|Home Remedies Index
|Home Remedies for Fibrocystic Breast Discomfort
Almost three-quarters of women have some degree of breast lumpiness, known in medical terminology as "fibrocystic breasts."
Symptoms~t fibrocystic breasts include swelling, tenderness, pain, and lumps that vary in size throughout the menstrual cycle,
particularly during the week or two prior to menstruation.
A woman's breasts are composed of milk glands, connective tissue that supports the glands, and fat. For most women, breast
composition changes with age as the ratio of connective tissue to fat increases and the connective tissue becomes thicker and
more fibrous. Until fairly recently, fibrocystic breasts were labeled as a disease, but because the condition is so prevalent it is
now regarded as a normal variation in breast tissue.
|Fibrocystic breast condition is broken down into three subtypes:
Fibrosis is a thickening of the fibrous connective tissue that supports the milk glands. Fibrosis may be painful and may be
accompanied by cysts.
Cysts occur when tissue surrounding a milk duct overgrows, which blocks the duct and prevents it from draining normally.
The milk duct swells, becoming a tender, fluid-filled sac that ranges in size from the head of a pin to a walnut or larger.
Duct hyperplasia is an overgrowth of the lining of the milk duct, and is the only fibrocystic condition that is related to an
increased risk of breast cancer. Finding a breast lump is a frightening experience, and it is important to have any breast
lumps or changes in breast tissue evaluated by your health-care practitioner. As a note of reassurance, know that more than
90 percent of breast lumps are benign.
Although fibrocystic breasts are a common condition and cannot appropriately be labeled as a disease, they are a signal that
most likely that there is an imbalance in your body chemistry. Breast pain, swelling, and lumpiness tend to worsen in the
week or two prior to menstruation and appear to be caused by an excess of estrogen in relation to progesterone and also to
an increase in prolactin, the hormone that prepares the breasts for potential pregnancy each month. Factors that influence
estrogen and prolactin levels include a high-fat diet, caffeine, smoking, excess weight, and emotional stress. Many women
who have completely reversed painful fibrocystic breast conditions through lifestyle changes and natural therapies.
|Herbs for Fibrocystic Breast
estrogen. When the liver is not functioning up to par, excess estrogen accumulates in the bloodstream and causes
unhealthful changes in hormone-sensitive breast tissue. Sluggish bowel function also allows excess estrogen that was
on its way out of the body to be reabsorbed into the bloodstream. Herbs help to relieve fibrocystic breasts by
improving liver and bowel function, as well as by helping to balance hormones through stimulating the production of
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), both the root and the leaf, are helpful for treating fibrocystic breasts. The root
stimulates bile flow and improves liver function, while the leaf is a powerful and safe diuretic that relieves the water
retention that causes swollen, tender breasts.
Burdock root (Arctium lappa) is a traditional liver-cleansing herb that gently stimulates and enhances liver
Yellow dock root (Rumex crispus) contains potent bitter principles that act as a powerful liver cleanser. It also has
laxative properties that help to cleanse the intestinal tract.
Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus) helps to regulate hormones by stimulating the production of progesterone, which brings
estrogen levels into balance.
Prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum) stimulates circulation, including lymphatic circulation, helping to relieve
the stagnation that contributes to the formation of cysts.
circulation, and relieve water retention. This formula has a bitter flavor, and you may prefer to take it as an
extract. You can buy liquid concentrated herbal extracts and combine them in the same proportions given in
the following recipe. Take one teaspoon of extract three times a day diluted in a small amount of warm
water. It may take three months or even longer to improve a fibrocystic breast condition. After symptoms
are relieved, cut back your dosage of either the tea or extract so that you are taking the formula only during
the week prior to menstruation.
2 teaspoons dandelion root
2 teaspoons burdock root
1 teaspoon yellow dock root
3 teaspoons vitex berries
2 teaspoons prickly ash bark
2 teaspoons dandelion leaf
4 cups water
Simmer the dandelion root, burdock root, and yellow dock root in water in a covered pot for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, add vitex berries, prickly ash bark, and dandelion leaf, cover, and steep for an additional
20 minutes. Strain, sweeten if desired, and drink 3 to 4 cups daily.
|Pain-Relieving Breast Compress
2 teaspoons chamomile flowers
2 teaspoons calendula flowers
2 teaspoons yarrow flowers
1 1/2 cups water
10 drops lavender essential oil
Hot water bottle
Pour boiling water over herbs, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain,and add lavender essential oil. Dip washcloth
into hot herbal solution, wring out slightly, and place over the breast.
Cover with a dry towel and a hot water bottle to retain heat and leave in place for 3 minutes. Remove washcloth
and replace with a second washcloth that has been dipped in cold water.
Leave cold washcloth on breast for one minute, and immediately follow with the hot washcloth that has again been
dipped into the hot herbal solution. Reheat the herbal solution if necessary. Repeat cycle 3 times, ending with the
|Healing Breast Massage Oil
2 ounces almond oil
1/2 teaspoon vitamin-E oil
15 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops grapefruit essential oil
Blend oils together in a tightly capped dark glass bottle. Apply approximately 1/2 teaspoon of oil to breasts
immediately after bathing, while skin is still slightly damp. Massage breasts with a gentle, circular motion, finishing
with sweeping movements, stroking from the breasts to the underarms to enhance lymphatic flow.
|Home Remedies for Common Diseases