Endometriosis is a common condition that occurs when the cells found in the uterine lining are found in different parts of the body such as the bladder, the ovaries, the bowels and even inside the tummy. As a result of this, every month these cells found in different parts of the body behave in the same way as those in the uterine lining – they accumulate and then breakdown and bleed.The difference between the two groups of cells is that those found in the uterus are let down as menstrual bleeding, yet those in other parts of the body have no way to escape. The result is inflammation, excruciating pain and scar tissue formation. This condition becomes chronic and debilitating, resulting in extremely painful and heavy periods.
Some of the symptoms that accompany endometriosis, in addition to the ones mentioned above, include extreme fatigue, pain during sexual intercourse, painful bowel movements and painful cramps. In addition to this, endometriosis often leads to depression and strained relationships.Granted, endometriosis may be difficult to diagnose at the onset as its symptoms may overlap with other pre-exisiting conditions. Presently, there is no cure for this condition, but there are various treatment options that aim at giving affected women a chance to lead a normal life. In addition to these treatment options, affected women may also use home remedies that target the symptoms of the condition and provide much needed relief. Below are some of the remedies available for use.
1. Sitz Bath:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Alternating baths with cold and warm water, 10 drops of lavender essential oil and a towel to dry.
One of the ways to manage the pain caused by endometriosis is to use a sitz bath whose varied temperatures will help soothe the pain and relax the muscles in the pelvic region. You will use the hot bath and the cold bath alternately. This in turn, helps to ease the pain and goes a long way in making the cramps far more bearable. The warmth of the water is a great way to relax the muscles.
Cold water in the other hand, is key in reducing inflammation and helps lower the pain. The essential oils are added because they help the body relax, an important part of the recovery journey since a stable state of mind helps the affected woman manage the condition better. Prepare the sitz bath by following the simple directions below.
- Fill two tubs with water – one with cold water and another with warm water.
- Add 10 drops of lavender essential oil to each tub and stir so that the oil is well distributed.
- Soak in the tub with hot water, making sure the water gets up to the waist level.
- Sit in the tub and massage your tummy area for about 5 minutes.
- Transfer to the cold tub and sit in it for a minute or two.
- Repeat the use of these alternate baths at least five times, for four days a week to ease the pain and inflammation.
NOTE: It is advisable to avoid this remedy on the days when menstruation occurs.
Time Required: 10 Min Prep, overnight soaking.
What You Need: 4 Tablespoons of flaxseed, 1 bowl of warm water and optional foods to add the seeds to.
Flaxseeds are recommended for women who suffer from endometriosis as they are rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. These are two potent nutrients required by the body for optimal cell function. In the cases of endometriosis, the nutrients have been shown to slow down the growth of endometrial tissue in the different parts of the body other than the uterine wall. What’s more, flaxseeds aid in body detoxification which comes in handy when the pain and inflammation becomes too much to handle. You may either soak the seeds or sprinkle them on your preferred fruit.
Soaking the Seeds Overnight
- Place the flaxseeds in a bowl of warm water and cover.
- Let the seeds soak overnight and then strain the mixture the next morning.
- Drink this water on an empty stomach.
- Use this remedy daily until you start noticing an improvement in the intensity of the symptoms.
Sprinkle the Seeds
- The other alternative is to grind the flaxseeds and add them to your food during mealtimes.
- Excellent options include smoothies, broth, fresh salads, yogurt and cereal.
3. Turmeric Spice:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon each of turmeric powder and ginger powder, 2 teaspoons each of raw organic honey and lemon juice each and 2 cups of hot water.
Turmeric is not only a great herb for culinary purposes; it is also an amazing natural remedy for the management of endometriosis symptoms. This is attributed to the presence of an active ingredient known as curcumin. Curcumin has potent anti-inflammatory properties that make it a befitting choice for pain management. Some studies show that turmeric may also possess anti-endometriotic properties. The most important thing to note when using turmeric is that it should not be taken alongside blood-thinning medication as it may have the opposite intended effect of the medicines given.
- Boil the water and set it aside.
- Mix the turmeric powder and ginger powder in an empty jug.
- Pour in the hot water and stir to allow the powders to dissolve.
- Stir in the honey and lemon juice until everything is well mixed.
- Drink this solution once daily until you are able to manage the symptoms of endometriosis with ease.
4. Get a Pelvic Massage:
Time Required: 20-30 Min
What You Need: Choice essential oil and warm bath to heat.
The purpose of getting a pelvic massage for the natural management of endometriosis revolves around relaxing and soothing the pelvic muscles to ease the pain. This massage targets the pelvic area as well as the lower abdomen. It is recommended that warm essential oil is used during this procedure for the simple reason that in the absence of the oil, one is predisposed to a lot of friction which not only causes discomfort, but can easily increase the pain and inflammation.
- Place the oil in a warm water bath to heat it and allow for easy use and application. The warmth of the oil also helps relax tense muscles.
- Lie flat on a bed and stretch out.
- Pour some of the warm essential oil on the tummy region and spread it before massaging.
- Carefully massage the skin in gentle circular motions for 10 minutes or so.
- Use this remedy once daily with the exception of days when there are menstrual periods to avoid worsening the symptoms as they can get really intense on period days.
5. Castor Oil Packs:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1/4 Cup of castor oil, 5 drops of lavender essential oil, a clean washcloth, a microwave to heat the pack, a plastic sheet as well as a hot water bottle.
Castor oil is one of the most popular home remedies for the natural management of endometriosis symptoms. It not only helps the body eliminate excessive tissues and toxins, it is also extremely helpful for reducing the severity of the accompanying symptoms during the cycle. This pack is simple to prepare, and when applied to the lower abdomen and pelvic area, helps reduce the pain and inflammation that is characteristic of the condition. Follow the simple directions below to prepare the pack and use the remedy.
- Add the lavender essential oil to the castor oil and stir to mix well.
- Place the washcloth in this mixture and soak it for a minute.
- Proceed to fold the wet oily washcloth and heat it in a microwave until it attains a comfortable temperature – it shouldn’t be too hot or too cool to touch.
- Put the warm cloth on the lower tummy region and then cover with a plastic sheet. The reason for doing so is that the plastic sheet traps the heat and allows the pack to be more effective.
- You will then place a hot water bottle on the plastic sheet to improve its efficiency.
- Use the pack for anywhere between half an hour and an hour.
- Rinse off the oil using warm water or use gentle wipes after each application.
- It is recommended that this pack is not used during menstrual flow.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 2 Teaspoons of freshly grated ginger root, a strainer and honey.
Just like turmeric, ginger is also an excellent home remedy for the management of pain in endometriosis. The gingerols present acts as anti-inflammatory compounds that provide relief from the painful cramps. Ginger also has the advantage of reducing nausea that affects some women. Lastly, it is also an excellent herb for liver cleansing. Prepare a cup of ginger tea as indicated below.
- Place the grated ginger root in a pan and pour 1.5 cups of water.
- Boil the mixture for 5 minutes and then turn off the heat so that it steeps for another few minutes.
- Strain the tea and stir in the honey.
- Drink this herbal tea thrice daily.
- Alternatively, chew on fresh ginger root pieces severally during the day.
7. Diet Changes:
Time Required: Varies depending on the choice foods
What You Need: Foods that alleviate inflammation
One of the most important aspects of managing endometriosis symptoms revolves around diet and choosing foods that help alleviate pain and inflammation. Foods that trigger inflammation must be eliminated from one’s diet. Common culprits in this category include processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, refined sugars and dairy. For a number of women, foods that increase estrogen production are also to be avoided as their estrogenic effects may make the symptoms more severe. As a general guide, following an anti-inflammatory diet with reduced estrogenic foods is helpful for women with endometriosis. Listed below are some of the ways to go about this natural approach.
Tips to Making Diet Changes
- As mentioned above, avoid foods which trigger inflammation. Instead, opt for anti-inflammatory foods whose nutrients help counter pain and inflammation. These foods include green leafy vegetables, beetroot, salmon, blueberries as well as celery. Other foods that are great in fighting inflammation include bone broth, walnuts, chia seeds and pineapple fruit.
- It also helps to take foods that are rich in Magnesium for the simple reason that Magnesium has been shown to reduce pain while soothing the uterine walls. Some excellent sources of Magnesium include avocados, bananas, almonds, spinach and black beans.
- Incorporate foods rich in iron because they help restore the levels of iron lost as a result of heavy menstrual periods. Iron-rich foods include liver, egg yolk, beef steak and collard greens.
- To reduce inflammation, it is also important to increase one’s intake of Omega-3 foods. The constituent healthy fats in these foods not only aid in hormone regulation, but also provide pain relief. Increase your dietary intake of sardines, tuna, salmon, walnuts and mackerel.
Other remedies that may be used to ease endometriosis symptoms include chamomile tea which helps with calming down, dandelion which helps with hormonal regulation as well as motherwort for its excellent anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to the aforementioned remedies, it is also key that women suffering from endometriosis find ways to manage stress. Increased stress levels lead to more production of the stress hormone cortisol, and this in turn reduces the amount of progesterone required to prevent extra-uterine endometrial cells from spreading to other parts of the body.
Some simple ways to do this include spending time in activities that allow for decompression such as journaling, meditation, spending time in the natural outdoors as well as sharing with one’s support system. While endometriosis has no cure, it is important to note that there are ways to manage its symptoms. In cases where the symptoms become extremely severe and home remedies fail, it is vital that affected women get immediate medical attention.