There are a variety of reasons for developing ovarian cysts, which in most cases disappear after a few days to a week. Some ovarian cysts may grow very large and must be removed surgically. Some women prefer to use alternative means to shrink cysts until they disappear, opting out of surgery. Anecdotal evidence indicates that treatment with apple cider vinegar may reduce the size of ovarian cysts and help them dissolve naturally, avoiding surgical procedures. Consult your health practitioner before attempting to treat ovarian cysts with apple cider vinegar.
Ovarian cysts are sacs filled with fluid that develop on or in the ovaries during a woman's menstrual cycle. They form for one of several reasons and always have an egg at their center. Some cysts develop when the follicle doesn't break open and release the egg, and these disappear on their own in several months. Others may develop during ovulation on the outside of the ovary or in uterine tissue. Most ovarian cysts are filled with fluid or a gel-like substance and are benign.
Smaller ovarian cysts may not be detectable. As they grow, certain cysts may cause symptoms such as abdominal pain, swelling, pressure, discomfort during intercourse and bleeding. Additionally, you may experience pain in the low back and down the thighs, nausea, vomiting, weight gain, fever, breast tenderness, severe pain in the abdomen and rapid breathing. If you experience more severe symptoms, seek immediate medical assistance.
Apple Cider Vinegar
No one knows exactly why or how it works, but anecdotal evidence supports the use of apple cider vinegar to help shrink and dissolve ovarian cysts. According to Dr. John Christopher, a potassium deficiency may be the cause of cyst formation, and changing your eating habits to consume more potassium may be helpful. Apple cider vinegar is high in potassium, and this may be one of the reasons it is helpful in the treatment of ovarian cysts. Christopher recommends taking apple cider vinegar along with several other herbs such as burdock root, chaparral, cayenne, yellow dock, mullein and plantain.
The People's Pharmacy Guide to Home and Herbal Remedies also mentions use of apple cider vinegar for the treatment of cysts. Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of vinegar with 1 tablespoon of black strap molasses and 8 ounces of warm water. Drink one or two glasses daily to help shrink the cyst. It may also help relieve stomach bloating associated with the cyst. Consult a natural health practitioner for additional guidelines concerning the use of apple cider vinegar.
Diet and Prevention
The NYU Langone Medical Center notes that conventional doctors will not recommend ways to prevent the formation of ovarian cysts. However, a 2003 study at the Institute of Research Pharmacology in Italy discovered that women who consumed red meat and cheese were more likely to develop ovarian cysts than those who avoided these foods and stuck to a diet including large amounts of green vegetables. Adjusting your diet to reduce these foods and increase the amounts of vegetables may help prevent future cysts from forming.
- The People's Pharmacy Guide to Home and Herbal Remedies; Joe Graedon and Sifu Teresa Graedon
- Dr. Christopher's Herbal Legacy: Cysts
- European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology: Diet and Risk of Seromucinous Benign Ovarian Cysts; F. Chaffarino, et al.
- Womenshealth.gov: Ovarian Cysts Fact Sheet
- Wellness, Selfcare and Relationships -- Carolyn Chambers Clark: Ovarian Cysts
- NYU Langone Medical Center: Ovarian Cyst