Breast cysts are fluid filled pockets inside the tissue of the breast. Breast cysts usually are not cancerous and often do not require treatment. But many women have symptoms of pain and swelling in their breasts, especially just before their periods begin. While some women chose to have medical treatment to remove fluid from their breast cysts, other look to more natural remedies to relieve pain and swelling.
Herbal remedies include:
• Evening Primrose Oil affects the immune system and hormone-like substances in the body that control inflammation. The seeds are used to make oil for external treatment of breast pain associated with the menstrual cycle. Evening Primrose Oil is officially licensed in the United Kingdom for management of breast pain. It is generally considered to be safe unless you are pregnant. Possible side effects include headaches and rash.
• Calendula is used as an anti-inflammatory. The flowers are used as a cream, salve, or ointment to ease breast pain.
• Poke Root is believed to help clean the lymph system. The root extract is combined with olive oil for external use to treat breast pain. If consumed, it can cause nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble compound that works as an antioxidant. This means it helps protect cells in the body from free radicals, which are molecules that damage cells and might contribute to cancer and heart disease. Vitamin E also acts as an anti-inflammatory, which may help reduce the breast pain caused by breast cysts. Vitamin E is found in a variety of foods, including nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables, mangos, kiwi, and tomatoes. Vitamin E is also available as a supplement. Scientific studies suggest supplements do not provide the same benefits as vitamin E in food sources.
Lymphatic massage is another possible remedy for breast pain. Rubbing the breast or pumping the tissue over a lump is believed to help the flow of lymph fluid to relieve pressure and reduce swelling.
A word of caution
Herbal supplements can be useful in treating a variety of conditions. Because they are not regulated, it’s also possible that these products could be mislabeled or may include contaminants or other ingredients that are not on the label. If you are taking other medications, talk to your pharmacist about possible interactions.