The ingredients in many fibroid shrinking supplements can consist of any combination of vitamins, herbs and/or enzymes in varying proportions. Many formulas offer convincing reviews on their web sites as to their effectiveness, that the product is natural and safe, and guarantees of success.
In choosing the natural route to shrinking my fibroids (no surgery/anything invasive), I was curious to find out what specific 'natural' ingredients seemed to be causing fibroid shrinkage in these supplements. Moreover, I wanted to explore a DIY approach by seeking the same/similar results of further shrinkage with my fibroids through consuming the actual fruit or vegetable sources, as opposed to taking the manufactured supplements.
Below is a list of ingredients I frequently found included in many popular fibroid cures, their sources, and the (possible) beneficial effects they have on fibroids that research has offered through limited testing:
Bromelain - An enzyme derived from the pineapple, bromelain is more abundant in the stem but pervades throughout the fruit. It is said (through limited/varied research) to have anti-clotting properties due to its ability to breakdown protein. This, in turn can greatly assist in alleviating painful cramps and heavy clotting during menstruation, and work to dissolve fibrin.
Papain - This enzyme is found in papayas, and also has the ability to break down protein. Hence, it is fribrinolytic. Fibroids are made of fibrin, which consists of protein.....are you following me here, ladies? The breakdown of fibrin leads to shrinking fibroids.
Quercetin - This is a compound found in many vegetables, fruits and grains including: onions, apples, and buckwheat. Tea, especially matcha or green teas possess substantial amounts. Quercetin is said to control inflammation (according to some studies). The use of quercetin may address bloating and pain.
Rutin - This compound can be found in apples, asparagus and citrus fruits, among other fruits and vegetables. It is similar in chemical make-up as its cousin quercetin above, and offers the ability to inhibit blood clot formation, and work as an anti-inflammatory.
Amla - Also known as Indian Gooseberry, amla is a fruit that is high in antioxidants and vitamin C. Among its many uses, it serves as a base additive for many Ayuruvedic healing blends, and is known to invigorate the body (by detoxing the liver, and cleansing the blood). Fibroids result due to an overproduction of estrogen. The liver is where estrogen is absorbed out of the body and expelled. If the liver is not working properly, it will not be able to filter the estrogen out, and a reabsorption of estrogen in introduced back into the body. This in turn will lead to the formation of newer fibroids and contribute to current fibroids increasing in size.
Vitamin D - Exposure to sunlight allows our bodies to naturally produce this vitamin, although other food sources include eggs, salmon, eel, fortified cereals and processed cheeses. Recent studies have suggested that Vitamin D3 may reduce the risk of uterine fibroids, and assists in shrinking fibroids.
Vitamin E - (Recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil) Sources of Vitamin E include almonds, wheat germ, peanuts, turnip/mustard/collard greens, safflower oil and spinach. "
How does it work? "Vitamin E is an important vitamin required for the proper function of many organs in the body. It is also an antioxidant. This means it helps to slow down processes that damage cells.
Nattokinase - "... is an enzyme extracted and purified from a Japanese food called nattō. Nattō is made from fermented soybeans and has been eaten in Japan for about a thousand years." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nattokinase
In relation to fibroids, nattokinase has been shown through various, yet few studies to be a strong fibrinolytic agent, and natural blood-thinner. These two benefits may help with circulation and fibroid shrinkage.
Serrapeptase - This enzyme has its source from the intestine of a silkworm. It allows the worm to dissolve its cocoon. Comparable to nattokinase, serrapeptase is considered to be a stronger fibrinolytic agent. Some research done, given traditional use and effectiveness.
Kelp - Kelp is also known as Seaweed (algae). It is nutrient rich, and an excellent source of iodine. Iodine is involved with hormonal production. If hormones are off with over production of estrogen (a factor that causes fibroids), I can see why a kelp additive would be included in a fibroid formula. Read here to get a better perspective on the importance of iodine in your diet.
(I personally found relief in taking sublingual liquid kelp in alleviating hot flashes. They came back five months later, and I added Vitamin D3 to my regimen and stopped taking the liquid kelp. After almost two weeks with the Vitamin D3, the hot flashes subsided. I have been hot flash- free for almost nine weeks, as of 9/14. Feel free to check out my personal experiment to get rid of my hot flashes here.)
Motherwort - This plant is included in the Mint family. It has been used traditionally to tone the heart and the uterine muscles, and lessen the heavy/constant flow that can lead to anemia.
Dong Quai - This herb is also known as the "female ginseng". Used for over 2,000 years as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dong Quai is said to offer vitality and energy to the body. In addition, some research has shown that Dong Quai works as an anti-clotting agent.
Raspberry Leaf - Used traditionally for a wide range of female health symptoms, Raspberry Leaf tones and cleans out the uterus, helps to balance hormones, and can ease pain before and during delivery by relaxing the muscles....(Could it provide a natural alternative to an epidural???)
Chasteberry - Also known as Vitex or Chaste Tree, this plant is the most versatile in its ability to address all issues related to the health of uterus, and female health in general, no matter at what stage a woman is in her life. Chasteberry alleviates symptoms with menstruation, menopause, pregnancy, infection, and yes, uterine fibroids.
Ginger - Taking ginger will alleviate inflammation and pain (cramps, intense headaches), promote better blood circulation (easier menstrual flow), assist in removing toxins out of the body, add a bit of pep to your step, and assist with alertness and concentration.
Cinnamon - This popular spice has anti-coagulant properties (among others), which means it can
prevent and break down clot formations, i.e. fibroids. It also stimulates the liver.
Tumeric - A cousin of Ginger, Tumeric ".....contains curcumin, which is believed to have a wide range of biological effects including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumour, antibacterial, and antiviral activities, which indicate potential in clinical medicine."
Know your options in treating Uterine Fibroids
The information above was compiled to shed light on other options that you may not have considered (that have shown success based on positive reviews and traditional, long-term use) in healing yourself of fibroids. If your Doctor has not mentioned anything for your treatment regarding any of the listed 'natural' ingredients and their possible beneficial effects for your fibroids, ask. Bring all the information you discover to your Doctor about your fibroid protocol, and discuss if something natural' could, or should be added to help you alleviate symptoms and promote fibroid shrinkage, and internal balance. The goal is to cure yourself of fibroids naturally, without surgery - it can be done.
"For every drug that is given to a patient, there is a natural substance that can achieve the same effect." - Dr. Carl Pfeiffer