Herbal Medicine

The Importance of Aconite (fuzi) and Teachings From the Sichuan Fire Spirit School

By Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Internal Medicine

Insomnia and anxiety are typically defined as being yin-deficient conditions in TCM. Due to the depleting effect of our modern lifestyle however, there is usually an underlying yang deficiency present in these patients. Stress can be defined as a situation when we spend our (yang) life-force rather than safeguarding and storing it. The primary problem we have here is therefore one of yang storage.

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Fu Zi: Revered and Feared

By Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Internal Medicine

In the case of Fu Zi, or aconite, processing dramatically changes the fresh root from being a deadly poison, to an herb that is hailed as “King of the 100 Herbs”. Because it is highly toxic in its raw form, it has been demonized by Western medicine researchers who usually study the root without understanding or taking into account the precise processing and decoction methods required….

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High Fever and Antibiotics

By Case Histories, Clinical Perspectives , East/West Integration, Herbal Medicine

This case started with a fairly typical flu, most likely caused by a wind-cold pathogen. The prescribed antibiotics constrained the pathogen in the muscle layer. Antibiotics, usually considered cold and bitter, are not appropriate in such situations, which require an acrid warm approach to disperse and release the exterior cold. The patient had a fairly robust constitution, which helped prevent the pathogen from sinking…

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Clinical Experience in the Treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

By Acupuncture, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Internal Medicine, Theory and Diagnosis

When the Triple Burner functions smoothly, all qi in the body flows smoothly and all Fire in the body circulates endlessly.  In SLE patients, the Triple Burner is obstructed, qi and Blood do not flow smoothy and there is disharmony between ying qi and wei qi.  Insufficiency of ying qi and Blood and loss of control of the defensive exterior…

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Wu Wei Zi: A Great Herb, A Little Caution

By Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine

Wu wei zi and ganjiang are similar in temperature but have opposing properties. Wu wei zi acts to retain and collect fluids. It retains lung qi and enhances the kidneys’ ability to receive lung qi (納氣 naqi). While wu wei zi is warm, ganjiang is hot and spicy. Wu wei zi’s nature is stillness; ganjiang’s is movement. Thus ganjiang acts to disperse cold and flush out phlegm and fluids from the lungs while invigorating the spleen and…

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Postnatal Depression

By Acupuncture, Case Histories, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Women's Health

The commentaries included within the Ji Yin Gang Mu note that there are three major approaches to post-partum emotional disorders. One focuses on “bad blood” (bãi xué) left over after the birth, which rushes to and disrupts the Heart shen. Another emphasizes blood deficiency resulting from the birth process and its attendant traumas.  The last points to pathogenic wind taking advantage of the blood deficiency to attack. Naturally these approaches offer radically different suggestions as to how a problem is to be handled…

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Opening Through Stasis

By Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Theory and Diagnosis, Women's Health

If we think of the Ren vessel/Bao Tai as a tubular pathway extending from the upper body (Heart and chest) to the womb, physiologically, this tube provides the route for the Heart fire to descend to warm the womb and for the Kidney water to ascend to control, moisten and cool the Heart.  This pathway allows the communication and interaction of fire and water between the upper Jiao and womb…

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Gu Syndrome: Treating Chronic Inflammatory Disease with Chinese Herbs

By Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Internal Medicine, Theory and Diagnosis

Gu syndrome has not just been mentioned in a single classic, but every notable book by every master in the past generally featured a chapter on Gu syndrome, because it was such a major part of what a Chinese doctor practicing anywhere between 500 BC and the 1940’s was facing.  We should add here that Gu is not an anthropological phenomenon, a bizarre disease in the swamps of ancient China that does not exist anymore,.  Quite the contrary…

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Leaky Gut Syndrome A Modern Epidemic

By Acupuncture, Clinical Perspectives , Dietary Therapy, East/West Integration, Herbal Medicine, Internal Medicine, Theory and Diagnosis

Antibiotics introduce a very cold environment into the digestive system. It depletes spleen yang and disrupts spleen-stomach harmony. This impairs digestion and absorption of food and fluids, and more important, depletes the qi necessary to maintain the integrity of the small intestine. The small intestine is controlled by the spleen. The spleen’s function of absorption and distribution of qi and fluid…

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Checking for Possible Herb-Drug Interactions

By AOM Research, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Internal Medicine

The issue of herb-drug interactions looms large over the practice of herbal medicine. Up to now there have been few incidents recorded of clinical herb-drug interactions. After the first such reports emerged in the 1990s, a concern has been raised: that we know so little about herbs and their potential for interaction with drugs that these incidents could be just the “tip of the iceberg.”. In actuality…

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Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine in the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

By Acupuncture, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Internal Medicine

The general treatment principle is “nourishing yin and extinguishing wind”.  Nourishing liver and kidney yin treats the root and extinguishing wind focuses on eliminating its manifestation…..the specific treatment plan will be different in different stages of the disease and with different patients.  Generally speaking, Parkinson’s…

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Fibromyalgia

By Acupuncture, Clinical Perspectives , East/West Integration, Herbal Medicine, Neuromusculoskelatal

FM begins often following an infectious, or other medical disease, which can lead to retained pathogenic factors. It may also result from trauma, blood loss, chronic stress or chronic diseases. Stress, trauma and retained pathogenic factors result in obstruction and often also, secondary unstable Yang (Yin-Fire, Empty-Heat, Wind etc.) which can mani­fests as facilitated sympathetic nervous system and may depress..

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