Endometriosis is a painful disorder that affects over 10% of the women in the United States. Women with endometriosis have normal tissue that grows in abnormal places. Uterine tissue dislodges from the uterus and moves into other places in the body. Exact causes for endometriosis are unknown.
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Endometriosis is a condition where renegade uterine tissue attaches itself onto the ovaries, the intestines, or even the lungs and brain (although this is extremely rare.) Although the uterine tissue has moved, it still responds to hormonal changes by shedding a layer of blood every month (just like the uterus). This waste blood that should be flowing out of the body via the vagina doesn't have an outlet and causes serious problems.
Causes are currently unknown but studies suggest various contributing factors including excess estrogen, progesterone deficiency, venereal disease, magnesium deficiency, overuse of prednisone or steroid drugs, exposure to toxic chemicals, hypoglycemia, too many x-rays, high fat diet, constipation, dependence on IUDs for birth control, overuse of tampons, pelvic infections, excess amounts of caffeine, and alcohol consumption.
Symptoms include heavy menstrual bleeding, prolonged menstrual cycles, sharp pain, nausea, swelling, fluid retention, irritable bowels, insomnia, fatigue, depression, headaches, and infertility.
There are no quick fixes but by building up immunity and addressing hormonal imbalances much can be done to help.
Sharp pain can be soothed with valerian or bee balm tea. Sip slowly and try to relax. Another pain reliever, white oak bark, works like aspirin.
Adding 15 drops of rosemary essential oil to a warm bath can help stop pain. Many essential oils are useful in the treatment of endometriosis. Geranium essential oil, clary sage essential oil, angelica essential oil, oregano essential oil, chamomile essential oil , and thyme essential oil may help. Use in massage, bath, and aromatherapy.
Balance excess hormones with burdock, nettle, blackberry leaf, wild yam, or chasteberry tea. Chasteberry is usually included in the treatment of any menstrual problem and has been used by women for thousands of years due to its estrogen balancing properties.
A good blend to try is 1 teaspoon of dried chasteberry, 1 teaspoon of dried Echinacea root, 1 teaspoon of wild yam, 1 teaspoon of cramp bark, 1 teaspoon of blackberry leaf, and ½ teaspoon of motherwort. Simmer in a quart of water for 15 minutes. Strain and drink four to six ounces several times per day.
Cramps can often be relieved with white willow bark tea . Sometimes a gentle massage can also help. Use lavender or rosemary essential oil in an almond oil base and rub in large circular motions.
Reducing body fat and eliminating caffeine should be top priority. Exercise and get a little early morning sunshine daily. Other herbs to try during treatment include black cohosh, dandelion leaf, ginger, evening primrose oil, borage oil, and milk thistle seed.
* Always consult with your healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy. People taking dopamine related medications should avoid chasteberry.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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