Being the fifth part in the serialisation of the paper presented by Femi Kusa at the training seminar of the NATIONAL INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE ASSOCIATION (NIMPA) held on 8th October 2014 at the WATER PARKS HOTEL,Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos.
We are back to terra ferma, which are familiar grounds. Apart from infections which may cause inflammation, scarring or blockage of the fallopian tubes, not to mention ovarian cysts, other common causes of infertility in women are hormonal imbalance (already discussed) and uterine fibroids. I would like to begin with uterine fibroids and some of the natural remedies which have helped some women resolve them. Uterine fibroids have become a torment to many women. If we keep medical records properly in Nigeria, we may discover that more than half of the female population live under this scourge.
Many women have gone through unspeakable experiences while they try to resolve it through herbal medicine. But despite the menace of quacks, we have witnessed many encouraging interventions. Some decades ago, I walked into Elizabeth Kafaru’s ELIKAF CLINIC in Ogba, Lagos, as a woman bleeding from the vagina was being put in a taxi that would take her to ADAZIE HOSPITAL in Mushin, also in Lagos. This woman was one of the many fibroid-troubled women who did not wish to have the growths surgically removed from fear that the knife may damage their wombs. AT ELIKAF CLINIC, as in many other helpful clinics, Ijaw women help to massage the pelvis to achieve all sorts of positive results.
It is a healing art which they inherited from their forebears. Had this country visionary governments, this healing arts, like many others, would have been refined and taught to gynaecologists, to achieve that integration in medicine, we all so eagerly long for. I have seen and heard of many cases of babies not well positioned in the womb for safe delivery, which were to warrant surgical birth, but which these women had brought to natural conclusion simply through massage and petting of the coming babies.
How easier getting pregnant or having pregnant women delivered of their babies could have become in our country is better imagined if this art had been well recognised by government and mainstream medicine and then developed and incorporated into hospital gynaecology protocols. Such is the dream of an Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria educated architect, Dr. BisolaFernadez, who has also trained as an orthodox medical doctor and gynaecologist. He find natural medicine so dynamic in the treatment of female reproductive ailment that he has been enlisted for training in this area new to him. So, do not be surprised if he shows up at the next seminar of NIMPA.
From here, I would now like to explore some hypothetical causes of uterine fibroids and suggestions offered in several literature for their resolution.
As already stated, uterine fibroids may not hinder fertility. But, sometimes, they may be a “Rock of Gibraltar” barrier. Its prevalence in the Nigerian female population seeking a “fruit of the womb” should challenge us to see it as an important possible obstacle. There are about 20 possible causes or different combinations of them, according to many researchers. We cannot examine them all. So, here are a few:
•Back up or retrograde menstruation.
•Estrogenation i.e. elevated blood estrogen levels
•Emotional distress and second chakra impairment or energy outage
•Poor blood circulation
•Free radical damage and antioxidant deficiency
•Nutritional deficiencies, including insufficiencies of Vitamin E, Essential Fatty Acids and Magnesium deficiency
•Microbial (yeast, Candida, viruses etc.) nibbling and damage
•Heavy metal poisoning
Any researchers believe all the discarded blood (menstrual flow) didn’t flow out. Some which hung or stayed back is named “back-up menstrual blood” or “retrograde” menstruation. It is considered a “waste and an irritant. Lodging in otherwise healthy uterine muscles tissue, retrograde blood would in time cause blood circulation slow-down or stasis. This would imply congestion, inflammation, pain, a habitat for germs, the waste products of which compound the poisoning of the tissue. Circulation stallage or stasis would imply deoxygenation. According to the theorists, irritated muscle tissue would seek other means of existence outside the disturbed or destroyed norm.
This, they say, is the onset of uterine fibroids. Resolving it, then, would mean putting all processes in the womb back on the reverse mode. Thus, a healthy blood circulation must be promoted.
Horsechestnut, which promotes circulation downstream, is a good ally here. So is cayenne pepper. In particular, cayenne helps in dissolving blood clots. Like Apple Cider Vinegar, it should help women whose menstruation comes with dark blood clots. In a few months, the menstrual blood should be clean and rich-red again. Apple Cider Vinegar has the advantage of preventing excessive bleeding which may cause anaemia and weakness. Many women beset with uterine fibroids bleed excessively. I always encourage them to take Yarrow, Stinging Nettle, Beet root, Apple Cider Vinegar, Shepherd’s Purse and Silica. Silica is found in little amounts in Nettle and more in Horsetail. But the richest source of it would appear to be Damatomaceus which is 96 per cent silica. If damatomaceus is too mouthy to easily pronounce or remember, call it by its other name…food grade edible earth.
Edible Earth? Yes, edible earth! That’s not for discussion today. What may be is that silica is one of the most abundant minerals on the earth’s surface which, surprisingly, some people may lack. It does many things in the body, including the promotion of digestion, support for bowel movement, killing of germs in the intestine, supporting absorption of calcium and other minerals, alkalising the body, breaking up of tumours and other growths, energy production, control of appetite, improvement of skin hair, nail and teeth tone. Silica is present in connective tissue and tighten the collagen bonding the cells. This is what I believe make it useful in stopping excessive bleeding where blood vessels are weak and loose, letting out their content. As for the other remedies, they may very well be rich source of bioflavonoids which behaves like silica when it comes to stoping bleeding. I remember always three cases whenever I have to suggest Apple Cider Vinegar. I had learnt from Cyril in the 1980s that Apple Cider Vinegar stops excessive bleeding. So when one of my aunties was going to have her womb removed because it had been filled with fibroids and she had bled so much and continually for months that she couldn’t climb the stairs of her home, I advised the surgery be postponed by one month to enable her take Apple Cider Vinegar for that long before the evacuation. The hospital had many of her relations donate blood because it was thought she would need a blood transfusion after the surgery. But she had no need for it! For the Apple Cider Vinegar prevented alarming bleeding. The second case was that of an editor in Lagos whose doctors believed would need a blood transfusion after a hernia surgery. He took Apple Cider Vinegar six weeks before the surgery and needed no transfusion. If I had my wife’s permission to say this, I would add that, in the last three months of pregnancy, she took Apple Cider Vinegar to prevent excessive bleeding during and after childbirth.
Any women are estrogenated. That means they have more estrogen vis-à-vis progesterone, another female hormone, than they should have. This may signal as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as when the breasts swell and become sore and painful before menstruation, or as period pains. Such woman are advised not to take egg or milk or food wrapped with cellophane. Estrogen is fed to chickens to make them lay eggs almost every day. It is fed to cow to make them produce more milk every day. In the egg and poultry fresh, therefore, there is estrogen, as it is present in cows milk. Cellophane emits zenoestrogen into food. With such exposure to these estrogen sources, a woman’s body may become suffused with, and ravaged by estrogen. Rising estrogen levels mean falling progesterone ratios. Progesterone is needed to make the placenta viable. The fetus feeds through the placenta an unviable placenta is one of many reasons spontaneous abortion occur and pregnancies are lost. Balancing are lost. Balancing the estrogen-progesterone ratios involves some work.
As already stated, thyroid function must be balanced, and the pituitary gland and other endocrine glands must function synegically for healthy pituitary gland function, one of the herbs of choice is VITEX, also known as CHASTEBERY. Effort must be made to ensure the three major fractions of estrogen (estriol, estrone and estradiol) are in the right ratios while relying on herbs such as Vitex, Black Cohost and Dong qual for this purpose, the liver and the diet have important roles to play. The liver is meant to breakdown excess estrogen into its component parts and pass them on to the bowels for evacuation through the stool. If the liver is week, it cannot do this well. Thus, the estrogen load would increase as more estrogen molecules from food or water join the estrogen chain band wagon. Even where the liver detoxifies well, but there is not enough fibre in the diet to mop the broken down molecules, these fragments may be re-absorbed in the colon and re-form into full estrogen chains, and the cycle of loading up begins all over, or continues. Estrogenation may increase blood levels of prolaction, an hormone, and this may block ovulation or lead to breast pain or disease, an early signal of which may be fluids or milk nipple discharge from the nipples when a woman is not pregnant or breast-feeding. The liver may be helped with supplements such as Liver Balance, Milk Thistle, Liver Health, Liver Essentials, Carqueja, Amazon Liver Support, and bitters, especially Maria Trebens. Zinc intake may support more output of progesterone, to reduce estrogen dominance. Thyroid supplements, including sea weed such as kelp, may support the elevation of estriol in the estrone/estradiol/ estroil estrogen matrix. Estroil is the least harsh and dangerous of these estrogen fractions. In many cases, plant estrogens have been used to block harsh human estrogen fractions. In this circumstance, estrogen receptors in the body prefer them to human estrogen. The receptors admit this plant hormone and lock out the human equivalent.
That was why plant estrogens such as the proprietary PHYTOESTROGEN were once popular in Nigeria.
here are many infections which may throw a woman’s reproductive system out of gear. As usual, we cannot mention them all in this presentation so, we will limit our discussion to some of the common ones. Women fall prey easily to vaginal infections. Sometimes, water closet water is splashed on their buttock by a heavy, dropping poop and they do not think much of it. They may wipe off the water with toilet paper, but some germs may have hooked up to the buttock skin. These may later find their way to the vagina. It may also happen that they spread their under briefs in a toilet. Water closet flushings may displace air which carry some pathogens on these briefs which are worn without being ironed. Spreading the briefs on the clothes line outside may not help much where dust bring germs and pollen to settle on exposed laundry. By far the largest source of infections, in my view, is through foreplay before sex when, with dirty or infected fingers and nailbeds, men probe the vagina to sexually arouse their partners. Who knows what the man may have touched before that act? Did he pick his nose? Did he remove a strand of beef caught in-between his teeth? Was he from the toilet, or did he drive her straight to an hotel and had picked several germs from the steering wheel?
There are two main causes of vaginal infections:
-Tiny parasites called Trichomonas
-Bacteria (bacteria vaginosis), arguably the most common source of vaginal discharge.
Trichomonas is caused by trichonomad, a tiny parasite resident in the vagina. Bacteria vaginosis is caused, as the name shows, by bacteria, the symptoms of these infections may include: “Itching, soreness and redress around the vagina or anus”. The vagina may discharge a green or yellow substance with a fishy smell, especially after sexual intercourse, and there may be a burning sensation during urination. There may be pain during intercourse as the micro-organisms may have eroded the cornifed cells of the vagina which protect underlying nerves and blood vessels.
In trichonomad infections, the green or yellow discharge with fishy odour is frothy. If these vaginal infections are not promptly treated they may migrate to the pelvis, where reproduction organs such as the uterus, fallopian tube and ovaries are located. Here they may cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an umbrella name for any inflammation of the organs in this region. PID symptoms may include foul-smelling vaginal discharge, fever, pain in the lower abdomen, bleeding in-between periods, back pain, pain during sexual intercourse, frequent urination.
It is important that these infections, like that of Candida albilans, a yeast or fungus, be treated promptly, as the parasites may be a cause of tubal blockage or ovarian problems from which many women suffer. In addressing this question, it must be borne in mind that a possible cause of PID is alkalisation of the vagina. The vagina is supposed to be slightly acidic to prevent germs making it a ready habitat. The vagina is supposed, also, to house a good population of friendly bacteria. These bacteria literally eat up unfriendly bacteria to make them less active. But in many women, the vagina is either too acidic or too alkaline.
An over acidic vagina will kill sperm which thrive in alkaline environment. Semen is alkaline, which is why sperm thrive in it. The introduction of semen too frequently into the vagina, even by a woman’s husband and, therefore, legitimate sexual partner, may make her vagina become alkaline in over time. The alkalinity may be the source of infections of an unprotected vagina. Frequent sex with same sexual partner would, therefore appear unnatural and unhealthy. I observed while rearing pigs, rabbits and native chicken that the females agreed to mate with the males only when they were on “heat”. A female pig (sow) brought a male pig (boar) when she was not on heat, would fight the boar to death and even eat up or bite its penis. The rabbit would do the same. Only human females agree to sex any minute or hour of the day irrespective of whether her time of the cycle permits it. It is intriguing that if there is no boar in a pen when a sow is on “heat”, she would break through the pen in search of a boar elsewhere. These facts have to be remembered when a PID is being treated. In the treatment of PIDs, vitamins and minerals are foundational remedies. Vitamin C helps boost immunity and supports formation of collagen.