In today’s digital age, the first destination many people make when looking into their health is their smartphone or computer. With so many channels of information to choose from, it’s tempting to follow a trail of hashtags or search terms that purport to provide the “secret” to alternative remedies that achieve what conventional medicine “can’t.”
Examples of search words like these:
“How to shrink fibroids naturally”
“Naturopath fibroids treatment”
“Home remedy to reduce fibroids”
“How to naturally get rid of fibroids”
tend to lead to at-home practices that look a lot like this:
These remedies are said to help women eliminate, reduce, or shrink fibroids naturally. However, the imprecise nature of these practices and the fact that they can potentially lead to harmful consequences make these treatment methods risky. Evaluating their medical efficacy requires further research and should be explored with the help of a doctor.
Instead of investing your time and money into trying these fad healing methods, if you’re interested in natural treatment for fibroids, consider these science-supported strategies:
Green tea, dubbed the “healthiest beverage on the planet,” is renowned for its numerous medicinal properties, which include a catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Said to be one of the most powerful compounds in green tea, research published in the International Journal of Women’s Health suggests that drinking this green tea extract can actually shrink your fibroids and alleviate your symptoms.
In a clinical study designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of green tea extract on uterine fibroid burden and quality of life, 39 women with fibroids were recruited to participate. The subjects were randomly divided into two groups.
Each group received an oral daily treatment for a period of 4 months. One group of women received a dose of 800 mg of EGCG, while the other group received a dose of the placebo treatment, 800 mg of brown rice.
Each month, the subjects scored their fibroid-specific symptom severity and quality of life using questionnaires. At the end of the study period, uterine volume was measured by transvaginal ultrasonography.
Uterine fibroid volume increased in the placebo group by 24.3% over the study period, while uterine fibroid volume shrank by 32.6% in the green tea extract group. Women who were treated with green tea extract also reported significant reduction in symptom severity and significant improvement in quality of life.
800 mg of green tea extract can be found in many forms, including capsules, like this $14 find from Amazon. However, it’s important to note that the European Food Safety Authority recently found that green tea supplements that provide more than 800 mg of EGCG per day are linked with a greater risk of liver injury. This is why trying random cures without testing can be dangerous.
Vitamin D Supplements
Several clinical studies have produced compelling evidence that Vitamin D is an effective antitumor agent. In a study published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility, researchers found that fibroid cell growth regressed when subjected to concentrations of Vitamin D in laboratory cultures. This study mentions that the rate of growth inhibition was concentration dependent – the highest concentration of inhibited growth by 62% in both fibroid and myometrial cell types.
In another study funded by the National Institutes of Health, treatment with high doses of vitamin D3 successfully reduced fibroid tumors in rats. Post-treatment, the fibroids in the group of rats receiving vitamin D were, on average, 75 percent smaller than those in the untreated group.
Finally, a study published in the Journal of Medicine evaluated the effect of vitamin D in 53 women suffering from a vitamin D deficiency and “small burden” uterine fibroids. After a period of 8 weeks of vitamin D treatment (50,000 IU of the oral solution cholecalciferol), followed by maintenance therapy of 2000 IU daily for a year, it was discovered that the study group had “no significant difference in diameter or volume of fibroids” whereas a significant increase in fibroids diameter and volume was found in women of the control group.
The takeaway? Up your dose of Vitamin D. For as little as $6, you can purchase a bottle of 100 supplements equivalent to 2000 IU from Target. For $20, you can get an ultra-concentrated bottle of 360 supplements equivalent to 10,000 IU from Amazon.
It’s a myth that certain foods or a special diet can shrink fibroids. However, fibroids are clearly affected by hormones (which is how treatments like birth controls pills work), and your diet has some degree of influence on your hormone levels, although it’s debatable how much.
To be on the safe side, trim foods that are high in added growth hormones from your diet, such as red meat and foods containing phytoestrogens, such as soy products, flax, oats, and barley. Making healthy eating choices and exercising can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of developing fibroids.
It’s less clear which foods you should increase your intake of. Research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that adding fruit, vegetables, and certain types of Vitamin A supplement to your diet reduces your risk of developing fibroids. It also suggests that eating foods that contain calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus may also reduce the risk of fibroids. These minerals are most commonly found in milk and dairy products, fish bones, and dark green leafy vegetables.
At VIVA EVE, we’re all about transparency. When it comes to natural fibroid treatments (like with all things in life), if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That’s why we pledge to do the research if you find a naturopathic/homeopathic treatment you’re curious about. In the meantime, try incorporating these suggestions into your lifestyle and see how you feel.
If you’re ready to take the next step in treating your fibroids with the help of a doctor, check out our ebook titled “Treating Fibroids, Making an Informed Decision,” which covers all of your surgical and nonsurgical minimally invasive treatment options.
Sources for information referenced in this post
[I] Roshdy, E., Rajartnam, V., Maitra, S., Sabry M., Allah, A.S.A., Hendy, A.A., (2013) Treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids with green tea extract: a pilot randomized controlled clinical study. International Journal of Women’s Health, 5: 477–486.
Health Canada, Government of Canada (2017) Summary Safety Review – Green tea extract-containing natural health products. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/medeffect-canada/safety-reviews/green-tea-extract-containing-natural-health-products-assessing-potential-risk-liver-injury.html Retrieved 18-Oct-2019.
Bläuer, M., Rovio P.H., Ylikomi, T., Heinonen, P.K. (2009) Vitamin D inhibits myometrial and leiomyoma cell proliferation in vitro. Journal of Fertility and Sterility, 91(5): 1919–1925.
Halder, S.K., Sharan, C., and Ayman, A.H. (2012) 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 Treatment Shrinks Uterine Leiomyoma Tumors in the Eker Rat Model. Journal Biology of Reproduction 86(4):1-10.
Ciavattini, A., Carpini, G.D., Serri, M., Vignini, A., Sabbatinelli J., Tozzi A., Aggiusti A., Clemente N., et al., (2016). Hypovitaminosis D and “small burden” uterine fibroids: Opportunity for a vitamin D supplementation. Medicine, Baltimore 95(52): e5698.
Wise, L.A., et al., (2011) Intake of fruit, vegetables, and carotenoids in relation to risk of uterine leiomyomata. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 94: 1620-1631.
Brewer, N.D., et al., (2016) The Role of Complementary and Alternative Medicine for the Management of Fibroids and Associated Symptomatology. Springer, Current Obstetrics and Gynecology Reports 5(2): 110-118.