UTERINE FIBROIDS (or uterine myomas). The use of herbal and botanical medicine.
This article discusses the following paragraphs:
- Prevalence of uterine fibroids in women.
- When is surgery required for the fibroids?
- What herbs are most effective for fibroids and why?
- Referral for herbalism.
1. Prevalence of uterine fibroids in women.
Uterine fibroids – is one of the most urgent and burning issues of women’s health. At the moment, fibroids are detected in 3.2% of all women over 30 years of age. In those who have gynecological pathology, fibroids occur much more often, in 12-20% of cases. The predominant occurrence is in women over 40 years of age.
Malignant degeneration of fibroids occurs in 1.5-5% of cases, in 2% there is a combination of fibroids and endometrial cancer.
2. When is surgery required for the fibroids?
Infertility occurs in 40% of cases in patients with fibroids due to the previous disorder of the ovaries with the formation of the menstrual cycle by the type of anovulatory (absence of ovulation).
What is the fibroids?
Fibroids (fibromyoma) – is a benign hormone-dependent tumor that develops from muscle and connective tissue elements of the uterus.
“Hormone-dependent” term reflects the modern view on the nature of fibroids. It is believed that the tumor occurs as a result of excessive stimulation of the uterus tissues to growth. This stimulation is performed by the hormones that are called estrogen. These hormones are normally produced by the ovaries in the first phase of the menstrual cycle. However, their task is to cause the growth of hormone-dependent tissue is significantly limited by progesterone, which is another ovarian hormone (the second phase of the cycle).
In the climacteric period, when the role of the ovaries is reduced, the main source of estrogen comes from male sex hormones androgens. In women during the climacteric period the predominant supplier of androgens are the adrenal glands.
The androgens secreted into the blood enter the adipose tissue, where they are converted (by aromatization) into estrogens (mainly oestrone).
Thus, uterine fibroids is a hormone-dependent tumor. Its growth depends on the balance of hormones in the body. Certain types of herbs can influence this balance.
Thus, despite the decrease in ovarian function, the level of estrogen in the blood can be quite high in order to support the growth of fibroids, especially in women with pronounced subcutaneous and visceral fatty tissue (overweight or obesity). The shortage of progesterone leads to a situation characterized by a constant stimulation of the uterus tissues. Overgrowth occurs and growth into fibroids.
However, a spontaneous decrease in the size of fibroids in postmenopausal women is a frequent phenomenon. The reason, as we said above, is the age-related decrease in estrogen levels.
It should also be noted that the development of fibroids are influenced by many other reasons: previous gynecological pathology, infertility, anovulatory menstrual cycles, some environmental factors, neuropsychiatric stress and presence of chronic pathology of the internal organs.
Uterine fibroids are classified according to the location of knots:
- Subserous fibroids – a knot under the serous membrane of the uterus from its outer surface;
- Intramural fibroids – a knot in the thickness of the uterus muscles;
- Submucous fibroids – the knot under the mucous membrane of the uterus (closer to the internal cavity);
- Intraligamentary fibroids – the knot is located in the ligament of the uterus.
Separately, a diffuse form of fibroids is allocated, when the knots are absent and the growth acquires an unformed diffuse character.
The main symptoms of fibroids are:
- Uterine bleeding in the form of excessive menstruation or even outside of the menstruation cycle.
- The pain, which may be associated with menstruation, or are permanents, are localized, usually in the lower abdomen or the lower back.
In addition to bleeding, fibroids can be complicated by the birth of a submucous knot with its necrosis and an abscess; or by twisting the leg of the subserous knot, also with its subsequent necrosis.
The question that most often interests patients, and is crucial to the subject of our conversation: when to operate and when can be treated conservatively.
It is clear that the operation in case of complications is strictly necessary to save the life of the patient.
There are indications for scheduled surgery. They are:
- Submucosal location of the knot, which creates a threat of hard to stop bleeding, as well as the birth of the knot;
- Development of secondary anemia, which is deficiency of blood, developing due to heavy bleeding caused by fibroids;
- Subserous knot on the leg (risk of twisting);
- Violation of the adjacent organs, for example, the bladder;
- Rapid tumor growth (for more than 5 weeks in a year);
- The growth of tumor at the menopause when menstruation has stopped;
- Infertility in the absence of other causes;
- Severe pains.
What herbs are most effective for fibroids and why?
In all these cases you can try to first achieve a therapeutic effect through the use of medicinal plants. With their inefficiency, you can decide on the operation. The management of such patients should be very scrupulous and attentive, with constant monitoring by the gynecologist.
Who does not need a surgery?
Women with small size of fibroids (less than 14 weeks), in the absence or low severity of symptoms, as well as the intramural location of the knot, do not need surgery and accordingly can fully use herbal medicine for treatment.
So, whenever uterine fibroids are under observation of the gynecologist, in the absence of indications for surgery, it’s necessary to use herbs.
So, what are the directions you need to implement during the herbal treatment of uterine fibroids?
Directions for herbal treatment
First of all, treating the tumor itself. Non-specific antitumor plants and so called queen cells are used.
Under the name of non-specific means such antitumor plants, which are aimed at the destruction of the tumor, regardless of its location. In other words, these plants are prescribed for all tumors, including for uterine fibroids. This category includes plants such as Jungar and Baikal fighters, Spotted hemlock, Marsh cinquefoil, White misletoe, Red fly-agaric and American lakonos. In most cases, alcohol (vodka) extracts from these plants are used. They are drip dosed depending on the type of plant.
As you can see, most of these plants (with the exception of the Marsh cinquefoil) are poisonous. The use of such herbs should be extremely careful.
Oddly enough, the best among them, for treating the uterine fibroids, are Red fly-agaric and Spotted hemlock. I say, oddly enough, because the anti-tumor properties of the Spotted hemlock are very mild, despite the general agitation against this plant. At the same time, uterine fibroids are treatable with a hemlock.
Other kind of antitumor herbs that are used in the treatment of fibroids are called the queen cells. Obviously, it is a national name. It perfectly describes these plants and their area of application. Among such plants we must mention Ordinary shandra, Orthilia secunda, European lycopus, Cotton thistle, Mad cucumber, Stinking meadow rue, Cleavers (Gallium aparine)and some others.
These herbs have two significant advantages over the first group of antitumor plants. Namely:
Firstly, they are in most cases non-toxic, and therefore are quiet suitable for use as self-medication.
Secondly, these plants specifically act on the uterine tumors. Although I need to comment here, so I will not delay to do so. Based on some scientific data, knowing the biochemical composition of the queen cells, as well as analyzing the experience of their use, I assume that their selective effect on the uterus is associated with ability to regulate hormonal levels. So, the function of the thyroid gland is regulated by the presence of certain iodine compounds in their composition. Obviously, not every plant containing iodine is suitable for the treatment of fibroids. However, the use of such iodine containing herbs as Beggar tick, Walnut and Laminaria often gives a positive result. It demonstrates anti gonadotropinum effect. Birch and Huckleberry reduce insulin resistance, thereby indirectly helping to eliminate the anabolic effect of insulin on the tumor, etc.
Another group of antitumor plants is used for the uterine fibroids, which are the regulators of trophism of the connective tissue: Knotgrass (Polygonum aviculare), Horsetail and Lungwort medicinal.
The need for their use is due to the fact that excessive growth of connective fibrous tissue is often associated with improper operation of the so-called connective tissue macrophages. These are the cells whose distinctive feature is the ability to produce special substances that stimulate the activity of fibrotic processes in the organ.
Their other very important role is that they are first to be found with foreign microorganisms, particles and also with atypical tumor cells. As a result (normally), all the necessary mechanisms of the immune system are launched to eliminate the problem that has arisen (see the previous article).
There are several types of macrophages and as noted by the homeopaths and other attentive doctors, their activity depends on the presence of silicon molecules. The plants listed above contain this chemical element in their composition.
In the light of what has been said about the macrophages, it becomes clear that the use of immunomodulators and adaptogens is becoming more important. The meaning of its action and effects of these plants we have discussed in the last article. Therefore, I will simply list them: Eleutherococcus spiny, Rhodiola rosea and Four partial, Leuzea safflower, Manchurian aralia, Hedysarum tea and so on.
The second treatment direction is the regulation of the menstrual cycle. It is clear that menstrual disorders can be different. Depending on the type of disorder, different plants are used. When menstruation is delayed, Aristolochia tincture or decoctions of Tansy flowers are given; for painful menstruation – Alchemilla medicinal, Pharmacy chamomile and Common hops; for early menstruations – Sleep grass. During menstruation followed by swelling, Sweet woodruff is helpful. For atonic uterus, Field of clove and Oregano ordinary are used.
The third therapeutic direction, relevant for uterine fibroids is elimination of the uterine bleeding. For this purpose, plants are used that have long and firmly entered into gynecological and obstetric practice: Stringing nettle, Shepherd’s bag, Yarrow plant and Amur barberry.
The mechanism of hemostatic action here is twofold. Yarrow plant and Shepherd’s bag enhance the blood clotting. Stringing nettle also has this mechanism. However, in addition to this, Stringing nettle just like the Amur barberry lead to a sharp spasm of the uterine vessels, and as the result the bleeding stops.
And finally, here’s the fourth direction. It is a topical treatment aimed at enhancing the effect of prescribed herbs. Methods of treatment can be different: syringing, tampons, poultices and others. Depending on what action should be achieved, the plants are chosen. For example, for an antitumor effect, douching with decoction of Yellow dock root or Cleavers (Gallium aparine) is recommended, to reduce the pain-Pharmacy chamomile will work.
Poultice is used externally, by placing it on the lower abdomen. The basic of the poultice is any substance that retains heat for a long time and does not interfere with the absorption of the medicinal substance. It is customary to use baked onion, undercooked Barley porridge, Hominy (Corn porridge), decoctions of mucus – containing plants, such as Flax seeds, Althea root, Mallow flower forest, Malva sylvestris, warm infusion of Iceland moss (Cetraria Islandica) and others.
To prepared poultice base, tinctures and decoctions of medicinal plants are added, for example: Tributary medicinal (Melilotus officinalis), Blackroot medicinal (Cynoglóssum officinále, Boraginaceae and others.
For the preparation of tampons the same medicinal plants are used in the form of decoction, ointments and oils.
An example of the therapeutic scheme:
Decoction of herbs for taking internally:
- Alchemilla medicinal
- White mistletoe
- Yarrow plant
- Stringing nettle
- Oregano ordinary
- Cleavers (Gallium aparine)
Take the herbs and equally split them, mix. 1 tablespoon per 200 ml of water, keep for 15 minutes on water bath, set aside, strain and bring to the initial volume.
Drink 1/3 cup 3 times a day before meals for 1.5 months. Repeat after 2-3 weeks. The general course is 5-6 months.
External poultice: boil the Barley porridge (undercook). Take 200 grams of porridge, pour in it 30-50 ml of pre-cooked decoction from Tributary medicinal flowers and stir. Wrap in a linen or paper cloth and place on the lower abdomen. Do this procedure once daily for 5-7 days in the row.