincture per day; or 1 cup of tea per day (steep 1 scant teaspoon of dried ground berries in ¼ litre of hot water for 10-15 minutes. CAUTION: do not use if you are pregnant or with hormone replacement therapy
Another hormone balancer, black Cohosh is approved in Germany for several conditions associated with female hormonal irregularities. Because hormonal imbalances are thought to be the cause of endometriosis, this herb is worth a try.
Typical dosage: three 500-600-milligram capsules per day; or 10-25 drops of tincture as often as every four hours. CAUTION: do not use if you are pregnant or attempting to become pregnant
One of the more frequently prescribed herbs in traditional Chinese medicine, dang gui is used to tone and regulate the female reproductive system.
Typical dosage: up to six 500-600-milligram capsules per day; or 5 to 20 drops of tincture up to three times per day. CAUTION: do not use if you are pregnant
This herb is recommended by many modern-day herbalists for toning the uterus when you are pregnant and for facilitating childbirth. Some women swear by this herbs ability to relieve heavy periods.
Typical dosage: unto six 430 milligram capsules per day; or up to 10 cups of tea per day (steep 1 teaspoon of dried leaves in ¼ litre of hot water for 10-15 minutes). CAUTION: if you’re pregnant, use raspberry only under the supervision of a health practitioner
Widely used, dandelion helps the liver break down excess hormones that may encourage endometrial growth.
Typical dosage: 120 grams of young leaves eaten raw or lightly cooked; or 3-9 teaspoons of dried herb three times per day; or 30-60 drops of liquid extract three times per day; or 2 cups of tea per day (steep ½ teaspoon of sifted dry root in ¼ litre of hot water for 10-15 minutes).
Burdock is another herb that helps the liver break down excess hormones such as oestrogen.
Typical dosage: up to six 400-500-milligram capsules per day; or 3 cups of tea per day (steep 1 teaspoon of dried root in ¼ litre of hot water for 10-15 minutes); or 25-40 drops of tincture three times per day.
Traditionally used to treat long-term skin ailments, jaundice and constipation, yellow dock is also considered a cleansing herb, though solid research confirming its use is lacking.
Typical dosage: up to four 500-milligram capsules per day; or 20-40 drops of tincture up to two times per day. CAUTION: avoid if you are pregnant.