Endometriosis: Common drink could reduce symptoms of ‘debilitating’ condition

Endometriosis affects roughly one and a half million women in the UK. Although there’s no cure for the condition, many treatments such as ibuprofen and paracetamol are used to help manage the symptoms. But one option for women might be a form of green tea that has anti-inflammatory properties that might help.

Registered nutritionist Sarah Smith explained that based on her understanding of available research, a specific type of green tea extract can “reduce growth and development of lesions”.

“Epigallocatechin-gallate-3 is a powerful extract of green tea. Whilst many may sip away at it knowing ‘it’s good for you’, few may also understand it can help with symptoms of endometriosis… a painful and debilitating condition that affects women all over the world,” she explained.

The typical signs of endometriosis include painful bowel movements, painful periods, and tiredness.

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These symptoms can be caused by the lesions Smith spoke about: patches of tissue that are similar to tissue in the womb that grows in areas outside of the uterus.

These lesions are thought to be connected in some way to inflammation, although the NHS concludes that the “cause of endometriosis is not known”.

Green tea specifically contains a chemical called catechins, which appear to have a positive anti-inflammatory effect.

One review from 2021 that looked at many studies discussing the effect of green tea and the chemicals in it concluded that the drink “enhances ovulation” and “reduces cyst formation”.

The scientific review also found that green tea reduces pain sensitivity in the areas affected by the condition, and reduces the levels of a chemical linked to cognitive problems like memory loss.

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“ECGC also reduces endometrial implants [growths of tissue] by starving them of blood supply and reducing the chance of survival,” Smith explained.

Smith also added that green tea “has been shown to support many diseases including cancer, by exerting anti-inflammatory effects”.

Green tea isn’t the only hot drink that has shown positive effects for endometriosis patients.

One study from 2018 found that a chemical called chrysin in chamomile tea also suppressed the growth of endometrial cells.

Ginger tea was also found to help reduce menstruation-related pain, meaning ginger could also help with endometriosis.

What are the other symptoms of endometriosis?

Endometriosis can affect women of any age. Its main symptoms include pelvic pain that gets worse during your period.

It may also cause pain while you’re pooing during your period and feeling sick.

Other treatments found to help people with endometriosis include surgery to cut away endometriosis tissue, as well as hormone medicines.

Some ways to prevent endometriosis are to exercise regularly and avoid consuming large amounts of alcohol.

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