We are passion about drawing on the magic and medicine of the plant world to support our bodies in healthcare and in our many years of clinical practice we have seen all manor of ails supported and helped with herbal medicine
A large part of our practices is focused on women’s health and it is an area that has fascinated us, providing a complementary to the mainstream model is important especially since it is often surgery that is offer for certain conditions that herbs and nutrition can support sometimes leading to avoiding the surgery.
With the delicate balance of hormonal activity that creates the monthly cycle in a menstruating person, it is easy for this to be thrown out of balance.
Here we are looking a little at fibroids, what they are, possible root causes and herbal tips and support.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids are fibrous mass of tissue that can be any thing from very tiny like a pea to the size of a grapefruit or larger still. There can be one or several and they can be found on the inside wall of the uterus, within the muscle wall of the uterus, on the outer wall of the uterus or hanging from the outside of the uterus on a stem.
The symptoms can range from barely any at all to frequency of urination as the mass presses on the bladder, to intense or excruciating pain in the pelvic region or on sexual intercourse. Periods will usually be heavier and there may be bleeding or spotting between periods.
Fibroids are linked with an excess of oestrogen in the body. This can be a natural build up of oestrogen in the body, possibly through compromised liver function; the liver is where the sex hormones oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone are filtered or processed through.
Excess oestrogen can also be as a direct cause of external influences. There are high levels of phthalates found in food and water due to coming into contact with plastic, specially when the water has been heated or in direct sunlight. These compounds used in plastic production to increase flexibility and durability (amongst other properties) of the plastic. They can leach into food and water and cause havoc with the human hormonal system acting like oestrogen molecules. Many women and even young teenage find themselves on the high oestrogen contraceptive pill, either to control menstrual flow or as a contraceptive method. The long term affects of this can be great. For further reading look at The Pill by Alexandra Pope and Jane Bennett.
The oestrogen administered through the pill is in part excreted through the urine, straight into the water system and is not filtered out at water treatment plants. High levels of oestrogen can then be found in our tap water, which a large population drink, unfiltered, daily. Even opting for bottled water, unless in glass, can render high levels of oestrogen.
The Medical Approach
The medical approach is to leave fibroids as long as the symptoms are manageable, take hormonal interference pills or to operate removing them entirely or destroying their blood supply.
Natural and Herbal Alternatives
In Sensory Herbalism, the body is a map to help navigate your way to the root causes of disease. In our clinical practice, we often see that oestrogen excess has links with the mother daughter relationship. Now this is not always the case but the majority of times, exploring themes around this bares fruit within the healing process.
Lush for Ladies Tea
Healing, tonifying tea for the womb and reproductive system
1 teaspoon of Rose petals – soothing nervine
2 desert spoons of Raspberry leaf – womb and urinary tonic
2 desert spoons of Ladies Mantle – womb and urinary tonic
1 teaspoon of Yarrow – circulatory to the pelvic area, encouraging healing blood and the other herbs to reach the womb.
3 desert spoons Calendula – has its own phyto or plant oestrogen but these are much less powerful in their action and can block oestrogen receptors form some of the stronger oestrogen. It also has liver and lymphatic action for clearing and cleansing.
Note: this tea is not for during pregnancy
• Mix the herbs together
• Use one teaspoon of the blend per cup and infuse in boiling water for 5-10 mins
• Strain and drink for a nourishing tea. 1-3 cups daily for 2 weeks