There are natural solutions to treat your uterine fibroids.
And there are also natural treatments to address your heavy periods, your depression, your terrible sleep, your brain fog, and more…
Natural Treatment to shrink uterine fibroids
If you have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, and you have spoken to any (cis)female friends or family members about it, you’re probably starting to realize how common these are. In fact, 30-50% of women will have a fibroid at some point in their life. 80% of African American women will have uterine fibroids by age 50, 70% in Caucasian women >50 and 40% >35 yo.
The good news is that less than 1% of fibroids will develop into a malignant (cancerous) form, so for management options it most often comes down to the size and the symptoms related to the fibroid.
The key to treating fibroids naturally is the metabolism and modification of estrogen and progesterone.
So, what causes uterine fibroids?
Fibroids are noncancerous (benign), muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. Uterine fibroids have many names which include: myomas, leiomyomas, and fibromyomas. The medical terminology changes depending on the structure and location of the fibroid.
Fibroids appear to start because of genetic variations and hereditary predisposers, but the rapid growth of fibroids happens because of the rise of estrogen in our menstrual cycle. Fibroids will regress and cease their growth in menopause, due to the dramatic drop in estrogen once you have been without a period for a full year.
Uterine fibroids grow under the influence of estrogen, which can be modified through diet and natural based supplements. Targets in your diet should include high fiber, low saturated fats, low alcohol, and low simple carbohydrates.
Uterine fibroids and chemicals
The chemicals we put in and onto our body also contribute to the growth of fibroids. Chemicals such as organophosphates (pesticides), PCP’s and BPA should be cut from your diet and lifestyle, or reduced as much as possible.
Want to learn more about these chemicals? Follow Environmental Working Group’s Clean 15 and Dirty dozen rule and buy organic for foods on the dirty dozen: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/
Learn more about PCPs:
Learn about BPA:
How large is “too large” for natural medicine to shrink uterine fibroids?
If a uterine fibroid is over 6 cm in diameter, natural medicine options may not be the right choice for your treatment. Fibroids this large typically do not have a quick enough response to natural treatment, and are large enough that they are causing symptoms including digestive distress and pain.
Depending on your symptoms related to the fibroid(s) you could start with natural treatment for a trial of 3-6 months, but if symptoms and/or the size of the fibroid isn’t shifting by 6 months into treatment, then surgical options should be explored.
What are natural treatment options for fibroids?
- Green tea extract
- Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) or DIM
- Castor oil packs: applied to area of abdomen and over the area of your liver, 20 minutes every day. View my handout.
- Ground Flax Seeds
- Quit Smoking
- Weight Loss
What herbs are used to treat uterine fibroids?
Vitex: This herb helps to reduce estrogen levels and therefore shrink the uterine fibroid.
Ginger and turmeric: help to shrink fibroids because of the anti-inflammatory effect of these herbs.
Scutellaria barbata (Skullcap): This herb acts as an aromatase inhibitor (helps to reduce estrogen levels) and inhibits the growth of fibroids.
Leonurus cardiaca (Motherwort): to shrink fibroids
Viburnum opulous (Cramp bark): to help with pain and cramping associated with fibroids
Liver supportive herbs to help metabolize estrogen: Milk Thistle, Artichoke, Yellow dock, Burdock root, Red root.
Achillea millefolium (Yarrow): this is used to help control bleeding in women with heavy periods.
Rubus idaeus (Red Raspberry): classic uterine tonic, indicated for fibroids
What diet is best to treat uterine fibroids?
Plant based or pescatarian diet.
A high fiber diet since fiber helps to detox and remove excess estrogen from your system. Aim to get at least 30 grams of fiber per day
Low saturated fats.
Low simple, refined carbohydrates.
High in Cruciferous Vegetables. A diet high in cruciferous vegetables can help with the metabolism of estrogen which can help shrink your fibroids. Be careful with high doses of these veggies if you have hypothyroidism, as high consumption of these foods could increase your needs for more medication. Cruciferous veggies include: Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, rutabaga, turnips, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, arugula, horseradish, radishes, wasabi, and watercress.
Avoid foods high in organopesticides. Refer to EWG’s guide on the clean 15/dirty dozen for more information on foods that are important to buy organic: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/
How long does it take to shrink uterine fibroids naturally?
With the protocols we use in our practice, we typically see at least a 50% reduction in size in the first 3 months. We will track the size of the fibroid(s) via a pelvic ultrasound every 3 months to see that we are getting traction.
If the fibroid isn’t shrinking as expected, or there are concerning symptoms arising from the large fibroid, then we’ll either change up the plan or refer to a gynecologist for removal of the fibroid(s).
Does natural medicine work to shrink uterine fibroids?
Yes, when fibroids are less than 6cm in diameter a comprehensive natural treatment plan that addresses diet, lifestyle, and utilizes herbs and evidence-based supplements to shrink fibroids works!
This is about putting you back in charge of your health, giving you the tools to take control, and giving you the knowledge and power to know what helps you feel like the best version of yourself.
We are here to help guide you. We promise to listen, come up with a comprehensive treatment plan, and to give you one of the best experiences you have ever had at a doctor’s office.
Have more questions?
Be an informed, active participant in your own healthcare.
Sign up for my monthly emails to learn more about specific health concerns and updates on new natural treatment protocols.
Dr. Sara Norris is a Naturopathic Doctor serving California & Wisconsin residents (see our FAQs page for a list of all states we can see patients in) specializing in women’s health, hormones, skin, digestive health, and pediatrics. Dr. Norris offers in person visits at her Wisconsin based practice, and telemedicine for residents of other states.