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
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
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
- 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
- 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.
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
- 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
- With very few exceptions, no woman is healthier without
her ovaries. So, even if you elect a hysterectomy, keep your ovaries.
2002, Susun S. Weed, reprinted here with express authorization from the author.
Susun Weed at: www.susunweed.com or www.menopause-metamorphosis.com.
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.
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.
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,
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.
books available at www.ash-tree-publishing.com
See also http://shrink-fibroids.info
January 10, 2012
you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it."
Feminist Women's Health Center