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 Herbal Medicine: Fibrocystic Disease (FCD) 
Also known as chronic cystic mastitis. This is the commonest non-malignant breast disease. It is characterized by a growth of fibrous tissues that most frequently appears in the 30's & 40's but disappear with menopause. Whilst uncomfortable they are not dangerous, with up to 20% of women developing them to some degree during their lives.

Accurate diagnosis is, of course, essential and potentially life saving.

These cysts are largely influenced by hormonal fluctuations, becoming larger and more painful just prior to the onset of menstrual bleeding. The key to successful treatment lies in normalizing hormonal fluctuations, especially as the role of low levels of oestrogen and/or high levels of progesterone is not clear.

FCD is aggravated by situations that increase the hormone shifts such as :
  • teenagers with slow establishment of regular periods
  • women who have children late in life
  • excessive weight gain
  • women on oestrogen therapy
  • women under stress

FCD is improved by :
  • pregnancy and breast feeding
  • menopause, unless oestrogen replacement is undertaken

Actions indicated for the processes behind this disease :
Hormonal normalizers help the body regularize swings and in hormone balances, enabling a move towards complete removal of the problem.
Lymphatics help the drainage and general vitality of the lymphatic tissue in the breast.
Anti-spasmodics may help if there is excessive dragging pains.
Nervine relaxants are indicated if the problem is associated with PMT.
Diuretics help if there associated water retention, but should not be used by themselves.

Specific Remedies :
No true specifics are known for this condition, but Vitex is undoubtedly strongly indicated. Oil of Evening Primrose may also be of great value.

One possible prescription :
Vitex agnus-castis 2 parts
Galium aparine 1 part
Scutellaria spp. 1 part 2.5 ml taken three times a day
Oenothera biennis
(Evening primrose) 500 mg capsules of oil : 5 dailythe advice suggested for PMT should be referred to

This supplies the following actions :
Hormonal normalizer (Vitex agnus-castis)
Lymphatic (Galium aparine)
Diuretic (Galium aparine)
Nervine relaxant (Scutellaria spp.)
Anti-spasmodic (Scutellaria spp.)

Broader Context of Treatment :
It has been shown clearly that methylxanthines aggravate the problem. The commonest dietary sources of such natural products are coffee, tea, chocolate and soft drinks. These should be avoided totally. Other research showed that Vitamin E at dosages of 400-800 IU daily also helped. It is important to eat no meat, poultry, eggs or dairy products from animals given hormones to promote growth. In `A Textbook of Natural Medicine', Drs. Pizzorno and Murray recommend the following supplementation:
B-complex 10 times the recommended daily dose
Lipotropic factors 2 times the recommended daily dose
Vitamin B6 200 mg per day
Vitamin C 500 mg per day
Vitamin E 600 International Units of d-alpha tocopherol
Beta-Carotene 300, 000 International Units per day
Iodine 0.25 mg per day
Zinc 15 mg per day (picolinate preferred)
Flaxseed oil 300 ml per day
Lactobacillus acidophilus 1 teaspoonful three times a day
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 About The Author
David Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMHWhilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary wholeness and responsibility for it......more
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