Natural Options for Endometriosis

Quincy AdamEndometriosis Treatments, Natural Options

If you’ve been to the doctor seeking relief from endometriosis, you were probably prescribed birth control pills, progesterone, Danazol or Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists.1

All of these medications are designed to alter or reduce levels of hormones that contribute to the development of endometriosis. Unfortunately, not all women find these medications to be effective. Other women experience unpleasant side effects such as weight gain, acne, hot flashes, headaches and depression.

For women seeking alternative options, Chinese medicine has a long and rich history of using herbal supplements, acupuncture and other natural therapies to treat endometriosis. Now, modern medicine is beginning to confirm the benefits of these treatments in controlled scientific studies.

Herbal remedies

Chinese herbal products combine a dozen or more separate ingredients into capsules, dried herbal extracts, or boiled “decoctions.” Among the recently studied combinations of herbs for endometriosis are:

  • Xuefu Zhuyu decoction (XZD) – A clinical trial showed that XZD could relieve painful periods almost as effectively as Mifepristone (a drug that blocks progesterone): 90% of women experienced relief in the Mifepristone group and 73% of women in the XZD group, after 3 months of treatment. 2
  • Xiaochaihu decoction (XCHD): Studies in mice and rats showed XCHD could reduce the serum estradiol levels and directly inhibit the growth of the ectopic endometrium. 2
  • Qu Yi Kang (QYK): has been show to alleviate the symptom of painful periods by up to 90% and shrink endometriotic lesions in up to 86.67% of patients. 2
  • Yi Wei Ning (YWN): One study showed that YWN can significantly shrink endometrial lesions and relieve painful periods by up to 93.48% for women with endometriosis. 2

In addition to these decoctions, numerous herbal extracts have been commonly used in China to treat endometriosis, and today they are readily available online. Among them are turmeric, a spice native to India and known for its anti-inflammatory properties; puerarin, found in the kudzu vine that commonly grows wild in the Southern United States; resveratrol found in grapes and wine; ginsenoside Rg3, which is derived from the ginseng plant; and green tea.

Natural remedies for endometriosis:

1 National Institutes of Health. Treatment for Endometriosis. Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Endometriosis.