Naturopathic treatment for endometriosis may aim at stimulation of the immune system enhancing the inflammatory response, balancing hormones, and detoxing the liver so it can break down environmental toxins and excess estrogens.
Naturopathic treatments can include nutrition and dietary changes, botanical medicine supplementation , acupuncture , massage and counselling.
Eliminate potential food allergens, including dairy, wheat (gluten), corn, soy, preservatives, and food additives.
Eat antioxidant-rich foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes), and vegetables (such as kale, spinach, and bell pepper).
Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar.
Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold-water fish, tofu (soy, if no allergy), or beans for protein.
Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil.
Reduce or eliminate trans-fatty acids, found in commercially-baked goods, such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.
Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine, and limit foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat. Avoid foods with additives, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Drink 6 to 8 glasses of filtered water daily.
FOODS TO LIGHTEN THE BLOOD FLOW and REDUCE PAIN:
- GINGER: using fresh ginger tea can reduce blood flow and cramps. It is an anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant , stimulate digestion and reduces nausea.
- FLAXEEDS: as a phytoestrogen, flaxseeds help to reduce cramps and heavy blood flow. It is also high in omega 3 fatty acids which are a strong anti inflammatory , helping to control the period pain.
- SESAME SEEDS: being a good source of calcium and magnesium help to regulate muscles contraction and relaxation, hence reducing period pain , back pain and stomach pain.
- AVOCADO: has a strong anti-inflammatory effect (monounsaturated fatty acid and vitamin C) helping to reduce pain and also has a hormonal balancing effect as it is rich in vitamin B5 and B6.
- RASPBERRIES: ½ cup of raspberries taken daily can provide with high dose of vitamin C, has low sugar content, high fiber, anti cancer properties and increase glucuronidation as a liver detox.
- WILD SALMON : 2 serves per week will provide you with omega 3, good source of protein in order to produce balanced hormonal state, selenium and vitamin D and Bs. Also a compound called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) found in fish oil—taken as a supplement can alter the balance of prostaglandins and alleviate many of the inflammatory symptoms of endometriosis
- SPINACH: this can be swapped with silver beet, swiss chard or kale.
- ISOFLAVONES:A group of plant-based chemicals help reduce the symptoms of endometriosis by inhibiting aromatase, an enzyme that converts male hormones (androgens) to estrogens. Good food sources of isoflavones include celery, parsley, soybeans, chickpeas pistachios, and peanuts.
- Similarly, an organic compound called INDOL-3-CARBINOL found in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy have mild anti-estrogen effects that may be beneficial to women with endometriosis.
- LOW FAT DIETS :studies indicate that long-term exposure to environmental chemicals called dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) may increase the risk and severity of endometriosis.
Foods high in fruit and vegetables, rich in dietary fiber are associated with a healthy balance of microorganisms in the gut flora, where they play a significant role in breaking down estrogens and also reducing inflammation. Studies show that the inclusion of soy with its isoflavones can reduce the proliferation of endometrial cells.
- CHAMOMILE: known for its calming effects, has long been used as a home remedy for premenstrual syndrome (PMS). These same effects are assumed to be useful in providing the generalized relief of cramps and pain caused by endometriosis.
- RESVERESTROL: is a plant-based nutrient mainly found in grapes, peanuts, and mulberries. Resveratrol is believed to treat endometriosis by inhibiting aromatase (associated with estrogen activity) and COX-2 enzymes (associated with pain).
- TUMERIC is a naturopathic medicine and a spice that may offer significant benefits to women with endometriosis
Turmeric contains an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound known as curcumin that has been shown to slow endometrial cell proliferation in test tube studies. It appears to do so by inhibiting the production of estradiol, the strongest of the three types of human estrogen.
- GREEN TEA
Green tea has similar properties to progesterone in that it is a potent inhibitor of aromatase. It an anti-angiogenic and suppresses the development of tiny blood vessels that feed endometrial overgrowth and promote inflammation.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny needles in the skin, mainly to treat pain . Acupuncture may help reduce pain and balance hormone levels. Preliminary studies show that acupuncture is effective in reducing pain related to endometriosis. More studies are needed.
MASSAGE and EXERCISE
Therapeutic massage may help resolve pelvic congestion. Regular exercise can help you feel better. It doesn’t have to be extreme. Walking, stretching, and doing breathing exercises can all help ease your endometriosis pain. Pelvic floor exercises can strengthen the muscles and help you feel better.
FOOD CORNER, Vegetarian PHO
- 2 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ teaspoon whole cloves
- 5 cups water
- ½ small white onion, cut into chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced in half
- 120g shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and reserved
- ¼ cup tamari, more to taste
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, more to taste
- 2 spring onion, finely chopped
- 2 baby bok choy, sliced lengthwise into quarters
- ½ cup frozen edamame
- 120g cooked rice noodles
- Lime slices
- Mung bean sprouts
- Fresh herbs: basil, mint,
- Bean shoots, sliced thai chiles
In a medium pot over low heat, combine the star anise, cinnamon stick and cloves and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the water, onion, garlic, ginger, and the stems of the shiitake mushrooms. Simmer for 20 minutes, then strain and return the liquid back to the pot.
Slice the shiitake mushroom caps and add them to the pot along with the tamari, rice vinegar, and spring onion. Simmer 15 minutes.
Add the bok choy and edamame and cook until tender, 5-8 minutes. Taste and season with more tamari for depth of flavor, and more rice vinegar for tang, as desired. Ladle the soup into 2 bowls over the cooked rice noodles. Serve with the lime slices, sprouts, herbs, chili peppers, and more tamari on the side.