Witch, Heal Thyself (UPDATE)

Wow, it has been a REALLY long time since I’ve written.  I’m having a bout of insomnia right now, all is quiet as the kids are in still fast asleep and the hubby is at work – so what better time to write!  I just wanted to take some time to reflect on my natural treatment of my endometriosis – what worked, what didn’t.  As you recall, I had a very extensive list of herbs and vitamins I started taking.  It was a little overwhelming at first, but within a week or so, I fell into a routine.  Here is a recap of the vitamins and herbs:

Vit B6 – 100mg a day

Vit E – 800 IU a day

Co Q-10 – 100 mg at bedtime

Cranberry Extract with Vit C – 4 soft gels a day

Folic Acid – 400 mcg a day

L-Carnitine – 1,000 mg a day

Oscal Ultra as directed for 1,200mg calcium a day

Magnesium – 500mg a day

Selenium – 400 mcg a day

Flaxseed Oil as directed

Milk Thistle – as directed

Saw Palmetto – 360 mg per day

More Traditional Medicinals Every Day Detox Tea (x2/day)

Christopher’s Chaste Tree Berries (Vitex) 400mg  (as directed)

Wise Essential Wild Yam and Progesterone Cream

Nature’s Way Don Quai Root (as directed)

Ashwagandha Complex 578 mg (as directed)

Nature’s Herbs Cats Claw (as directed)

YS Eco Bee Farms Triple Bee Complex Royal Jelly Bee Pollen Propolis (as directed)

Tumeric Extract 800 mg (as directed)

On top of that, I changed my diet up a little: cut out coffee (which only lasted a few months though – did lower my consumption though from 4 cups to 2 cups a day); cut out conventionally raised beef; drank 1 tbsp of diatomaceous earth (DE) a night; and 1 serving of Garden of Life’s Perfect Food – Super Green Formula in the afternoon.

 

WHAT HASN’T WORK:

– Giving up coffee completely (as stated above, LOL!)

– Ashwagandha Complex 578 mg – I noticed I started having heart palpations throughout the day and night.  I had a feeling it was the Ashwagandha, though I couldn’t find anything online listing heart palpations as a side effect.  Low and behold, a few days after stopping the Ashwagandha, the heart palpations stopped.

– Wise Essential Wild Yam and Progesterone Cream – This cream actually made my cramps worse!  I started out using as directed and within a week, I started getting terrible cramps.  I lowered it to 1/4 tsp twice a day with no relief.  It took about 2 weeks for the cramps to go away after I stopped using it.  I’m not sure what the deal was, but it didn’t help me one bit.

– Raspberry Ketones – Broke my own cardinal rule here and didn’t do the research before taking them.  My husband had heard about and bought a bottle of raspberry ketones diet supplement for weight loss and wanted me to try it with him.  I was on the fence about it for some time before starting taking them as I’m not really big on diet pills.  Within about 2 weeks of using them as directed, I noticed that I started getting cramps that grew progressively worse.  Well, come to find out, raspberry ketones “might increase the effects of the hormone estrogen. Women who suffer from hormonal conditions linked to estrogen production should seek medical advice before usingraspberry dietary supplements. These disorders include endometriosis, breast or ovarian cancer, and uterine fibroids.” [1]  So, if you have any of these conditions, stay away from raspberry ketones!!!!  Even after a month, the cramps didn’t go away completely, and my periods which had been previously been right on time for about 3 months were off.  I decided to give the Evening Primrose Oil a try as directed and it started relieving the cramps within about a week.

– Cutting down the dosage of Chaste Tree Berries (Vitex) – As directed on my bottle of Chaste Tree Berries, it states to “take 1 capsule 2 times a day for 8 weeks. Thereafter take 1 capsule daily. Vitex works slowly so for optimum results it is best if used long term.”  Within a few weeks of cutting down to 1 capsule daily, I noticed the cramps starting to come back, so I began taking it twice a day and the cramps went away.

So, there you have it till next time! 

 

Good News So Far

Well, after an ultrasound on Wednesday, PCOS was pretty much ruled out by the tech.  There was one cyst on my left ovary that she noted, measuring 3cm (the biggest one so far) that she believed to be a hemorrhagic cyst and not PCOS – as she explained with a person who has PCOS, the cysts would look like strings of pearls wrapped around the ovaries.  I only wonder if this is the same cyst that has been giving me problems since December or is a new forming every month?  And if there is a new one every month, why?

My mammogram results also came back yesterday – normal!  I have another doctor’s appointment at the end of the month – which is good because it’ll give me more time to prepare and gather information together to bring to the doctor’s office incase I’m given a bit of a hard time about rejecting Depo-Provera and taking the all-natural route.

Endometriosis Reading List

I thought I’d put together a list (be it very small) of books that I’d like to read on the subject of naturally treating endometriosis.  Click on each book to be redirected to Amazon.  Please feel free to add any that you found helpful:

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I found this one, PCOS and Diabetes as a free download on Amazon one day…    519JdsRpNFL._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-38,22_AA300_SH20_OU15_

Herbs Are Here!

So, as you know, I’ve started all the vitamins – the headaches went away within about 5 days of starting the vitamins and re-starting up the Diatomaceous earth (DE).  Again, I’m not sure if the headaches were a result of my old neck injury, the DE (which I’ve read some people do experience as well as flu like symptoms when they start detoxing as your body tries to rid itself of stored toxins) or even the incense that I give as offerings.  The rest of my herbs came in today that I had ordered from Vitacost which includes:

More Traditional Medicinals Every Day Detox Tea (x2/day)

Christopher’s Chaste Tree Berries (Vitex) 400mg  (as directed)

Wise Essential Wild Yam and Progesterone Cream (that I’ll be starting during next cycle)

Nature’s Way Don Quai Root (as directed)

Ashwagandha Complex 578 mg (as directed)

Nature’s Herbs Cats Claw (as directed)

YS Eco Bee Farms Triple Bee Complex Royal Jelly Bee Pollen Propolis (as directed)

Tumeric Extract 800 mg (as directed)

 

I’ve decided to cut out the Evening Primrose for now until I do more research on it as I’ve read good and not so great stuff about it and endometriosis.

A lot of pills to take, yes, I know.  But I will tell you this – since I’ve started the vitamins and cut out some of the other foods (to include coffee 😦 ) I feel amazing!  I’m sleeping better, I’m more relaxed and able to handle stress better and just feel all around more healthy.  We’ll see what happens now that I’ve incorporated these herbs.

Witch, Heal Thyself

I decided that it would be good to journal about my episodes with endometriosis in that it may in some way, help others out there who maybe looking for information on treating it.  I was diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 26 shortly after suffering a miscarriage in the fall of 2006.  Something deep inside me knew I had it – my great-grandmother, grandmother and mother all had it and I just knew I had it.   My gynecologist didn’t think so, and after some going back and forth with her, she finally agreed to perform a laparoscopy.  Low and behold, endometriosis and some small cysts on my ovaries were found.

Not knowing too much about it or how to treat it at the time except that it caused painful menstruation, infertility and could spread very easily to other areas of the body, I agreed with no fuss to my gynecologist’s recommended treatment: Lupron-Depot.  Lupron-Depot put me into a menopausal state in which I stopped menstruating, suffered hot flashes, extreme bouts of depression and weight loss.  Also, later on, I’d discovered through dental x-rays that I’d also experienced bone density loss.

Long story short, after 2 injections, I soon found myself pregnant soon after my then fiancé returned from his second tour in Iraq.  Then, 9 months after the birth of my daughter, I was again pregnant with my son and  the symptoms went and stayed away well past the time I was done breastfeeding.  Late 2011, I was put on Nuvaring as a birth control (BC) method.  Things were going well until about last fall when the old familiar pain started coming back and the development of very painful cysts that sent me back to the doctor.  At the end of December, I decided to go off and stay off of BC because I didn’t like how it affected my mood and depression, and given past reactions to other forms BC (i.e. Mirena which almost ended in a mental breakdown and threatening the reluctant doctor in the ER to take it out or I’d find someway to do it myself) it just felt like the right thing to do.

So, it was time to move again and we are now settled in – I went back to the gynecologist on a referral from the ER two months ago in which I’d suffered some pretty intense pain that had me on my knees.  Come to find out, I had a cyst rupture and after an ultrasound, the technician and examining physician gave me a possible diagnosis of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

At my first consultation last week, the gynecologist was shocked and dismayed that I was put on Nuvaring based on its estradiol hormone which actually flares endometriois up!  She gave me 2 options – a partial hysterectomy or hormone injections.  Being that surgery is not an option for me right now and quite frankly, I’m not sure if I’m ready to part with my uterus just quite yet that left me with the other option, Depo-Provera; but still left me feeling quite uncomfortable.  After writing about it on my other blog, one of my readers asked if I had looked into alternative therapies – which I had kind of – tried a few different herbs and supplements, but really never committed to it, so I thought it was unfair to totally discount that approach and really dive into what it entailed.

So far, here is what I’ve found:  http://www.naturalnews.com/028673_endometriosis_natural_remedies.html
and this one: http://www.homemademedicine.com/home-remedies-endometriosis.html .  I think I’m going to follow the suggested vitamin intake. I’ve also found that people have had success with progesterone cream (like Fertilica) vs taking the injections http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqHPaib2MEk

I also have found that the use of the following herbs seems to be universally accepted: chasteberry/vitex, don quai, milk thistle, wild yam, goldenseal, blue cohosh, dandelion, ashwagandha, and alfalfa. Also, evening primrose oil, though there seems to be some debate over this because “it has estrogenic qualities due to the plant estrogens found in it; while these compete and block estrogen receptors preventing the bodies natural estrogen from uptake; they eventually, after long-term use, cause an increase of estrogen within the body, much of it being stored in tissue.” (http://www.mothering.com/community/t/809195/evening-primrose-oil-wa…)
Also avoid lavender in all forms as it mimics estrogen http://www.hystersisters.com/vb2/showthread.php?t=414331
There is also a diet including detoxing, avoiding gluten (though I’ve never had any issues or reactions to gluten), eating things that support healthy liver function (will be drinking 2 cups of Lemon Detox tea a day) and eliminating red meat and ham from your diet (from hormones in conventionally raised beef I’m assuming)http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blo… and avoiding excess estrogens and xenoestrogens (i.e. BPA found in plastics and parabens found in shampoos and lotions). It all seems so overwhelming and complicated… I’ve found diet supplements with the combined recommended herbs (Woman’s Best Friend – http://www.naturalfertilityshop.com/Women-s-Best-Friend-p/104360.htm and Endo-Ex – http://www.amazon.com/Native-Remedies-Endo-Ex-for-Endometriosis/dp/… but haven’t found too many reviews on them.

I do believe I’m going to try the cream, vitamins, and try to find the herbs. Also, getting back into Yoga as that seemed to help the pain when I was doing it back in NY before I moved down here to GA. I found these videos on YouTube today for women with endometriosis and PCOS http://www.youtube.com/playlist?feature=edit_ok&list=PLKGFcq-fbtmis9urBOdliEQ8cd\ N61Plzk
Also these links:

http://www.alternet.org/story/12087/can_depo-provera_destroy_your_sex_life

http://natural-fertility-info.com/reduce-pcos-thinning-hair-excessive-body-hair-\ growth-with-saw-palmetto.html

http://natural-fertility-info.com/fertility-herbs#PCOS

Currently, I’ve started taking the following supplements split up twice a day:

Vit B6 – 100mg a day

Vit E – 800 IU a day

Co Q-10 – 100 mg at bedtime

Cranberry Extract with Vit C – 4 soft gels a day

Folic Acid – 400 mcg a day

L-Carnitine – 1,000 mg a day

Oscal Ultra as directed for 1,200mg calcium a day

Magnesium – 500mg a day

Selenium – 400 mcg a day

Evening Primrose Oil (still on the fence on this one) – 1000 mg a day

Flaxseed Oil as directed

Milk Thistle – as directed

Saw Palmetto – 360 mg per day

I’ve also started back taking 3 tbsp of diatomaceous earth (DE), drinking 2 servings of Garden of Life’s Perfect Food – Super Green Formula, and drinking 2 cups of Everyday Detox tea.  I cut out parabens a long time ago,  have decided to stop eating conventionally raised beef (as I already only buy organic dairy products), and sadly must part with my health and beauty products containing lavender.  I plan to purchase progesterone cream, add Chasteberry (Vitex) and turmeric.  I am also going to look into Don Quai, Blue Cohosh, Ashwagandha and Cat’s Claw, and Royal Bee Jelly.

I’ve been taking these supplements for about 4 days now.  Overall, I feel really really good – lots of energy and my mood has greatly improved, quite remarkable actually.  The only negative thing I’ve notice is that I’ve been having more frequent headaches – but my neck has also been out for a while (I have a chipped C3 vertebra) and keeps popping and grinding – so that may explain the headaches.

I’m scheduled to go back to the gynecologist next week for a mammogram, ultrasound and to have the injection administered and am kind of nervous about her reaction to me refusing the injection; but in my heart and in my gut, I know I’m taking the right approach.

Ostara in Alabama

So yes, this is EXTREMELY late – but I really wanted to write about this before the next High Day comes, which is in about 3 or 4 days…

Artwork by Thorskegga Thorn

Artwork by Thorskegga Thorn

I was fortunate enough to be able to celebrate Ostara this year with the Nine Worlds Kindred in Auburn, AL.  I had been very interested in attending their Seekers Class and when I found out that they were hosting a Freyja blot & Disrblot for Ostara, I prayed to Freyja that there would be an opportunity for me to go – meaning that my husband would be home in time to watch the kiddies so I could go as his hours have been CrAzY!!  Alas, the Shining Ones allowed me the opportunity and I was on my way with a freshly baked loaf of bread that I had inscribe with the runes Ehwaz, Berkana, and Fehu – all runes I associate with Freyja and a bouquet of flowers to offer to Her.

The class went really well and I wished to continue as it opens door and explores different types of magic that I’m not all that familiar with, Hermetic and Ceremonial Magic that has always kind of intimidated me; but – good to know nonetheless.  I believe that it’s good to learn about all different Paths so you can become familiar with them and not “fear” them and may even incorporate them into your own practice.

The blot to follow was lovely.  In fact, parts of it were very familiar, having some similar elements to those found within an ADF style ritual: kindling a sacred fire and making offerings; pouring of water and offerings for the sacred water and honoring the sacred tree; referencing and acknowledging the land, sea and sky; and acknowledging and giving offerings to the outdwellers.  We bid hail to the Gods, the Disr and of course Freyja – the Goddess of the occasion.  A horn of mead was passed around as we hailed the Disr or a family ancestor followed by sacrifices and offerings being presented to Freyja.

During the ritual, I was provided the opportunity to sit in a seer session that was quite fascinating.  After such time, thanks was given to the Gods and Goddesses, the Disr, Earth Spirits and Ancestors and the gates were closed.

I was incredibly thankful for the opportunity that Freyja had opened for me.  It felt good, the people were awesome and I hope that some how, someway, I will be able to continue on with classes and activities with the Nine Worlds Kindred.

Reflections During the Dark Moon

So, I’ve been meaning to sit down and write a little bit this past two weeks since the last Full Moon, but things picked up and got really busy (and rightfully so – ’tis the season with spring right around the corner and work to be done to prepare for the coming year!).  I’ve started back taking 2 online college courses and we’ve started growing vegetables, essentially turning our dining room into a greenhouse, LoL!   More on that I think in a later post – but here’s a sneak peak…

Lots and lots of veggies!

Lots and lots of veggies!

So I figured – what better way to spend the Dark Moon than reflecting on the happenings and workings since the last Full Moon in preparation for the New Moon?  Like I said, a lot of good stuff set into motion since the last Full Moon.  If you recall in my post in Journeying to the Goddess on this year’s Snow Moon, I stated that “NOW is the time to cleanse and re-balance before the Full Moon in Virgo on February 25th.”  Yeah, I made sure I did just that.  I felt that it was imperative if I was really serious about healing issues deeply imbedded in my Shadow self that have been affecting me pretty much my whole life and moving forward with a healthy and positive outlook on life and with current relationships, and future relationships for that matter.

It all started out with a message received through Witchvox (YES!  Witchvox strikes again! 🙂 ).  I was invited out to a “Brewing Pot” meeting (kind of like a Pagan Night Out/meet and greet/discussion group with open and like minded people) in mid-February at the Celestial Azul Healing & Wellness Center in Columbus, GA.  I met some really fascinating people and was inspired by the lady who hosted the Brewing Pot’s information and advice about February’s full moon.  I called her the next day to schedule a Chakra Balancing session on Sunday, the only day I could do – which turned out that Sundays were the only days that she did the Energy Balancings – cool!

After a half hour session of energy balancing, talking and some wonderful advice on how to proceed with the healing process that involved candle work, I felt nervous, anxious, kind of spiritually high; yet strangely calm and satisfied knowing that I had taken a real first step in preparing to work with and fully utilize the energies of the upcoming Full Moon.  A few days later, I was back at Celestial Azul Healing & Wellness Center for a really neat Full Moon ritual.  Then, the next day it was off to a local International Caribbean market to pick up some suggested novena candles for some much needed spellwork.  I’ve always liked using candles in spellwork – in fact, my main medium when I actually do any spellwork is candle magic; but I’ve never worked with novena candles or any type of rootwork for that matter.  The magic is pretty amazing and I can honestly say pretty powerful.

Novena candles

Different types of novena candles

Here are some videos that I found helpful in preparing for and working with novena candles:

Love spell 7-day Candle by AnthosArtifex

How to dress a novena style/7 day candle by Oseaana December

How to fix or dress a 7 day candle by Krazyboytx

If you do any type of candle magic, seriously do some research and check into this to see if there’s anything that resonates with you or that you feel may improve your spellwork.