Natural remedies for endometriosis may help you manage the condition, either alongside conventional treatments or instead of them.
In endometriosis, tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside of the organ. These growths are known as implants or lesions, and they can cause a lot of unpleasant symptoms.
Lesions often attach to the:
- Fallopian tubes
- Pelvic lining
They can also spread beyond the pelvic area.
This article looks at 12 natural treatments for endometriosis, including home remedies like dietary changes and therapies such as massage and acupuncture.
The symptoms of endometriosis tend to come on or get worse before and during your period. Symptoms include:
- Pelvic pain and cramps
- Low back or abdominal pain
- Deep and sharp pain during sex, bowel movements, urination, or ovulation
- Sciatica or nerve pain that travels from your lower back to the back of your thighs
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Stomach issues, such as diarrhea or constipation
- Not being able to get pregnant
Endometriosis Treatments: Standard vs CAM
The standard endometriosis treatment plan generally involves:
- Hormone treatments
- Pain medicine
- Lifestyle changes
But treating this condition can be hard and may cause unwanted effects. For these and other reasons, you may want to look for natural ways to improve or replace your healthcare provider’s treatments.
Natural remedies don’t fall under mainstream care. Rather, they’re considered complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
Little evidence exists to support the various forms of CAM for this condition. Even so, they’re low-risk treatments, and using them is not likely to make endometriosis worse.
Let your healthcare provider know if you plan to use natural treatments of any sort, so they can keep an eye on your condition and prevent and manage any drug interactions or side effects.
Home Remedies for Endometriosis
May CAM treatments are home remedies—things you can do yourself, without a healthcare provider. (It’s still a good idea to run these by your care team, just to make sure everything you’re doing is safe.)
Home remedies for endometriosis include:
- Low-fat diet
- Progesterone cream
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Green tea
Isoflavones for Endometriosis Symptoms
A group of plant-based compounds called isoflavones may help ease symptoms of endometriosis by blocking aromatase. This is an enzyme that converts androgens (male hormones) to estrogens.
Estrogen is a hormone that controls the normal growth of the endometrium. An imbalance in this hormone can worsen pain and other symptoms caused by lesions.
Rich sources of isoflavones include:
- Fava beans
Likewise, an organic compound called indoles may slightly counter the effects of estrogen.
Indoles can be found in foods such as:
- Brussels sprouts
- Bok choy
Low-Fat Diet for Endometriosis
Some studies suggest that, over time, being exposed to certain toxins may raise your risk of endometriosis and make it more severe.
Toxins such as dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are stored in animal fats and can be passed