Herbal medicine is one of a range of natural therapies utilised to treat a wide range of conditions and disease; including endometriosis. Natural therapies are valued for their non-invasive approach and relative lack of side effects, and are increasingly used alongside or in place of conventional medicine.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis describes the uncontrolled growth of the cells of the uterus, which move out of the womb and colonise adjacent tissues and organs. These cells can then start to grow in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, bowel, vagina, amongst others. Typical symptoms include cramping in the abdominal area, inflammation, bleeding and muscular pain. Endometriosis typically affects women in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, with some evidence to suggest high stress, career-oriented childless individuals are more likely to be affected. Other risk factors include allergies, immune system complications, early menstruation, obesity, exposure to environmental toxins and hereditary factors. Conventional medical treatment involves pain killers, anti-inflammatories, surgery and hormone treatments. Hormone treatments generally are designed to limit the production of female hormones – or oestrogen - in the body. Oestrogen has been shown to encourage the growth of endometriosis, though it may have implications for long term fertility.
Herbal medicine is a system of healing that utilises plant elements to create a wide range of remedies to treat almost any condition or malady. Most traditional cultures utilised herbal medicine before the advent of modern Western medicine, while some continue to do so. The most widely used herbal medicine is perhaps that prescribed by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which also employs acupuncture and massage; amongst other techniques and approaches.
Herbal Medicine for Endometriosis
Consulting a qualified herbalist is the best way to get informed advice on a treatment plan for endometriosis. This will typically take place after a consultation in which the clients overall health is assessed and a course of treatment prescribed - often over a period of months. Most herbal medicine used for the treatment of endometriosis is focused on the reduction of pain – particularly cramping - and the easing of bleeding. The following herbs are some of the wide array of herbs that may be prescribed by a herbalist for endometriosis:
- Wild yam – for the alleviation of cramping
- Evening primrose oil – for the alleviation of cramping
- Ginger – easing abdominal cramping and pain
- Red raspberry – for reducing bleeding and strengthening the uterus
- Horsetail – reduction of excessive menstrual bleeding; and
- Vitex berries – balancing hormone levels
Find out about other effective natural endometrios treatments.
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