Hello, my name is Amanda and I’ll be your guinea pig this month!

Part of living a sustainable, alternative lifestyle is knowing how to heal one’s body.  While this does not mean abandoning Western medicine and trying to sew your arm back on if it gets chopped off, taking peppermint tea for an upset stomach really can help.  But what about treating ovarian cysts naturally? Here is everything you wanted to know (and more than you wanted to know) about why Ripples’ posts have not been coming in their regular Monday-Friday posting schedule.


Here’s the scoop about why I haven’t been able to commit to attending your fundraiser, helping your blog, going on that river float, volunteering at the soup kitchen, being your guest speaker, tabling for your business, etc (you know who you are).  I’d like to be reliably available for these things, but for the past year I’ve been having terrible pain in my abdomen that comes & goes unexpectedly.  After an ultrasound, we now know this is due to an 8cm complex ovarian cyst, likely a benign endometrioma based on CA-125 blood test results. Surgery is the conventionally accepted treatment because of the risk of torsion, cutting off blood supply to the ovary, or rupturing, although luckily my type of cyst is less likely to rupture.

First off, we couldn’t afford surgery even if I wanted to do it now.  We will need to go through the Department of Human Services to see if we qualify for Medicaid or some other program.  If we do pay everything we can for surgery, it wouldn’t cover the full amount needed and would threaten not only our ability to feed and house ourselves but also Ripples’ mission of living off-grid, helping the community and non-profit organizations.

Besides, I would like to not only remove this current cyst, but prevent the growth of new ones.  Surgery can’t guarantee that my pain will go away or that this problem will not recur, and neither can alternative treatments.  However, because I’ve had these symptoms for a year without needing to go to the emergency room, I feel it’s best to try and heal myself for good and address the underlying causes of my problem. In the spirit of Ripples, I also want my own experience to be useful to others – so I’ll be tracking my progress of healing myself to let you know if these methods were effective.

Sound crazy, against all odds?  Well, that is what people said about my marriage, now celebrating our 5th year anniversary this month. This is what people thought when we sold the car almost a year ago, and we’re doing fine car-free.  I just had to try this healing method…otherwise it would break my good reputation for doing “out there” alternative stuff! :)

My Healing Journey

Here is my daily healing process recommended by a licensed Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and additional tips from women who have used these strategies to heal their own cysts:

Getting in on the fun!


  • Wake up smiling, and don’t get out of bed until visualizing a positively glowing day! (if feeling bad) drink peppermint or decaffeinated tea
  • Tai Chi and Outdoor Meditation
  • Daily Journal [do whatever relaxes you – for me this is writing]
  • 1 capsule Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics
  • Green Smoothie (mix of dark leafy greens, veggies, fruits, and flaxseed – variable)
  • 1/4 tsp Hawthorne tincture in vitamin-packed juice
  • 1 capsule Vitex


  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in 8oz water
  • 1/4 tsp Hawthorne tincture in vitamin-packed juice with aloe vera added
  • 1 capsule Vitex
  • Nature Walk or gentle exercise outdoors
  • 1 bottle coconut water


  • 1/4 tsp Hawthorne tincture in vitamin-packed juice with aloe vera added
  • 1 capsule Vitex
  • 1 capsule Vitamin E with dinner
  • Castor Oil heating pack on my lower abdomen and liver for 1 hour each night (alternating between the two every other day) and gentle massage
  • 1 hour visualization exercise, imaging myself in perfect health and full of joy doing fun things
  • Laughter! Watch comedies and be goofy as much as possible, spend time with Ryan.
  • Inspirational Readings & Activity (Read The Secret, observe animals and play with cats)
  • Avoid coffee & caffeine, reduce use of plastics and parabens in body care products
  • Do not eat meat or dairy products, or foods high in estrogen (tofu, soy etc)
  • Along with a healthy diet of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and rice, eat at at least one of the following liver-supporting (and some alkaline) foods daily: citrus peel, caraway, beets, cherries, cabbage, dark leafy greens, dandelion leaves, rutabaga, burdock root, parsnip, turnips, artechokes and members of the brassica family such as broccoli or brussel sprouts.

“So cute!” -Ryan

This month, I will be taking a risk by trying something different than surgery. Yes I know, there are risks involved in my choice. Keep in mind there are also risks involved in major surgery, as well as high rates of cyst / endometriosis recurrence in women who have already had this surgery (surgery is not a cure!).  Unknowingly, I have been at risk for the past year and have not yet perished, LOL. If my symptoms worsen, or if my follow-up ultrasound shows no improvement, then I will likely need surgery.  But today, in this moment, I am trying something healthy and safe. I am strong, and confident that restoring balance to my body will help it heal itself just as many women around the world have already experienced.  One woman with an 8.5 cm cyst used some of these techniques to shrink her cyst in about a month or so!

Please a-cyst me (hehe!) on this healing path by wishing me well and envisioning me healthy and cyst-free in your mind, especially when you see me or talk to me. It really does help!

Progress Update: 35 Days Pain-Free!

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