Uterine fibroids, which affect about one-quarter of women older than thirty-five, are slow-growing masses, composed of muscle and fibrous tissue, that develop in the muscle layers of a woman’s uterine wall. Most fibroids don’t cause problems, but those that do can cause unpleasant symptoms such as heavy periods, frequent urination and cramps. If you have fibroids, be sure to eat a low-fat, healthy diet—a high-fat diet can spur fibroid growth by raising the body’s estrogen levels. In their book The Herbal Drugstore (Rodale, 2000), Linda White, M.D. and Steven Foster recommend an herbal tea blend that combines hormone-balancing herbs with those that ease cramps.
• 2 teaspoons vitex berries (Vitex agnus-castus)
• 1 teaspoon black cohosh root (Cimicifuga racemosa)
• ½ teaspoon dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale)
• ½ teaspoon prickly ash bark (Zanthoxylum spp.)
• ¼ teaspoon cramp bark (Viburnum opulus)
• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum verum)
1. In a saucepan, place the herbs in 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.
2. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and steep for 20 minutes.
3. Strain and drink at least 2 cups per day for three to four months.