A ganglion cyst is a term used to refer to a swelling that develops just above the joint and sometimes on the covering of the tendon (a tendon is the tissue that connects the bone to the muscle). This type of a swelling may also be referred to as Bible cyst. These cysts vary remarkably in size, creating a great difference in the texture. Some ganglion cysts feel spongy while others are a little firmer.
These cysts will typically contain a thick viscous liquid whose consistency is jellylike. Depending on the type of cyst, one may have a single large one develop, or several tiny ones. With the latter, there is always the appearance of multiple cysts, but the fact that they have a common stalk embedded inside means they are multiple cysts.
Ganglion cysts are more common in women, and usually occur between 20 and 40 years. These cysts often develop at the back of the hand right at the wrist joint. The cysts are easy to spot when you flex the wrist forward. Sometimes, however, the cysts develop on the palm side of the wrist, at the base of the fingers, at the fingertip as well as within the knee and ankle.
It is important to mention that the cost of ganglion cysts remains unknown to date, but it is believed that the cysts often develop following trauma to the joint. This trauma causes the tissues in the joint to degrade, creating tiny cysts that join to form a bigger mass. Another school of thought opines that a structural flaw in the sheath of the tendon causes the tissue to protrude outwards, thus forming the cysts.
Some of the symptoms of a ganglion cyst include a mass that changes in size but typically does not move, a swelling that often recedes after some time only to come back later, as well as some degree of pain. This pain is usually felt when the joint is in motion.
The good news is that these cysts will often respond to home remedies in mild cases. Severe cases of the cyst development, and which are often accompanied by intense pain, may require surgical intervention to alleviate the problem. Below are some of the home remedies which are recommended for the natural treatment of ganglion cysts. Remember, if the cyst does not seem to improve over a period of time, it is always advisable to get medical attention.
1. Warm Compress:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A clean washcloth and warm water in a basin.
One of the simplest home remedies that you can use to treat ganglion cysts and ease the discomfort of the same is a warm water compress. The reason why the compress is used while warm is because it improves circulation in the affected region, and this in turn works to enhance the drainage of fluid contained in the cysts. The warmth of the compress also goes a long way in providing pain relief from the cysts. This is a simple remedy that can be used as many times as required.
- Soak the clean washcloth in the warm water for a few minutes and squeeze out the excess water.
- Place the warm compress on the affected skin for some 10 minutes.
- Repeat step 1 above when the compress cools down.
- Use this remedy daily until the cyst disappears on its own.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: An inch of fresh ginger root, a cup of water and 1 tablespoon of honey.
Ginger is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory home remedies available for the natural treatment of ganglion cysts. It is especially effective in the management of cysts that cause pain and discomfort when the affected joint is in motion. If your cyst causes immense pain, you may need to prepare fresh ginger tea to ease the pain and inflammation. Studies show that ginger herb is able to achieve this due to its ability to block the activity of pain-mediating compounds in the body. Use the simple directions below to manage ganglion cysts naturally.
- Peel an inch of fresh ginger root and proceed to cut it into small slices.
- Place the ginger slices in a cup of water and transfer to a pan.
- Boil the mixture for a couple of minutes and turn down the heat to let the mixture simmer for a few minutes.
- Strain the tea and stir in some honey to sweeten it.
- Take this ginger tea daily until the pain is manageable and the cyst starts to reduce in size.
3. Turmeric Powder:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: Fresh turmeric juice to be used topically and some cotton wool.
Just like ginger, turmeric is also an excellent home remedy for the management of pain in ganglion cysts. For this reason, the topical application of the herbal juice is meant to provide pain relief as well as reduce the inflammation within the affected tendon. Turmeric is able to achieve this thanks to the presence of the main active ingredient known as curcumin. While this treatment may be used in supplement form, it is extremely important to ensure that a doctor is consulted first. This is because turmeric intake can easily interact with medicines used for thinning blood, thus posing a risk to the patient.
- Soak the cotton wool in the turmeric juice and squeeze the excess juice.
- Dab the soaked wool on the ganglion cyst and massage gently for a few minutes.
- Repeat this as often as you need to, but especially when you experience pain flare-ups.
4. Frankincense Oil:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Frankincense oil, a dropper and a soft bandage.
Frankincense oil is recommended for the natural treatment of ganglion cysts, thanks to its ability to shrink the size of the cyst. The oil is applied topically for it to be effective in treating the cysts, and must not be consumed orally. The oil’s astringent properties make it a reliable remedy which, when used consistently, has shown great benefits for treating ganglion cysts. It is also thought that frankincense oil may be helpful in managing the pain associated with the cysts. Use the simple procedures below for this natural remedy.
- Using a dropper, place two drops of the frankincense oil at the site of the ganglion cyst.
- Spread the oil so that it covers the entire protrusion.
- You will then cover the oil using a clean bandage.
- Use this remedy once daily and remember to change the bandage every day.
- Repeat this procedure until the cyst has shrunk in size.
- You may also opt to use the oil for a little longer to prevent the recurrence of the cysts after recovery.
5. Used Black Tea Bags:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A black teabag and a cup of warm water.
Did you know that in addition to getting rid of puffy swollen eyes, you may also use black teabags for the natural treatment of ganglion cysts? The tannins present in the tea bag are acidic in nature, and this helps with the healing process of the ganglion. The tea bags are also rich in anti-inflammatory properties which provide much-needed relief from the pain and swelling that characterizes the cysts. Below are the simple procedures to use.
- Place the tea bag in warm water and let it steep for about 2 minutes.
- Remove the teabag and squeeze it to get rid of the excess water.
- Place the moist and warm teabag directly on top of the ganglion cyst and gently press in for 5 minutes.
- Repeat this step severally for a couple of days until the condition starts to improve.
6. Aloe Vera:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Freshly cut aloe vera leaf, cotton wool and warm water to rinse.
Enjoy the healing benefits of aloe vera gel, a freshly sourced herbal remedy that is loved for its anti-inflammatory properties. These healing traits come in handy for the treatment of ganglion cysts. The gel, when rubbed on the cyst, has a soothing effect that relieves the pain and inflammation. In addition to this, the gel also helps keep the swelling down. Use this remedy as often as you need to until the cyst is completely healed.
- Squeeze the edges of the freshly cut aloe vera leaf in order to collect the gel.
- Once you have collected enough of the gel, use some cotton wool to apply at the site of the cyst.
- Let the remedy remain on the skin for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water.
- Repeat the remedy severally until you notice an improvement in the condition of the cyst.
7. Epsom Salts:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of Epsom salts and 2 cups of warm water.
Epsom salt is a handy home remedy for the natural treatment of ganglion cysts. The salts, which are made up of Magnesium and Sulfate, have long been used to treat wounds and help shrink swellings. This is why the salts are significant in this remedy. Additionally, Epsom salts are also used to ease the associated pain and inflammation. Prepare the salt by following the simple steps below.
- Place 1 tablespoon of the Epsom salt in a shallow basin and pour in the warm water.
- Stir the mixture in order to dissolve the salts.
- Soak the affected part in the solution, making sure the cyst-region is completely covered.
- After about half an hour, rinse the skin and apply an ideal skin moisturizer.
- Repeat this procedure at least once daily for a couple of days.
8. Arnica Essential Oil:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Arnica essential oil, a carrier oil (olive, coconut or jojoba oil works), a dropper, cotton wool and a bandage.
Arnica essential oil is recommended for the natural treatment of ganglion cysts because it has great anti-inflammatory properties that help manage the inflammation and keep the swelling down. The oil is also able to improve blood circulation, which in turn hastens the healing process of the cyst. Note that before using this remedy, it is advisable to carry out a patch test. This is because some people can show sensitivity to the use of this oil, thus causing skin reactions. This remedy should also be used alongside carrier oil since arnica essential oil is very potent.
- Dilute the arnica essential oil using an equal amount of your preferred carrier oil.
- Using a dropper, place 2-3 drops of the oil mixture at the site of the ganglion cyst.
- Gently massage the oil in to improve its absorption.
- Cover the skin with a bandage.
- Repeat this procedure thrice daily for a couple of days.
- Arnica cream may also be used in place of the essential oil.
In addition to the remedies mentioned above, there are a handful of tips that help with the healing process of ganglion cysts. The most important thing to remember is that you should avoid additional trauma to the affected skin as this easily damages the skin and may make the cysts worse. Avoid poking the cyst in an attempt to drain the fluid as this only predisposes you to skin infections.
If possible, reduce the range of motion on the affected joint to ease the pain. Most of all, do not attempt to remove the cyst on your own, whether using a scalpel, needle or pair of scissors to avoid secondary injuries. If the cyst continues to increase, or the pain does not cease after a period of time, make sure you get medical attention. This is key because such cysts may require surgical removal by a qualified medical doctor.