Help for Women With Fibroids

By Susun Weed

Wise Woman herbal and home remedies are simple, safe ways to help yourself when you have a diagnosis of uterine fibroids.

Uterine fibroids are solid muscle tissue growths in the uterus. They are also called fibroid tumors, myomas, or leiomyomas. Fibroids occur so frequently (in up to half of all women over forty) that they could be considered a normal irregularity. The occasional fibroid can become enormous (medical literature reports one that was 100 pounds!), but the majority (80%) remain as small as a walnut.

Fibroids are the number one reason American women have hysterectomies.

The causes of uterine fibroids are unknown, but estrogens, especially estradiol, promote their growth. After menopause fibroids disappear. But because estrogen levels can rise during the early menopausal years, previously asymptomatic fibroids may grow in the years just before the cessation of menses, resulting in symptoms such as feeling of heaviness in the belly, low back pain, pain with vaginal penetration, urinary frequency or incontinence, bowel difficulties, or severe menstrual pain and flooding.

Women of color are three to nine times more likely to have fibroids than white women, and theirs will grow more quickly.

Fibroid tumors are not cancer, not malignant. Tumor means a swelling or a growth, not a malignancy, not cancer. Less than 0.1% of all uterine fibroids are malignant.

Small fibroids often disappear spontaneously. Larger fibroids are more difficult to resolve, but not impossible to control with natural measures.

  • The "root chakra" (lowermost energy center in the body, which includes the uterus) said to store unexpressed anger. It is believed that any unwanted growths in these organs can be countered by allowing the anger to safely discharge.

  • One woman's fibroids (and menstrual cramps) disappeared within three months of beginning a vigorous exercise program. Exercise helps insure regular ovulation, and irregular ovulation seems to worsen fibroids.

  • Consuming three or more servings of whole grains or beans daily not only reduces the size of fibroids but offers protection from breast and endometrial cancers as well.

  • Red clover flowers (Trifolium pratense), are one of my favorite infusions, but use during the menopausal years may increase difficulty with fibroids.

  • Strengthening the liver with herbs such as dandelion, milk thistle seed, or yellow dock root helps it metabolize estrogen out of the body, thus reducing fibroids.

  • Vitex or chasteberry tincture, 25-30 drops two to four times daily, often shrinks small fibroids within two months. But results come from long-term use - up to two years.

  • Ask someone to burn moxa over the area of the fibroid while you envision the heat releasing the treasures in your uterus. What is locked up in this fibroid? What can you give birth to?

  • Acupuncture treatments can shrink fibroids.

  • Poke root (Phytolacca americana), used internally as a tincture (1-10 drops per day; start small) and externally as a belly rub oil, has gained a reputation as a profound helper in relieving pain and distresses from fibroids. CAUTION: Poke is considered poisonous; it is not often found for sale. This is one remedy you may have to make yourself to try.

  • Warm castor oil packs on the belly, or ginger compresses (soak a towel in hot ginger water) relieve pain and help shrink the fibroids.

  • The use of progesterone to treat women with uterine fibroids is hotly debated. One side holds that fibroids are created by lack of progesterone. The other side makes, to my mind, the better case: that progesterone increases fibroids. Evidence? Fibroids increase in size during pregnancy, when progesterone production is high, and atrophy after menopause, when progesterone levels decrease. Whichever side is right, eating more whole grains and beans usually changes estrogen/progesterone ratio for the better and shrinks fibroids.

  • Reduce fibroids by reducing your exposure to estrogen: avoid birth control pills, ERT/HRT, estrogen-mimicing residues from herbicides and pesticides used on food crops (eat organically-raised products). Tampons that are bleached with chlorine may mimic the bad effects of estrogen, too.

  • Lupron (leuprolide acetate), a drug which induces "artificial menopause"by shutting down the body's production of estradiol causes a significant decrease in fibroid size within 8-12 weeks. Fibroids do regrow to about 90 percent of their original size when the drug is withdrawn however.

  • Major advances have been made in surgical treatments for women with fibroids. There are many options now besides hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), including hysteroscopic resection, uterine embolization, myomectomy, and suprecervical hysterectomy. Since these are fairly new procedures, take the time to find a surgeon who is skilled in the procedure.

  • Hysterectomy can be a life-saving procedure, but by the age of sixty, more than one-third of American women will have given up their wombs to the surgeons. The presence of non-symptomatic fibroids is never sufficient reason, to my mind, for a hysterectomy. Of my students and apprentices who have had hysterectomies because of fibroids, those who "did their homework" - that is, helped themselves before and after their surgery with all the tools at their disposal - seemed to fare much better than those who did not.

  • With very few exceptions, no woman is healthier without her ovaries. So, even if you elect a hysterectomy, keep your ovaries.

copyright 2002, Susun S. Weed, reprinted here with express authorization from the author.

Visit Susun Weed at: or For permission to reprint this article, contact Susan Weed

Susun Weed's books include:

Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year Author: Susun S. Weed. Simple, safe remedies for pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and newborns. Includes herbs for fertility and birth control. Foreword by Jeannine Parvati Baker. 196 pages, index, illustrations.

Healing Wise Author: Susun S. Weed. Superb herbal in the feminine-intuitive mode. Complete instructions for using common plants for food, beauty, medicine, and longevity. Introduction by Jean Houston. 312 pages, index, illustrations.

NEW Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way Author: Susun S. Weed. The best book on menopause is now better. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD. Foreword by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 304 pages, index, illustrations. For more great info on menopause, visit:

Breast Cancer? Breast Health! Author: Susun S. Weed. Foods, exercises, and attitudes to keep your breasts healthy. Supportive complimentary medicines to ease side-effects of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or tamoxifen. Foreword by Christiane Northrup, M.D. 380 pages, index, illustrations.

All books available at

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January 10, 2012

"If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it."
— Margaret Fuller

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