1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Adrienne Dellwo

Essiac for Lipomas in Fibromyalgia

By January 5, 2010

Follow me on:

A lot of us with fibromyalgia get lumps and bumps under our skin called lipomas. They're basically "harmless" tumors made of fatty tissue, and while they're not dangerous just because they're there, I put quotes around the word "harmless" because -- in spite of what some doctors will tell you -- they can be painful. The tumors themselves don't hurt, but sometimes they interfere with a nerve and cause a whole lot of pain.

I first talked about lipomas here back in March, and that blog is still getting a lot of attention 10 months later. A recent comment there had some information that I just had to follow up on. It's from a woman whose dog has lipomas, and she started doing research after her vet said nothing could be done about them. She wrote:

"Knowing not to take any doctors word for anything as a sufferer of FMS, CFS and CFIDS for many years without diagnosis and treatment, I go searching. In fact, I somehow asked a Vet on About.com! I was fishing, not expecting anything, but I got an answer in about 15 minutes! This vetrinarian said to try Essiac tea (E-Tea). I tried it and the lipomas did shrink after about 6 weeks. Unfortunately, I stopped the e-tea and they are back to the same or larger size. I gave her 2 capsules with her food a day. I am restarting the E-tea again." ~Valetudinarian

What is Essiac?

Essiac is an herbal blend often made into a tea. In alternative medicine, it's sometimes used to shrink tumors, cancerous or otherwise. While there seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence of effectiveness, there's not a lot of scientific evidence behind it. The NIH says we don't yet know enough to recommend for or against it.

However, a 2007 study shuggests that Essiac is an antioxidant, immune modulator and detoxifier. It also may help break up blood clots. All the research isn't positive, though -- one study shows that Essiac may actually stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells.

Essiac proponents claim the herbs can also lower pain and inflammation levels and boost your energy. It hasn't been studied specifically for lipomas or as a treatment for fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, although it sounds like it should be.

If you have lipomas or want to see if Essiac helps with other fibromyalgia symptoms, be sure to do your research -- remember, nothing is perfect and anything we put in our bodies can have a negative effect. Here's an article to help you get started:

And here's the original lipoma blog and the 50+ comments left so far:

Do you have experience with lipomas, painful or otherwise? (My lower back is full of them!) What has helped? Have you used Essiac, for tumors or other health issues? Share your experience by leaving a comment!

Learn more or join the conversation!


Photo © Trinette Reed/Getty Images

January 5, 2010 at 11:25 am
(1) Sarah says:

Thanks for this post! I have FM, but have largely avoided lipomas thus far (knocking on all wood and wood product in the area). I will definitely pass this along to my father, though, who is currently battling cancer. And I’ll report back anything I hear from him or his doctor!

January 5, 2010 at 12:01 pm
(2) Crystal says:

Your link for “Lumps & Bumps: Fibromyalgia & Lipomas” is not going to the correct URL.


January 8, 2010 at 4:13 pm
(3) Peggy Kutzik says:

This is the first that I heard about fibromyalgia and lipoma’s being connected. I had a left atrium lipoma( a tumor the size of a golf ball inside of my heart) It took 3 doctors to properly diagnose me, before I had open heart surgery, they said they did not know the cause, I am amazed at how many things are linked to this crappy disease that has made me quite useless.

August 12, 2011 at 9:17 pm
(4) Lipoma Treatment says:

This is also the first I’ve heard of the connection between lipoma and fibromyalgia. Interesting.

January 6, 2011 at 2:52 am
(5) Ingrid says:

So that’s what they’re called!! I have asked every doctor I’ve seen since this “fibro-mania” rollercoaster has started and just when I get my hopes up that I’ll get an answer, I drop with despair at the sound of the words, “sorry, don’t know what they are but you should ask for a referral to so-and-so Dr as something is not right”. And so it goes….

Reading your information tonight has given me a sense of relief in just the fact of knowing that someone else out there has them (not that I’m elated that someone else is also suffering!!! but I think you know what I mean here), there’s something to try to try and relief the pain (and yes, they do feel like they are irritating or close to a nerve and no pain from the actual lump), and there’s a name for them!

I only get them on my face and hairline. The worst ones are the ones that are by my eyebrows and pop up right along the edge of the bone there. Often looks like I’ve been in a fight or something as the swelling that comes with them is quite pronounced. Misery loves company they say and mine usually appear in pairs…one on each side at the same time!!

Not to worry, I am objective enough to understand that this may or may not be what I have but will certainly be discussing this with one of my so-and-so Dr’s next visit!

January 6, 2012 at 8:31 pm
(6) Mark says:

Hi – The guaifenesin theory has for years talked about lumps in people with fibromyalgia, and that guaifenesin could treat the lumps. I am very glad to finally see a good explaination of what those lumps really are, and why guaifenesin can affect them. The main component of essiac is burdock, which has a known antiplatelet (anticoagulant) effect. Similarly, guaifenesin also has an antiplatelet effect. Thus, it’s quite possible that this effect is what causes guaifenesin to get rid of the lumps. – Mark

April 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm
(7) melinda vo says:

Hi! This is the first I’ve ever heard of this. Do you know where I can find any pictures of these lumps and bumps?

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.