The majority of lumps and bumps in the armpits and breast area are benign and usually caused due to fluid or salt retention. However, any cyst can create terror in the mind of the sufferer; after all one’s first thought is almost always malignancy and cancer (be sure to talk to your doctor as soon as you spot any lumps or bumps on your body to rule out any serious illness). Many breast cysts in women are nothing but fluid filled lumps and bumps which fluctuate with the menstrual cycle. Nearly half of all women in the perimenopausal age group suffer from breast cysts of some kind or the other. Cysts and lumps under the armpits often tend to change shape and size and are sometimes very painful. Here are some ways to cure breast cysts or breast lumps without surgery:
This is a powerful herb that increases blood circulation, stimulates the lymphatic nodes to throw out toxins and also enables blood flow and heat to the lumps. Astragalus is also an adaptogen that restores immunity under immune-suppressed conditions.
Dosage – You may safely take up to 40-60 grams of standardized extract per day. Always consult an herbalist before taking any herbal remedies.
2. Black cohosh
This herb is a proven remedy for all kinds of menstrual issues including hormonal balancing, regulating menstrual cycles and reducing formation of breast cysts. Black cohosh herb is especially recommended to women post menopause to treat breast pain.
Dosage – You can take up to 20-40 mg of black cohosh twice a day. Note that this herb could give rise to side effects like bleeding, spotting, stomach cramps etc. Pregnant women must avoid this herb.
This is a powerful detoxifying herb that drains the lymphatic channels and promotes disposal of toxins and waste.
Dosage – Take Burdock tea; you can steep 1-2 tsp of dried burdock in hot water for 5-7 minutes.
Chamomile tea and warm chamomile compresses are both effective remedies in treating breast cysts, especially in nursing mothers suffering from cracked/sore nipples, tender breasts etc. You can also use the remedy for treating sore and tender breasts in young children.
Dosage – Make chamomile tea using dried leaves or tea bags and drink one to two cups per day, especially at bed time. You can also apply warm chamomile compress on the cyst.
5. Saw palmetto
Saw palmetto is a well known hormone regulator which reduces male hormones built up inside breast tissues. It also is anti-inflammatory and a well known traditional cure for hair loss or alopecia in men and women. Saw palmetto reduces breast tenderness and also shrinks cysts. At puberty, one can take the herb to increase breast size if underdeveloped.
Dosage – The doses will differ depending on the form of saw palmetto you take. Up to 350 mg per day split into two doses is recommended. Please consult a doctor for advice. Side effects of saw palmetto are generally mild and include headaches, nausea, dizziness etc.
6. Evening primrose
The gamma linolenic acid in the seeds of evening primrose flowers is a powerful anti-inflammatory and known to reduce cyclic and non-cyclic breast changes including lumps and cysts arising in menopause.
Dosage – You can take up to 3 grams in divided doses or as advised by your doctor.
This diuretic herb flushes out the fluids from painful breast cysts and reduces lumpy breasts in women.
Dosage – Take the supplement as per package instruction. Generally, 2 dropperfuls per cup of warm water is recommended.
8. Uva ursi
Uva Ursi is an herbal diuretic which is recommended for women who suffer bloating and fluid retention.
Dosage – Take the herb as tea or pills. Uva ursi is also available as tincture and you make take a couple of dropperfuls in a cup of warm water.
9. Homeopathic remedies for breast lump
According to Asa Hershoff’s book ‘Homeopathic Remedies’, you can cure certain kinds of breast lump without surgery, benign fibrocystic breast disease. Remedies include calc phos, pulsatilla and phytolacca. However, as with any homeopathic cure, it is essential to seek help of a homeopath who will evaluate the exact cause of the cysts first. Hershoff believes that historically, remedies like asteria rubens (starfish) has even benefitted breast cancer patients.
10. Castor oil
One of the best remedies that shrink breast cysts is castor oil. It is in fact a traditional remedy used for treating all kinds of lumps and bumps. It is safe for daily application and you can simply make a warm compress or poultice and press it down gently on the breast cyst or armpit cyst. Some people also take castor oil internally but remember to only use food grade and hexane free variety. Also note that castor oil is a laxative.
To use – Apply a warm compress (made by warming castor oil and soaking a clean flannel cloth in it). Press the compress on the breast tissue. Use twice a day for several weeks until the tissue softens and the cyst gets dissolved completely. You can also orally take about 1 tsp of castor oil at bedtime.
11. Best food for breast cysts
Apart from taking above herbs, you may also eat diuretic foods like parsley, cucumber, and celery to cure breast cysts. Make these into a juice or simply eat them as is. Parsley and cucumbers can be juiced with beets and carrots to make a delicious juice that helps flush out fluids.
Studies are underway to prove that women who consume a diet low in unhealthy fats and higher in a variety of plant based foods have lower chances of developing breast cysts. This is due to the fact that animal fats stimulate estrogen production and increases salt and fluid retention that causes cysts.
12. Foods to eliminate and prevent breast and armpit cysts
Gynecologists also recommend that women with fibrocystic breast disease should avoid certain foods like caffeine and alcohol. Both alcohol and caffeine lead to unhealthy liver. In a study (Vegetarian Times, June 1992) on 45 women who eliminated coffee, chocolate and colas from their diet, 37 stopped getting breast lumps and 7 showed considerable improvements in their condition.
Apart from using these remedies, herbs, foods and healthy diet and exercise regime, women must also get annual mammograms and monitor their breasts for changes.