Fibroids are non-cancerous growths in the uterus that vary greatly in size and shape.
Some women may develop extremely large fibroids that lead to severe symptoms, such as pain and heavy menstrual bleeding, while others experience no symptoms at all.
Unfortunately, conventional therapies may not always be effective in treating fibroids; therefore, we need to be informed about alternative methods to shrink these benign tumors.
In this article, we will briefly cover the causes of fibroids. After that, we will take a look at how acupuncture and herbs can help shrink your fibroids.
The causes of fibroids
The exact causes of fibroid growth are still unclear; however, researchers managed to identify the following risk factors:
The primary two reproductive hormones are estrogen and progesterone, which get produced by the ovaries. The action of these hormones leads to the cyclic shedding and regeneration of the uterine lining. Therefore, any imbalance predisposes the patient to develop fibroids.
Fibroids have a genetic component that runs in families. In other words, if you have a family member with this condition, your risk becomes higher.
Pregnancy interferes with the production of estrogen and progesterone, which may trigger the growth of fibroids.
Who is at risk for fibroids?
Women with the following traits are at a higher risk of developing fibroids:
- Age of 30 or older
- A high body mass index (BMI)
- Menstrual cycles beginning at an early age
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Drinking alcohol regularly
- A diet high in red meat and low in green vegetables, fruit and dairy
Acupuncture and fibroids
Acupuncture may help your fibroids in two ways – Shrinking their size and relieving the pain they cause.
According to one study, researchers found taking herbal medicines with acupuncture has more effects on fibroids’ size compared to conventional treatment – Mifepristone and corticosteroids.
While the exact mechanism of action that makes acupuncture effects is still unclear, researchers believe that this therapy prevents the obstruction of blood circulation. With proper blood circulation, you are less likely to develop new growths in the pelvic area. Ideally, you would combine acupuncture with herbs to get a synergized effect.
When it comes to pain relief, current theories suggest that acupuncture uses the same metabolic pathways as opioids to suppress pain.
Additionally, acupuncture seems to lower the concentrations of calcitonin gene-related peptide and calcitonin. Both substances are powerful triggers of pain.
In summary, acupuncture directly affects the pain biochemical pathways, which explains its analgesic effects.
Herbal medicine to shrink fibroids
According to some research studies, there are several herbal remedies that can shrink fibroids and prevent their regrowth. However, more research is necessary to confirm the effects of these substances and their potential incorporation into pharmacological drugs.
Here is a list of some herbal remedies with fibroid-shrinking properties:
Green tea is loaded with chemicals known as flavanols, which are potent antioxidants.
The chemicals reduce the damage done to the cell by oxidative stress, which significantly lowers your risk of several ailments.
In one study, researchers inspected the effects of green tea extract on 33 females with fibroids. The participants took daily doses of green tea (800 milligrams) or a placebo for 4 months.
The authors of the study reported that green tea extract improved the symptoms of fibroids and shrunk their size relative to the group who took a placebo.
With that said, more research is warranted to confirm this effect and start prescribing green tea for fibroids.
Resveratrol is a chemical produced by plants during times of stress (e.g., infection, harsh environment). Blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, and grapes all contain high concentrations of resveratrol.
According to research, resveratrol stops the growth of cells found in uterine fibroids. The effects were observed in laboratory settings and showed impressive results.
Fortunately, the consumption of resveratrol is safe, which means you can consume this substance with little to no side effects.
For safety’s sake, you can ask your OB-GYN whether it is appropriate to take resveratrol for your condition.
Curcumin (the active compound of turmeric)
Curcumin is one of the best anti-inflammatory compounds out there. It reduces inflammation, oxidative stress, and immune dysfunction.
Researchers suggest that curcumin can destroy the cells that compose fibroids and stop them from reproducing.
Once again, the research in this field is limited to laboratory studies. We need more clinical studies before drawing any conclusions.
Chasteberry, or vitex, is a common herbal remedy for heavy menstrual bleeding and painful periods.
This herbal remedy balances the levels of estrogen and progesterone, which significantly improves the symptoms of fibroids.
Unfortunately, scientists have not yet looked into the effects of chasteberry on fibroids in clinical settings.
Mixture of teas
For optimal results, you may want to mix more than one ingredient to produce an effective formula against fibroids.
Some of these ingredients include milk thistle, dandelion root, and nettle. Mix them with green tea to get the best possible home remedy for fibroids.
The overall goal of mixing ingredients should be to promote healthy circulation to the uterus and detoxify the body from debris of fibroids.
To avoid interaction between chemicals, make sure to consult your doctor or pharmacist before drinking the mixture.
Traditional Chinese medicine
Several herbal remedies used in traditional Chinese medicine showed an influential impact on the size and growth rate of fibroids.
For instance, one herbal formula known as Guizhi fuling or Gui Zhi Fu Ling Tang contains a combination of herbs that could potentially shrink uterine fibroids and balance your female hormones.
The formula consists of:
- Semen persicae
- Radix paeoniae rubra
- Radix paeoniae alba
- Ramulus cinnamomi
- Cortex moutan
Fibroids are common non-cancerous growths that affect millions of women around the world. Using acupuncture and herbs to shrink these growths and limit their symptoms is one of the best natural approaches.
Hopefully, this article managed to shed some light on the alternative methods that can successfully reduce the size or remove fibroids from your uterus.
If you have any questions or concerns about the acupuncture of the herbs listed above, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and reach out to us via email@example.com
By Dr. Kuoting Lee, LAc, DAIM