In TCM gynecology and reproductive medicine, Chinese herbs have been utilized to effectively manage pain from not only uterine fibroids, but also dysmenorrhea, pelvic inflammation, endometriosis, premenstrual tension syndrome, breast disease, and urinary bladder distress. Herbal therapy is also used to promote healing and hormonal regulation in infertility, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, premature menopause, and menopausal conditions.
Here are some of the common patterns that are associated with uterine fibroids in Chinese medicine:
Cold Phlegm Obstructing the Flow of Blood and Qi in the Lower Jiao
One of the more common patterns associated with uterine fibroids occurs when Dampness and pathogenic Phlegm prevent the free flow of Blood and Qi in the body. Dampness can develop due to Spleen Qi Deficiency, as the Spleen helps to control Dampness in the body. Spleen Qi Deficiency can develop for a number of reasons including familial deviancy indicated by a genetic disposition to hypoglycemia or diabetes. Main causes:
- Poor dietary habits including the over consumption of sweets, processed carbohydrates
- An over consumption of raw foods, fruit juices, and ice cold drinks
Spleen Qi tonics reinforce the health of the Spleen function and thus alleviated Dampness.
Damp-Cold and Uterine Fibroids
Furthermore, external Cold Phlegm can develop due to prolonged exposure to damp conditions; sitting on cold rocks or cement would be discouraged for women as well as sitting in wet bathing suits for long periods of time. Exposure to cold climates for prolonged periods would also contribute to an external invasion of cold and the body's inability to protect itself through the Weir Qi (loosly the immune system). True Cold in the Uterus would be marked by sharp pain with aggravated by cold conditions, and relieved by applying warmth. Qi tonics are Yang and warming in nature to help alleviate Cold conditions and reduce Internal Dampness. As external Cold and Damp develop in to Internal Dampness, the condition can be rather tenacious and takes time to reverse.
Internal Dampness causing blockages is typically a difficult condition to treat that takes a good bit of time to clear up. Uterine fibroids and polycystic ovarian cysts are clear an indication of Internal Dampness. Typically, any vaginal discharges would be clear with Damp-Cold conditions.
Important: Generally, it takes around 6-10 months of herb use to resolve polycystic syndrome, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids are considered a type of abdominal mass in Chinese medicine and are addressed with Chinese herbs up to 6 cm. Larger fibroids are not typically treated effectively with Chinese herbs. Small to medium size uterine fibroids can be reduced to an acceptable level and often eliminated with Chinese medical techniques including herbal therapy, acupuncture, and Qi-gong.