Endometriosis is an often painful chronic condition that involves the growth of endometrium (tissue lining the uterus) outside the uterus toward the fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervix, bladder, or bowel. There are also times when this tissue called endometrium grows even outside the pelvic region (e.g. lungs). The Endometriosis Association has reported that the condition has already affected 5.5 million women in Canada and the United States. And according to the group, millions more are affected worldwide. With this big of a number, endometriosis is definitely doing something that needs a solution. Before spending on medical technologies, why not try a few natural remedies first? So what are the endometriosis natural remedies?
To help lessen any painful periods, particularly in the pelvic area, here are a number of natural remedies for endometriosis.
Reduction of Chemical Intake
Recent studies have provided evidence in support of a directly proportional relationship between exposure to environmental chemicals (polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins) and severity and prevalence of endometriosis. To reduce one’s intake of these chemicals, one must cut back on red meat, fish, and high-fat dairy in particular, since the unwanted chemicals accumulate in animal fat. Other studies were also able to associate a reduction in risk of endometriosis with fresh fruit and vegetable diet.
Vegetable and Herbal Remedies
Research also tells us that a certain kind of plant chemical called flavones can work against endometriosis. A number of vegetables, particularly celery and parsley, are actually great sources of flavones. Another compound called indoles can also improve estrogen metabolism and this compound can be found in cauliflowers, broccolis, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc.
There are also certain types of herbs that can be taken in as capsules or tea, and are associated with endometriosis pain relief. These herbs are valerian (Valeriana officinalis), chamomile (Matricaria recutita), cramp bark (Viburnum opulus), wild yam (Dioscorea villosa), motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), yarrow (Archillea millefolium), black cohosh (Actaea racemosa), dang gui (Angelica sinensis), red raspberry (Rubus idaeus), dandelion (Tarazacum officinale), burdock (Arctium lappa, A. minus), and yellow dock (Rumex crispus).
Other people believe that progesterone cream can help relieve one of endometriosis because of the cream’s quality in slowing the growth of any abnormal endometrial tissue. The cream is able to relieve one of pelvic and menstrual pain although it is not considered a cure of endometriosis itself.
More studies are still needed to highlight any important factor that will distinguish the cream as a cure of endometriosis. The effectiveness or safety of the cream is still lacking any scientific basis. And it is advisable to have a regular monitor of progesterone levels when using the cream.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Studies have pointed that two specific compounds found in fish oil, namely EPA and DHA, can effectively decrease the level of prostaglandin E2, an inflammatory chemical. With this decrease in level, pain associated with endometriosis is relieved. Other studies have also shown that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are capable of slowing down the growth of an endometrial tissue.
These fatty acids are found in fish such as mackerel, salmon, anchovies, and sardines.
A hormone called cortisol is produced by the body as a stress response. However, this hormone is also needed in the production of other hormones such as progesterone. According to researches, a prolonged stress can lead to an increase in the level of cortisol. This will also affect the level of progesterone, leading to a hormonal imbalance. The increased level of cortisol is also directly proportional to the level of endometriosis in women, as some studies suggest.
Although not yet scientifically studied, a particular kind of hydrotherapy has already been recommended as a remedy for endometriosis. This hydrotherapy is called a contrast sitz bath, and it involves sitting in a tub of hot water for three minutes and sitting in a tub of cold water for another minute. To complete this hot water – cold water therapy, the cycle must be done four times. It’s been noted that this therapy is not done during menstruation.
Ginger tea has been found to relieve nausea that usually occurs with endometriosis.
Before trying out these natural remedies, it is still best to have a consultation with a medical professional.