Top 10 Best Supplements & Herbs for Endometriosis

Looking for relief from endometriosis symptoms and want to go the more natural route? This list of the top 10 supplements and herbs can help you manage painful endo symptoms with or without the addition of conventional solutions like hormonal therapies.

While there is yet no true cure for this chronic condition, many women have found significant relief from symptoms through various diet and lifestyle changes, and dietary supplements that serve as concentrated sources of nutrients.

Why Use Supplements & Herbs to Help Endometriosis

When setting out to treat endometriosis, the conventional medicine approach generally involves hormonal interventions in the form of a pill, a patch on the skin, or an injection. To manage pain, doctors usually recommend NSAIDs, but it’s widely acknowledged that the mechanisms underlying endometriosis are still unclear and therapies are not currently efficient.

Endometriosis is a disorder in which endometrial cells that make up the lining of your uterus grow in other areas of the abdomen, like the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or the abdominal wall, potentially leading to a host of symptoms like severe menstrual cramps, chronic pelvic pain, and infertility.

Because endometriosis pain can often be debilitating, working with a functional medicine provider can help you formulate the best treatment plan for your needs, which may involve pain medication or hormonal therapies while you implement other holistic methods.

You may also want to learn more about anti-inflammatory diet & lifestyle changes that can help you successfully reduce endometriosis-related symptoms and pain.

For now, we’ll focus on the 10 best supplements that can help you ease endometriosis symptoms like chronic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, and chronic fatigue.

1. Calcium D-Glucarate

Calcium D-glucarate is linked to the body’s detoxification processes and is particularly useful for women with endometriosis due to its effect on estrogen.

Endometriosis patients are often estrogen dominant, meaning high levels of estrogen are present in relation to progesterone, which is why proper estrogen metabolism is important for managing the disease.

Calcium D-glucarate helps to eliminate excess estrogen from the body by binding it in the digestive tract before it is reabsorbed (1). Excess estrogen contributes to the growth of endometrial tissue, so reducing its levels may help manage symptoms (2).

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Studies have shown that omega-3 supplementation can decrease inflammation, pelvic pain, and menstrual symptoms associated with endometriosis (3). 

Additionally, they offer support for hormonal balance, crucial for those with endometriosis as hormone dysregulation is often a key factor in the progression of the disease, and for symptoms like menstrual pain.

Including sources of omega-3 in your diet such as fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, or taking supplements, is a great way to support your health.

Related: The Estrogen Dominance Diet | Eating for Estrogen Detox

3. Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that plays an essential role in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body and can help with pelvic pain management.

It helps to relax smooth muscles, easing menstrual cramps and pelvic pain associated with endometriosis (4). Magnesium is also essential for energy production, so magnesium deficiency can lead to feelings of fatigue and weakness. Researchers have also noted a decrease of endometriosis risk with increasing magnesium intake. 

You can consume more magnesium through foods like spinach, almonds, and avocado, or consider a magnesium supplement to ensure you’re getting enough to support pain management.

Many women want to start taking magnesium, but aren’t sure which type to take.To get a diverse array of benefits from the 6 most functional forms of magnesium, try Serenease. It’s my go-to anytime of day to support a sense of calm and ease, as well as a healthy metabolism, hormone health, and more. In terms of dietary supplements, it’s one I recommend for most women!

4. Ginger

Used for centuries for its medicinal properties, ginger is well regarded for its anti-inflammatory and digestive support properties.   

Drinking 8-10 ounces of my apple-ginger refresher packs a powerful punch of enzymes like bromelain, as well as anti-inflammatory flavonols from ginger.

To a Vitamix or any blender, add:

  • Juice of two organic apples
  • 4-5 chunks of fresh pineapple
  • Squeeze of local raw honey
  • ½ teaspoon of grated ginger

For women with endometriosis, ginger can be particularly helpful in managing the inflammation that can contribute to pelvic pain, and it can also ease digestive upset that sometimes comes with endometriosis symptoms (5). 

5. Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil is a rich source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid that supports hormonal balance and offers benefits for the skin.

Evening primrose oil also influences prostaglandin levels, which are compounds that can contribute to inflammation in the body (6).  

Studies have shown potential benefits for women with endometriosis-related pain and inflammation when taking evening primrose oil as a supplement.

6. Curcumin

Curcumin is the active compound found in turmeric that gives it its anti-inflammatory properties. There are a multitude of studies on curcumin and its beneficial effects for inflammatory conditions—and this definitely includes endometriosis! 

Curcumin plays a major role in the control of inflammation, and may reduce the spread of endometrial cells (7). This potentially reduces pain, and could prevent the condition from worsening.

7. Nettle Leaf

If you can overlook its bitter taste, nettle leaf is a helpful addition to your endo-relief routine. In animal studies, nettle tea demonstrated the ability to reduce the size of existing endometrial lesions and inhibit the formation of new ones (8).

You can brighten up the flavor of this earthy tea by adding a dash of grated citrus peel, and serving it chilled. Citrus, besides enhancing the taste of nettle tea, is also recommended as part of an estrogen-friendly diet for managing endometriosis naturally.

Nettle leaf is also an herbal supplement rich in iron, which can be especially important for women with endometriosis who experience heavy menstrual bleeding that can lead to iron deficiency anemia.

8. Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is commonly used to support liver health, which is of utmost importance when talking about estrogen issues that drive endometriosis symptoms.

The liver is crucial for hormone metabolism, particularly the breakdown and elimination of estrogen. Think of your liver like the body’s laundromat, processing excess hormones and waste and getting them ready for elimination.

Women with endometriosis can often benefit from liver support as it may help to manage estrogen levels and reduce the symptoms associated with estrogen dominance.

9. Dong Quai

Dong quai, also known as Angelica sinensis, has traditionally been used in Chinese medicine to support menstrual health and ease symptoms of PMS. It is considered a tonic for the female reproductive system, promoting regular menstrual cycles and providing anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with endometriosis.

10. DIM (Diindolylmethane)

DIM is a compound derived from the digestion of indole-3-carbinol, naturally found in cruciferous vegetables. It works within the body to promote healthy estrogen breakdown and removal. 

By supporting healthy estrogen metabolism, DIM can help to balance hormone levels that contribute to endometriosis symptoms. Studies have shown it may also have anti-inflammatory effects and potentially inhibit the growth of endometrial tissue (9).

What to Remember

Incorporating some of these dietary supplements into your daily regimen when treating endometriosis naturally can help you take control of your health. It’s important to remember that while dietary supplements may offer relief for some symptoms, they are not a replacement for proper medical care or treatment from a qualified holistic or integrative doctor. Opt for these supplements as part of a holistic approach to managing your endometriosis, which may include healthy diet and lifestyle choices, exercise, and any necessary medical interventions.