Exploring Natural Remedies for Uterine Fibroids
If you’re living with symptomatic fibroids and would prefer to try to avoid surgical, hormonal, and pharmacological solutions, you may want to explore natural remedies and lifestyle changes with your doctor, to see if they’re sufficient to manage your symptoms.
Fat cells produce and store estrogen. Fibroids, along with certain breast cancers, are estrogen-dependent. Obesity, or even just excess weight, increases the risk of new fibroid formation and existing fibroid growth. Reducing body fat can help prevent fibroid growth risk and reduce current fibroid size.
Diet and Nutrition
Your diet is one of the most significant factors that shape your overall health and, unlike genetics, it’s something you can control. Certain foods are known to increase the risk of both fibroid growth and greater symptom severity, either through hormone balance disruption or through inflammation. Other foods are known to reduce these risks.
Foods to avoid include or limit:
- Red meat
- Refined sugary and starchy carbs such as:
- White flour, white rice, and items made from these ingredients
- Soda and other sugary drinks
- Sugary boxed cereals
- Baked goods such as cookies, cakes, and doughnuts
- Anything made with corn syrup
- Canned, prepackaged, and other processed foods
Healthy, fiber- and nutrient-rich foods will help balance your hormones, curb your appetite, and prevent inflammation and excess weight gain. Good foods to eat include:
- Brightly-colored fresh fruits and veggies, both raw and cooked
- Dried fruit (without added sugar or preservatives like sulfur)
- Whole grains (like brown rice, barley, oats) and whole-grain products
- Legumes, such as beans and lentils
- Dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt
- Fresh and dried herbs and spices
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
If there are foods on the “good to eat” list for fibroids that you don’t like or are unable to eat for personal, religious, or health reasons, don’t worry. Many of the vitamins and minerals in these foods are easy to get as dietary supplements in tablet, chewable, or powder form in grocery stores or pharmacies.
Studies show that calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus may help prevent fibroid growth.
Vitamins D and A may also do this and reduce the size of existing fibroids. Vitamins B1, B6, and E, along with magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids have also been known to help relieve bloating, cramping, and menstrual pain.
Herbal remedies can help reduce fibroid symptoms and, in some cases, possibly shrink fibroids, though further research is needed to confirm this and determine optimal dosages. Herbal remedies are not regulated by the FDA. They can also interact with both prescription drugs and other herbal remedies, so speak with your doctor before starting an herbal remedy regimen. Some herbal remedies to explore include:
- Guizhi fuling or Gui Zhi Fu Ling Tang, a formula used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), balances hormones, and contains the herbs:
- Ramulus cinnamomi
- Semen persicae
- Radix paeoniae rubra
- Radix paeoniae alba
- Cortex moutan
- Green tea (anti-inflammatory and antioxidant)
- Chasteberry, also called vitex, is used to treat a number of female reproductive issues
- Castor oil, psyllium husk, and senna (natural laxatives)
Consult your doctor before taking any type of herbal remedy or supplement. Keep a running list of everything you’re taking, including medications unrelated to your fibroids, and make sure that all your supplements and herbal remedies are from reputable sources and contain the highest quality ingredients.
In addition to tweaking your diet and using supplements and herbal remedies, controlling your blood pressure and managing stress can go a long way toward boosting your overall health and relieving fibroid symptoms. Help regulate your blood pressure by limiting salty foods and getting plenty of exercise. Increasing muscle and reducing body fat helps manage that, as well. Simple complementary care tips that you can use at home to manage stress include:
- Applying warm compresses to your back and stomach
- Relaxing in warm baths
- Doing yoga and gentle stretches
- Getting massages or other types of therapeutic bodywork
Your doctor can help you safely explore alternative or natural fibroid treatments, taking into consideration your age, lifestyle, and underlying health issues. The number, size, and location(s) of your fibroid(s) can also affect your choice of symptom management.
*Iftikhar, N. (2020, July 16). Natural Alternative Treatments for Uterine Fibroids: Do They Work? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/fibroids-natural-treatment#natural-treatment