Q: Do these herbal therapies have side effects?
A: Unfortunately, because there has been virtually no scientific study of these herbs, we really don't know. However, we can look at the historical record and anecdotal case studies for actions and reactions.
While these herbs are generally regarded as safe, seek herbal advice and care from someone well trained in this kind of medicine, and inform your doctor of your decisions.
Q: Could I try herbs before seeing my regular doctor?
A: For mild endometriosis, yes. For moderate to severe cases where there's a lot of bleeding and potential for scarring, you should work with your gynecologist and alternative practitioner simultaneously for the safest and most effective treatment.
Q: How will I know if the herbs are working?
A: If the herbs are working, your pain will get dramatically better, your periods will get better, and your symptoms will improve within the first few months and continue to improve for as long as you take the herbs.
Q: How do I find a qualified herbalist?
A: National organizations such as the American Holistic Medical Association can give referrals to physicians and naturopaths using herbal medicine. The American Herbalist Guild is a professional organization that has a referral service.
Likewise other alternative practitioners such as those employing traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathic physicians, or Ayurvedic medicine practitioners may be experts in their own herbal traditions. Chiropractors or massage therapists may also know of a good practitioner. Ask your physician or pharmacist if they know an herbalist whose expertise they respect.
Q: Where can I find good herbal products and how much will herbs for endometriosis cost? Will insurance cover them?
A: You can start with your local health food store. One good trend in this industry is that more pharmacies now carry herbal products and are becoming an important source for herbal and nutritional supplements. Your herbalist should be able to make recommendations as well. Herbal treatments for endometriosis could be as low as $30 per month, but special formulations or expensive herbs may cost more. Generally those costs are out of pocket and not covered by insurance.
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