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My Full Recovery By TCM + TCM issues Q&A

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by wintersky, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. wintersky

    wintersky

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    I have decided to put all the different posts under one thread (linked) as it's too spread out everywhere. From now, i'll just answer in this thread regarding TCM and any questions regarding my personal recovery story. As to whether it is, or not CFS, or just CFS similar symptoms, judge it yourself as i have never been formally tested for it and switched my personal treatment from totally Western Medicine to Eastern Medicine after trying Western Medicine for close to a year with no relief.

    My Personal Recovery Story With TCM within afew months:
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/now-my-sister-has-cfs-me….40131/page-2#post-644671

    TCM Viewpoint Of CFS:
    http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/archives2005/aug/08wang.html

    A Beginner Beginner Guide To understanding TCM:
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...okovics-diet-and-tcm.39893/page-2#post-644836

    2 TCM Issues On Why Most People Visit Multiple TCM Doctors (including me, before finding true recovery)

    1. Different Symptoms But Same Illness Origin VS Similar Symptoms But Difference Illness Origin
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...okovics-diet-and-tcm.39893/page-2#post-644695

    2. "Find The Mother" Problem
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...okovics-diet-and-tcm.39893/page-2#post-644812

    Frankly, I have a very limited understanding of the depths of TCM given that it has 3,000+ years of documented medical texts. But ill try to answer all that i can, if anyone has any questions.
     
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  2. wintersky

    wintersky

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    I shall quote the below from this NCBI link:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2816380/#B7

    "A randomized trial of Bu-Zhong-Yi-Qi-Tang in combination with Xiao-Chai-Hu-Tang, which theoretically invigorates spleen qi (6) and smooths the liver qi [functional activities of vital energy and an emotion regulator (6)], in the treatment of 38 CFS patients showed that 18 patients were able to resume normal work and daily activity while the symptoms of 16 additional patients were relieved"

    "In a double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial, Liu-Wei-Di-Huang-Wan, a famous general herbal tonic for invigorating kidney essence (6), was proven able to accelerate the speed of information processing, enhance cognitive ability and benefit dementia patients or help the elderly recover from a cognitive defect, which is one of the most important clinical manifestations of CFS"

    It is very rare that rigorous, properly done statistical studies of TCM therapy on various illnesses, including CFS are done, so go read this up. There are several long reasons for this so skip this part if you do not want to know the crappy details):

    1. Language: Most studies are done in Chinese language, so dont expect much of the studies to be translated to English

    2. TCM theory (if you've read my "Different Symptoms, Same Illness Origin Post") adjusts therapy to each and every individual. TCM believes that it is oversimplifying to give patients with largely similar but slightly differing symptoms the same medicine. Alot of people can still be unhealed (or even get worse symptoms with the same medicine, while others might heal).

    3. Intellectual Property protection is generally weak in Asia, so dont expect any TCM doctor to reveal his "strongly effective formula" components and proportion in public. IP issues causes commercial secrecy means most

    4. TCM has at least 3,000 years of documented history. Most herbs have been studied for very long in practical human applications, thereby the kind of herbs that works for a particular function are largely known to everyone almost. With that, TCM doctors mostly never reveal their deemed best-effective formulas (composition ratio).

    5. TCM doctors in Asia do not follow the Western statistical testing standards, for instance, no double-blinded studies nor getting large sample Size N. This is in part due to need for more statistical education on the part of Eastern doctors. It is also due to TCM doctors believing in Point 2 above, as they believe beforehand that it will harm certain patients so they do not want to engage in one-size-fits-all medicine studies on totally randomized patients
     
  3. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    I'm a long-time fan of TCM and acupuncture, I spent the first, critical year, of my illness seeing my excellent acupuncturist. Pretty much weekly. And I continued deteriorating. Not until eliminating gluten, dairy, and then methylation supps would I begin to make progress. :balanced:
     
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  4. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

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    Hi @wintersky
    I have no way of evaluating the efficacy of TCM. I'm not against the idea (why should I be) of it being potentially useful in treating ME.
    I only have one question. By pursuing this as a legitimate avenue toward health; what are all the many many very sick people who can't afford TCM supposed to do? TCM is in no danger of being covered under anybodies insurance plan any time soon.
    The question is especially relevant given the years of TMC it might take to heal and the number of TCM specialists to go through before finding one who works. I'm guessing this wasn't a problem for you as you were not sick that long your treatment was shorter but still must have cost you a fair amount.
    There are many very sick people here living in poverty because they can't work. It's not really reasonable to assume that they are flush with cash.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
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  5. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    I did really badly on my two TCM attempts with herbal medicine and acupuncture at the same time.
     
  6. wintersky

    wintersky

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    Hi,

    That was a good move. As far as i know in TCM, gluten, dairy, soybeans cause dampness (wetness obstruction/fluid retention). I am surprised that your acupuncturist did not tell you to avoid those upfront. Most TCM doctors (the patient ones in particular) will tell people to avoid the above, especially if they are deemed to suffer from dampness-related issues.

    It is also good that you mention the above. Ever since i got my CFS/CFS similar illness, while beginning the road to recovery, i have also stopped taking most damp foods and reduced other kinds of damp foods drastically. Foods high in gluten, raw foods, cold food and drinks, milk, soy bean (including tofu), fruit juices, soft drinks, stuff high in sugar (including sweets, ice-cream), fast food and fried oily stuff just cause me very discernible dampness in the form of feeling that stuck stomach feeling. If i risk taking bigger amounts of those foods over a day or 2, i will just vomit and lose my appetite partially (feeling very full). I just self-discovered all the sensitive foods to avoid by myself (sadly my TCM doctors, if i remember correctly only briefly mentioned cold and raw foods) and it was only much later that i started reading more about TCM that strangely the sensitive foods ive been avoiding were largely considered damp forming foods under TCM outlook. As far as i know, meat stuff isnt considered damp forming foods in TCM but i do felt that with a change to a mostly vegetarian diet (plus avoiding all the damp foods during my illness-recovery months), i have felt so much better for my digestive system.

    2 years after my illness (that would be about 15 years since my illness started), ive turned into a ova-vegetarian and will for general health maintenance till the next millennium (LOL!), continue to cut out totally very damp forming foods except a very low occasional intake of eggs, soy bean and wheat noodles.

    This link below includes a list of foods + environmental conditions TCM considers damp-forming, but it is not exhaustive and i believe anyone interested will research more on their own, so ill not rack my memory for a very comprehensive list:
    https://magic.piktochart.com/output/3615511-dampness

    Nowadays, whenever i've felt slightly damp in stomach sensation (+ im a partial learner in tongue analysis), ill either eat damp-clearing foods or add abit of damp-clearing herbs for my frequent health-maintenance herbal decoction, especially so when Winter is coming.... It has been said by TCM that healing therapy (herbal tonification) during 3 months of winter is more curative than healing done during the rest of the year, along with much less side-effects. Hence, it's been said winter is a good time to heal long-term chronic and stubborn illnesses and seek significant improvements.

    FYI: In TCM theory though, Milk is abit inconclusive as some TCM doctors believe it might actually relieve dampness while some other TCM doctors think that if one takes a small amount only, it helps to reduce dampness, but a big cup will just simply cause dampness outright.
     
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  7. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    @wintersky interesting stuff!
    This all shows that TCM and Western Medicine are so very different in certain aspects. That makes it hard to compare them, but maybe that's also what makes it hard for them to work together.

    As you said before, a lot depends on which doctor you see, and it could take a while until you find the right one. Problem in Europe is, there aren't many TCM professionals, at least not the ones who have so thoroughly studied the ancient writings that they can take on very complex cases. Good to hear you found relief!
     
  8. wintersky

    wintersky

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    1. Regarding Efficacy, read my post #2 mentioning about the 2 experiment studies done, especially the 1st experiment which was double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of "Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang" which allowed 50% of patients to resume back their work life and normal activity while allowing significant relief for another 40%. Total Effective Treatment rate was 89.5% while the control group was 26.5% as said in the link below. Personally, for me, reading such figures (and the double-blinded, placebo controlled testing), i am not sure how much more rigorous testing or extent of efficacy or other methodology you need to verify TCM efficacy (for this particular experiment's herbal formula, statistically that is, for instance).

    http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-JZYB200402025.htm

    2. Regarding the monetary angle: Personally, i feel that TCM treatment as a whole is relatively cheap. Minor and moderate illness complaints ( and you can also include chronic conditions depending on individual condition) at a very rough estimation costs monthly around 80 to 200 USD range most times (after conversion based on my Singapore Exchange Rate) based on my personal experiences ( and that includes some of the famous reputed TCM doctors with TV screentime. Of course, some other famous doctors charge totally exorbitant crazy rates). For me back then during my illness time, after accounting for inflation and rate changes, it cost around 100+ USD monthly in today terms and it costs around there mostly if one visits TCM doctors nowadays for minor or chronic conditions. I have spent way way more per month on Western Medicine to no avail during that time if you ask me. 100+ USD per month cant be considered to be very shockingly expensive frankly, if you ask me.

    Besides, for TCM, the illness severity (say chronic conditions) in alot to most cases, doesnt necessitate using very expensive rare medicine. Alot of times, very simple cheap herbs can be substituted for the functions of very expensive herbs. For instance in TCM, ginseng (Ren Shen) is relatively expensive, so Codonopsis (Dang Shen) is commonly substituted (for prescriptions which call on Ginseng) with 3 times the dosage in exchange for still less than half the cost. This is just one commonly seen occurence in TCM to name afew.

    It is unfortunate that there is very little recognition for insurance terms. No doubt this is partially due to TCM theory not having direct obvious labels of symptoms under a illness. You can think that nothing foreseeable will be done about this in the long run. Cultural misunderstanding of TCM in Western cultures along with TCM's innate multi-layered complexity means this will likely continue on.
     
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  9. wintersky

    wintersky

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    I am sorry to hear that. Personally for me, i went through IIRC 5 TCM doctors. In TCM, severe chronic conditions allowed to drag on for years are believed to require many years of herbal therapy before seeing improvements. TCM also strongly emphasizes that the other half of treatment is about lifestyle and dietary changes relevant to the seasons and illness conditions, for instance, totally avoiding damp foods for instance in my individual case. For me, very seriously avoiding damp foods was what i did (read my post #6 above) along with sleeping early etc etc.

    Frankly, on a personal basis, i think that on the contrary, there is alot room for positive synergy and combination between the 2. For instance, there can be alot room for positive combination as Western Medicine is good at suppressing symptoms while giving time for Eastern Medicine (which usually takes a longer time to work) to work on the Original Illness Cause. I have heard that in China, there are quite alot of hospitals engaging successfully concurrent treatment of both Western and Eastern Medicine. There are also certain studies online on dual treatment for some illnesses which reports significantly increased effective treatment rates than could be achieved by either one alone.
     
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  10. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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    Definitely a huge problem. I did look around last year for TCM practitioners in my region, and I was a bit put off by the websites of the few who were around — huge focus on anti-aging, beauty and weight-loss treatments.

    I've found the same thing with acupuncture, and in the end only got benefits from an acupuncturist who had gone to China for 7 years to train properly. I've always wondered whether western clinical trials on the efficacy of acupuncture bother to use properly trained practitioners.

    Given the potency of many of the herbs used, it seems even more important with TCM. Unless I got a personal recommendation from someone I trusted for a practitioner here, I don't think it's a path I would follow. As Snowdrop suggests, it can be very expensive so you would want to have confidence that the person treating you was not some semi-trained conman who couldn't earn a living in China!
     
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  11. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    I totally agree! I didn't mean to imply that they shouldn't work together, because I think they should. They can both bring different things to the table which can only be of benefit for the patient. It's just sometimes people only focus on the differences and then conclude they are not compatible. Good to hear that there is synergy between Western and TCM in China. Maybe one day we'll all embrace that concept.
     
  12. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    I tried a local accupuncturist first and that didn't do anything at all. I felt like he wasn't even sure himself of what he was saying. Over here accupuncturists have to have had training in China, I think a couple of months. But what is a couple of months when you see how much there is to learn? The next one I tried locally was a very experienced accupuncturist from China. Communication was impossible, but her treatment was succesful. So I think knowledge + experience is key here.
    Yeah there sadly is no way to really tell if a TCM practitioner in Europe is good, or just a conman. And they do work with potent herbs, so I'd be cautious too...
     
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  13. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    Interestingly enough, I fired a rheumatologist who wanted me to try TCM. This was in a large medical center. I would have had to be weaned off many of my medications and I simply wasn't willing to do that as it took years to get the right combination of meds that helped me. Plus the fact that the science didn't win me over.

    She was fired a month later but I have no idea if it had anything to do with that.

    I wouldn't try it but for others, go for it!

    Barb
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
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  14. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Can I ask, which of these herbal formulas did you take, @wintersky, and how long did it take before the benefits started to appear, and how long did it take to reach full recovery?

    And how would you describe the level of your ME/CFS, mild, moderate or severe?



    The ingredients of these Chinese herbal formulas are as follows:
    Astragalus has been shown to have antiviral properties against coxsackievirus B. Bupleurum too.


    Bupleurum is the primary herb in this formula. I tried Bupleurum herb before, as this study and this study showed it can inhibit coxsackievirus B, which is strongly associated with ME/CFS. I did not notice much in terms of benefits for my ME/CFS, however.


    Rehmannia is the primary herb in this formula. I tried the Shu Di Huang version of Rehmannia before, as this study found that Rehmannia inhibits the secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1 and TNF-alpha from astrocyte cells in the brain.

    Some studies have shown that astrocytes are infected with coxsackievirus B in the brains of ME/CFS patients, and other studies have shown that coxsackievirus B-infected astrocytes secrete IL-1beta, TNF-alpha and IL-6 — all cytokines know to cause sickness behavior.

    Unfortunately again I did not notice any benefits, although I only took this herb for around 10 days.

    Note that Rehmannia comes in two forms, Sheng Di Huang (raw Rehmannia) and Shu Di Huang (cooked Rehmannia). In this Rehmannia 6 formula they employ cooked Rehmannia. Cooked Rehmannia is much easier on the stomach, whereas raw Rehmannia can cause significant stomach pains (I know, because I tried raw Rehmannia and it took my stomach pains several days to clear, even though I only took one dose of the herb).
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2015
  15. wintersky

    wintersky

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    One of my family members has Autoimmune disorder (arthritis type) so i empathize with you. Personally, my family member had devastating attacks which caused massive pains and stiffness in the upper back and she had to stop work on those days (couldnt even walk afew steps frankly) until i gave her a herbal home-brewed decoction that included cinammon (warms the body circulation and breaks blood stasis) and tumeric (similar function). The attack totally goes away by the next day (able to resume work) when i gave her this herbal brew which includes alot of other items. The brew components for when she had an attack, including the normal daily decoction are adjusted according to my observation of her tongue and symptoms. Her ESR reading for instance is always high (about 70 or so), but she has had no attack relapse for half a year and ongoing. She is not totally healed (in fact very far away) from what i observe of her body condition under TCM outlook (tongue diagnosis and minor symptoms like very light numbness and light muscle stiffness occuring occassionally), in large part due to her still having very nasty dietary and lifestyle habits like eating crappy non-nutritious food, sleeping very late nights etc.

    From the little that i know about, Western Medicine and Western doctors are honest in saying that they dont have effective treatment options for Autoimmune issues in particular, but are only able to give inflammation/immune-suppression drugs to reduce the symptoms only. I think i gave one link in one of my previous posts with a link that tongue diagnosis sublingual veins (purple/engorged) indicating blood stasis has been shown in a study by Western Medicine Doctors to be seen in the case of about 89% of RA patients, so that is interesting as ive only observed my Arthritic family member in my family as having purple and engorged sublingual veins. The 2 links below are some of the most informative TCM views of arthritis:

    http://www.itmonline.org/arts/arthritis.htm
    http://www.itmonline.org/arts/advancedarthritis.htm

    By the way, tumeric/curcumin has been tested in the west as having anti-inflammatory properties, as im sure you already know. FYI According to TCM both these items have quite some nasty properties so ideally they have to be brewed in a combination. The biggest issue i find here is that people tend to just pick single items and extract components to consume and thats very dangerous i feel in my personal experience and also according to TCM especially. Take for instance Cinammon which is very nasty in that most people if consuming too much will easily feel their body getting very "warm/heaty" and get coughs and fevers. That is why TCM believes that all herbs have to be taken in combination together to reduce side effects and to create positive synergy from combination.
     
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  16. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    @wintersky

    When I saw the rheumatologist, there was a sign saying to refrain from using fragrances when you have a doctors appointment. There were several rheumatologist in the practicd, so don't know if this was just a general rule or for a particular staff member.

    I wish more public places had something like this.


    Has anyone else seen a sign like this?

    Barb
     
  17. wintersky

    wintersky

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    Hi Hip,

    First i will tell you that i went to TCM doctors for my CFS similar condition back then. For most (most, if not all) people who has ever visited a TCM doctor, it is very rare that TCM doctor will show you the name labelling the name of the pills and herbal bottled drink. On reason is because your TCM doctor is a responsible doctor who cares for your safety and the 2nd reason is commercial secrecy.

    TCM herbal type, herbal composition ratio and total weight changes very often based on a TCM doctor's understanding of your individual condition. Herbs are readily available at local drug stores in Asia and self-decoction or buying online a fixed formula pills can cost as low as 20 USD for a month's supply so this is where it gets dangerous because patients are likely to just visit once and think they are capable of self-diagnosis by just continuing the prescription formula just because they have visited once.

    TCM, drug adjustments are made usually within afew days or a week minimally (even individual herb ratio even if the overall formula fits the individual patient). Yes, the herbs for a particular function (out of usually 10 or more different herb functions) might be limited to a choice amongst 4 to 10+ choices of specific herbs perhaps, but the weight given changes very often. Hence, most TCM doctors worry patients will get worse by self-dosing.

    TCM knowledge is too complicated and multi-layered for the average layman to self-dose safely, frankly. This is also because herbs (commonly used by TCM) by nature are way too strong in function as compared to normal food (food is also a form of therapy too but has less strong effects/functions). Personally, most (almost all) TCM herbs pass Western Toxicological tests but they can also be extremely dangerous if given to the wrong people.

    The 2nd reason is commercial...... secrecy of TCM doctor's proprietary knowledge, which is very difficult to patent ( and pointless for alot other reasons in short which i shall not mention here). Otherwise, "more reputed doctors" cant charge premium prices right? I can tell you as an Asian citizen so far that i have never ever seen the actual TCM prescription herbal list whenever i go to TCM doctors, nor have my family members and friends.

    The only 1 exception here in my country that i know of is a TCM charity foundation which has TCM doctors diagnosing and giving out one day's supply for free along with the formulae, encouraging people to go buy and decoct accordingly and coming back for consultations every 3 days or 1 week depending on severity (for a new formulae list).

    Some people believe in having actual fresh decoctions being more effective than pills which have been made and stored for years already possibly, along with bottled herbals (which are considerably fresh, made for weeks or so perhaps). Others like to know what they are taking precisely. Hence these types of people will visit that TCM centre. Most TCM doctors give pills and bottled herbals. Fresh herbal decoction is too impractical for TCM doctors to do.

    =============================================================================

    Personally, back for me then, i took to 2 months of switching in between doctors (you can only consume 1 TCM doctor's prescription at any one day/time.) along with another 3 to 4 months of sticking with the same doctor. Full recovery,i cant remember exactly as after the last 3 or 4 months period, there were practically very very minimal symptoms left (occasional gastro sensitivities etc). I had to quit school and stayed at home entirely for close to a year (too difficult to go out even if i wanted to with rashes, fatigue and sensitivities to sunlight, dust etc etc. I resumed normal life going back to school after that last 3 or 4 months period

    As to whether it is severe or not, well, that should be up to you to judge if you read my symptoms. If you must ask me, to me, any single major symptom would be more than enough for me to quit school (gastro, recurring and disappearing rash for about half a day within every single day , fatigue, insomnia sleeping only about 2 to 3 hours worth in broken timings within a day etc). My symptoms are here:

    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/now-my-sister-has-cfs-me….40131/page-2#post-644671
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2015
  18. wintersky

    wintersky

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    BarbC56,

    I do not know about the fragrance part really as it is not me who accompanies my family member to the Rheuma Specialist (another family member does). What i know however is that my family member has to clean off her nail polish as the doctor likes a clear look at the nail region. I cant recall what was the reason said though
     
  19. wintersky

    wintersky

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    Hip,

    To understand a TCM prescription, one also needs to understand the "Five Flavours/Tastes" to understand each herb's property + Understand the "King-Minister-Guiding Herb principle". I shall not do a lengthy discussion of that here but focus on my personal Formula Interpretation here to reduce complexity

    "Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang":

    Very well known + often used prescription in TCM. A possible read might be here:
    http://www.acupuncture.com/herbs/buzhongyi.htm

    One thing to note in TCM is that if you look at individual herbal contraindications (TCM type, not pharmacological), alot of people will not have body conditions suitable to eat it. Almost every herb will have contraindications. For instance, Astragalus isnt suitable for people with alot internal heat fairly common especially in people with "yin deficiency". Hence, TCM combines various herbs to reduce side effects so a person with specific contraindications can better tolerate it. For instance, Hip took Rhemannia raw. For TCM, both Cooked and Raw format are both said to be very greasy/"dampening" on the stomach (creates digestive/stomach problems) if you eat it alone. Just go touch some Rhemmania externally and you will notice. For TCM, it is mostly incorrect to eat a herb standalone without reducing it's side-effects. Effects are also much reduced too without combination from a TCM outlook and can actually make a pre-existing condition worse instead, especially with contraindications. This is very crucial.

    This is one very user-friendly English TCM book of individual herb properties i follow much lately. Read contradindications of Rhemmania (cooked) under page 780 here:

    https://books.google.com.sg/books?id=AmCVN_uxXD8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=a materia medica for chinese medicine plants 780&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CBoQ6AEwAGoVChMI5_T26q6byAIVw0iOCh16ugTP#v=onepage&q=a materia medica for chinese medicine plants 780&f=false

    http://old.tcmwiki.com/wiki/shu-di-huang

    Personally, my 2 cents interpretation of the high Formula total effective rate is that it works particularly well for chronic conditions without even finding the Illness Origin as in my personal opinion, chronic conditions often involves:

    1. Spleen and stomach digestive problems
    2. Deficient energy Causing Internal body Heat (low quality energy) yet also causing feeling cold symptoms (due to lack of high-quality energy) at the same time especially in lower half of body (one possible lousy analogy here is poor car oil/fuel quality causing more crappy polluting gases like carbon monoxide and vice versa)
    3. Blood insufficiency (for ease of explanation simplicity, think of it as inclusive of low Red Blood Cell and low White Blood Cells for instance, loss of excessive menstruation blood for women)

    TCM role of herbs in "Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang" (Ginseng and Astragalus Combination):

    1. Bai Zhu (atractylodes) and Chen Pi (tangerine peel) tonifies and helps with the spleen and stomach
    2. Huang Qi (Astragalus) and Dang Shen (Codonopsis) together tonify Deficient Energy and "Raise energy (yang) upwards to reach the upper body half. Ginseng, being relatively more expensive, is commonly substituted for here in TCM by Codonopsis which has a similar functions but at 1:3 ratio for much cheaper herbal cost.
    3. Dang Guai helps with blood insufficiency and nutrient problems
    4. Gan Cao (licorice root) is almost in every TCM formula because it's "sweetness" property helps to harmonize the harsh effects of herbs
    5. Sheng Ma (black rhizome) and Chai Hu clears "strong fever-type heat" here and has similar functions to Astragalus especially in raising energy upwards.
    6. Chai Hu (blupureum) is commonly used for stagnation uses, but here, it's used like Astragalus's function here to raise energy. Personally, i do not like to use Chai Hu as it's been felt by some TCM practitioners to consume "yin energy" and hence they nullfy side effect they add alittle Rhemannia to tonify "yin energy"

    Liu Wei Di Huang Wan (Rhemannia 6):

    Can be said to be the most Ultra-Famous Household name Formula in Asia. Most people in Asia have taken them in one time or another at least in their lives. Alot alot of people (even healthy people) take this on a daily basis (especially pill-form) including me (i take a very very modified and self-personalized decocted version of this for health maintenance). Ask around in every Chinese family in Asia and most mums will have heard of this/currently consuming. In Asia, the extent is such that every man and their donkey will have heard or used it before = LOL!

    With it's household fame, there are many spawned-off modified versions including different herbs for Rhemania 6 along with modified versions like Rhemania 8 too etc. Their functions are largely the same with minor differences as they center upon Rhemannia.

    TCM View of Herb Functions in Liu Wei Di Huang Wan (Rhemannia 6):

    1. Shu Di Huang (Rhemannia): Tonifies "Jing/Stored Potential Energy Reserves' and Blood only. This herb's effects takes afew weeks/months to be felt as it does not directly tonify "Qi" which we currently use at the moment, so it's effects are much slower to be visibly felt.

    2. Shan Zhu Yu (Cornus) with Mu Dan Pi (Moutan): tonifies liver and clears heat

    3. Shan Yao (Dioscorea): Qi Tonic

    4. Ze Xie (Alismatis) and Fu Ling (Poria): Both are used to drain dampness/greasy side effects by Rhemannia. Ze Xie (Alismatis) is said to have a stronger function here than Fu Ling (Poria)

    http://www.itmonline.org/arts/rehm6.htm

    =============================================================================

    My Personal TCM Viewpoint/Comparison of "Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang" (Ginseng and Astragalus Combination) Versus "Liu Wei Di Huang Wan" (Rhemannia 6):

    For the record, i have taken all the all the herbal formulas above in their original format combination in both pill form and decoction form and have also taken all the individual herbs above in various modifications or part of other formulas for many years, especially Rhemannia 6. Once again, the below is my personal rudimentary-knowledge of the 2 formulas so take it with a grain of salt

    GAC: Ginseng and Astragalus Combination

    1. In TCM, GAC is often used for moderate to severe chronic conditions to immediate life-danger body conditions where the energy deficiency and other conditions is very serious (for instance very low appetite, spontaneous sweating, fever etc). For immediate life-threatening conditions, Ginseng (more expensive) is in place of Codonopsis (Dang Shen) as the former works very fast and is able to tonify "Jing/Stored Energy Reserves' almost instantly.

    Rhemania 6, on the other hand, can be used by people anywhere from no health ailments (general body maintenance) to chronic conditions too. Rehmannia 6 can only be used in cases with no serious immediate conditions seen, like major appetite loss/profuse sweating/fever.

    2. For TCM, Rhemannia 6's effects focuses on tonifying "Jing/stored energy reserves" while GAC focuses on immediate dangerous conditions by tonifying "Qi/energy" instantly. Effects for the Rhemannia 6 can take weeks/many months to be felt, while for GAC, it can be felt within afew days (improvements visible via less/no profuse/spontaneous sweating/improved appetite/reduced fever etc). Hence, Rhemannia 6 and variants are particularly taken in Asia during Winter to increase energy reserves

    3. In TCM, both formulas improves cognitive functions (brain-fog feeling) too but GAC works faster than Rhemannia 6 due to the intrinsic usage of Ginseng as compared to Rhemannia.

    4. For when GAC is appropriately used and an individual is more stable, GAC is stopped and highly modified formulas of Rhemannia 6 might be used or other entirely different tonification formulas is used. IMHO, GAC is not meant for use in the long run unless said individual has chronic symptoms.

    An overly simplified TCM Viewpoint might be that GAC is used in very chronic/life-threatening cases while Rhemannia 6 is usable in chronic conditions with no outwardly dangerous symptoms. GAC is a much much more complicated formula than Rhemannia 6 and it should ideally be taken only under close TCM medical supervision.

    Thanks, Sushi/the other mod (dont know your name yet) for the difficult task of helping in moderation of everyone's postings :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2015
  20. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    Yeah I've seen that somewhere! It was because my manual practitioner was sick of smelling other people's perfumes days after they'd been there. Synthetic perfume molecules bind to whatever they can find and that's why it's very hard to get rid of the smell. If you're sensitive to smells (like pretty much everybody here I guess) it's great to be in a place without synthetic fragrances. Not sure if that's why the sign was in your rheumatologist's office though @barbc56 ?
     
    MeSci likes this.

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