Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl. Ac., LAc.
Gumgig Pean (甘桔喉糖片) is a simple, compact Chinese formula designed for acute cough and sore throat due to wind-heat, which is understood as the combination of wind and a bacterial or viral pathogen that enters the body.
Wind-heat signs include: red eyes, sore scratchy throat, thirst, productive cough with yellow phlegm, or nasal discharge that is yellow. The formula takes advantage of some great herbs that are commonly combined for the above indications.
The ingredients are as follows:
1. Glycyrrhiza Glabra L. – Licorice root (Gan Cao /甘草)
Gan Cao is a honey coated licorice root that has been baked until dark. It’s sweet, neutral and enters all 12 meridians, but primarily the Heart, Lung, Stomach and Spleen channels.
Chinese herbal actions include: Tonifies the Spleen & boosts Spleen Qi; moistens the Lungs, dispels phlegm and stops cough; stops spasms and alleviates pain; clears heat and reduces toxins; used as an antidote for various forms of poisoning such as, food, drug herb and chemical poisoning; and guides herbs into the 12 channels.
The biomedical actions are: Anti-inflammatory, anti-allergen, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antitussive.
2. Platycodon Grandiflorum A. DC. – Balloon flower root (Jie Geng /桔梗)
This herb has a bitter and acrid taste with a neutral temperature, and an affinity for the Lung meridian.
Chinese herbal actions include: Opening up the Lungs, disseminating or spreading Lung Qi, dispelling phlegm, expelling pus, raising Lung Qi and helping guide other herbs to the upper body; particularly the Lungs.
The biomedical actions are: Anti-inflammatory, expectorant and inhibits cough.
3. Tea – This is most likely green tea, because green tea contains a chemical constituent called theophylline, which acts as a bronchodillator, and has both an anti-inflammatory and an antitussive effect.
4. Mentha Arvensis L. – Common mint (Bo He /薄荷)
Bo he is an acrid, aromatic and cooling herb that enters the Lung and Liver meridians.
Chinese herbal actions include: Dispersing wind-heat, cools and clears the head and eyes and benefits the throat; vents rashes and disperses Liver Qi.
The biomedical actions are: Antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, relieves sinus congestion, and promotes perspiration.
The herbs in this simple formula work together to quickly bring you relief from some common irritating symptoms that can make your holiday very unpleasant. You can find it in most Boots pharmacies or in locally run pharmacies that carry Chinese patent medicine products.
A great formula to have in your backpack when traveling through Southeast Asia!
This is a great little formula that combines Chinese herbs with a Western Botanical to manage a commonly experienced symptom among women who are going through that uncomfortable time of transition, known as peri-menopause / menopause.
Some of the symptoms associated with menopause are:
In Chinese medicine, this naturally occurring transformation represents a relative change between Yin and Yang energies. In the majority of cases, as a woman enters into menopause the Yang energy becomes more predominate (most common presentation), and signs of heat become more prevalent.
Other factors which determine the severity of menopausal symptoms depends on the woman’s constitution, her lifestyle, and how she deals with stress. The good thing is, that all these symptoms can be easily managed through herbs, acupuncture and lifestyle changes.
Meta-Balance contains 3 well-known and well-researched herbs that have a long history of use in Chinese gynecology, plus an additional Western Botanical used for over a century in Europe for reproductive and gynecology conditions.
1. Dang Gui is sweet, acrid, bitter and warm. Therapeutically, Dang Gui is best known for being a blood tonic that can move blood by improving circulation. It also regulates the menses, alleviates pain, reduces swellings, and for those who suffer from constipation, Dang Gui moves the bowels and moistens the intestines.
2. Shan Yao, also known as Chinese wild yam, is sweet and neutral. Its therapeutic actions focus mainly on tonifying and stabilizing the Qi & Yin of the Spleen, Stomach, Lungs and Kidneys. It also helps generate fluids (moisten dryness), which is great for women going through these symptoms, because heat usually drys up the fluids in the body.
3. Sheng Ma, also known as black cohosh, is sweet, acrid and slightly cold. Its therapeutic actions include: releasing the exterior & venting rashes, clears heat & resolves toxicity and raises Yang.
This herb’s ability to clear heat and vent it through the exterior of the body makes it very useful for hot flashes and night sweats. Also, it helps regulate the body temperature by balancing the neuroendocrine system (raises Yang).
4. Chaste Tree Berry, which has been approved by the German Commission E, has a long history of use throughout Europe for gynecological and reproductive conditions such as, PMS, migraines and menstrual irregularities.
Chaste tree berry is very similar to the Chinese herb Man jing Zi, which is bitter, spicy and cool. Its therapeutic actions include: Clearing heat and dispersing wind, especially in the Liver channel, and draining dampness.
This formula also contains a phyto - chemical called heperidin, which is a bioflavinoid found in large amounts in citrus fruits. Hesperidin is primarily used to strengthen capillaries. *It is also known to stabilize vasomotor activity associated with menopausal hot flashes.*
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In a small randomized Controlled clinical trial, 50 patients who had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee were randomized into an acupuncture group and a physiotherapy group. The acupuncture group received electroacupuncture once every other day for 4 weeks, while the physiotherapy group received treatment 5 times per week for 4 weeks.
Physicians found that the acupuncture group had significantly lower pain, stiffness and physical function scores than the physiotherapy group by the end of the trial, as well as, compared to the acupuncture group’s baseline.
Imaging of the patient’s knees taken before and after the trial showed that electroacupuncture was able to promote cartilage repair, whereas physiotherapy did not.
In a recent meta-analysis, researchers analyzed the results of 29 trials and 17,922 patients suffering from chronic pain. Conditions included: neck pain, shoulder pain, low-back pain, headaches & migraines, and osteoarthritis of the knee.
From the original data set, 20 trials and 6,736 patients were used for the final conclusions, due to the fact that they included long-term follow-up data, which ultimately demonstrated that after a course of treatment, the effects of acupuncture treatments persist over a 12 month period.
There’s a reason why acupuncture has been used successfully for over 2,000 years for the treatment of pain and other conditions and continues to become more popular today in our modern society - because it works, and it works without the need of drugs.
Not until the last couple of decades has the West begun to understand the mechanism behind this non-invasive natural treatment, as well as, its clinical importance as a drug-free alternative for the treatment of chronic pain.
In one study, when acupuncture was compared to conventional primary care for the treatment of non-specific chronic low back pain, it was determined that acupuncture treatments are safe, more efficacious than conventional care, provided longer lasting results, and a more cost-effective intervention for reducing chronic pain.[i] Similar results have also been found in studies pertaining to headaches / migraines[ii], neck pain[iii], osteoarthritis pain[iv], etc.
In 2012, the Memorial Sloan – Kettering Cancer Institute undertook a meta-analysis of patient data, which showed that acupuncture was an effective treatment for the following pain conditions: back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headache, and shoulder pain. It also concluded that acupuncture was an acceptable alternative for the treatment of chronic pain.
The Final Verdict of Experts
America’s chronic pain epidemic will only get worse, with increased painkiller and heroin addictions, and higher rates of depression and suicide. This is the only future for people who choose to remain within the “sick care” system, which is unethically encouraged by big-pharma, insurance companies, doctors and MDs, and the U.S. government; all of whom seek to keep Americans on drugs for the rest of their lives.
This system of medicine, which is driven by profit and strongly opposed to disease prevention and treatment, will continue to prescribe dangerous drugs that only have the sole purpose of suppressing symptoms, instead of upholding the Hippocratic Oath, which every practitioner takes upon graduation, and solving the root cause of chronic pain.
It’s time for chronic pain sufferers to realize that we already have an evidence based solution for pain, one that has been utilized for thousands of years. It’s been proven to be more efficacious, more cost-effective and safer than conventional medicine - it’s called acupuncture!
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc.
In a pragmatic randomized controlled trial, Australian researchers recruited women between the ages of 18-44 who had been unsuccessful in their attempts to conceive over the previous 12 months.
56 sub-fertile women were randomly placed into two groups: acupuncture and lifestyle modification and a lifestyle modification only control group.
The first group received acupuncture and additional modalities such as, Teding Diancibo Pu (TDP) infra-red lamp and smokeless moxibustion over a 3 month period.
Results were compiled using questionnaires, and self-reported data collected from the study participants. The final outcome showed that the average time to conception for the women receiving acupuncture was 5.5 weeks compared to 10.67 weeks in the lifestyle only group. The women in the acupuncture group also had an increase in fertility awareness and wellbeing compared to the control group.
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc,, LAc., Dipl.Ac.
Here is a recently published article by the Mayo Clinic that appeared in the September volume of the Journal of Integrative medicine.
This investigative research uses an evidence-based approach to dispel some of the most common myths surrounding the practice of acupuncture and its underutilization in America's growing population of sick people.
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., LAc., Dipl.Ac.
Don’t be one of those stubborn people who decide to wait and see if their cold or flu symptoms go away after a day or two, because most likely they won’t.
As soon as you feel any symptoms, that’s your cue to come in to the clinic and get an acupuncture treatment and an herbal formula designed specifically for colds and flu symptoms.
What does acupuncture do?
7 easy habits to prevent colds & flu
1. Wash your hands regularly – Always use soap and water to reduce surface germs on the hands. Also, don’t rub your eyes or pick your nose, these habits introduce pathogens into the system.
2. Eat healthy – Stay away from the standard American diet (SAD Diet). Eat organic whole foods, lots of vegetables (6 servings / day) and fruit (3 servings / day). Avoid high fructose corn syrup, processed foods, sugary foods, and try to eat your last meal before 6pm.
3. Stay hydrated – Our bodies need water to moisten tissues and to keep electrolytes in balance.
4. Exercise - Regular exercise improves the immune system and improves circulation.
Get plenty of quality sleep.
5. Keep stress levels low - Make sure you have healthy ways to manage stress when it occurs.
6. Get acupuncture treatments as a preventative measure to maintain your health. Every month or every other month is strongly recommended.
7. Supplement with Herbs - Talk to your acupuncturist about herbal formulas to give your immune system an extra boost prior to cold & flu season. It makes all the difference in the world!
What to take?
Two great formulas to have in your medicine cabinet for the cold & flu season are: Loncera Complex and Respitrol (Cold). The instant you start feeling any symptoms is when you want to start taking the formula, which will push the invading pathogen out of your body and prevent it from going deeper into your system and making you sicker over time. The deeper the pathogen goes, the longer it takes to recover.
Lonicera Complex is based on an ancient herbal formula that has been used for centuries for external invasion of wind-heat type colds with the following symptoms: high fever, sweating, slight aversion to wind, aversion to heat, sore throat, thick - yellow nasal discharge, cough with thick - yellow phlegm, dry mouth, thirst, thin – yellow tongue coat, and rapid floating pulse.
This formula has the following actions:
Respitrol (Cold) is a special combination of herbs used in cases of external invasion of wind – cold, which produces such symptoms as: aversion to cold, absence of sweating, absence of fever or a low – grade fever, nasal congestion, sneezing with clear nasal discharge, cough with thin – white / clear phlegm, thin – white tongue coat, and a floating – tense pulse.
This formula has the following actions:
Both of these formulas are available in our clinic, as well as, herbal formulas and pharmaceutical grade supplements that boost the immune system.
Give us a call to set – up an appointment at: (309) 764.4753.
Stop by and visit our clinic store at:
Healing Lotus Acupuncture
(inside Moline Chiropractic Clinic)
4300 12th Ave
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., LAc., Dipl.Ac.
Echinacea, or the purple coneflower as it is sometimes called, is commonly used to prevent colds and flus, as well as, an adjunctive treatment for recurrent infections of both the respiratory and urinary tracts; and is sometimes indicated for periodic vaginal yeast infections.
Around this time of year, it has become quite popular for people to supplement with echinacea to aid in preventing seasonal colds & flu. People taking this herb believe they are doing something healthy, but many unknowingly misuse the herb, due to misinformation dispersed through the Internet or from physicians that are not trained in herbs, herb/drug, or herb/herb interactions.
Here are 3 important things you need to know before using echinacea:
1. Echinacea should not be taken for longer than 8 weeks; otherwise, your body can grow tolerant to the herb and in some cases, it can have the opposite effect and down-regulate the immune system. You should not rely solely on one herb / method to modulate the immune system, there several ways you can do this. The 3 best ways to accomplish this are: eating healthy, exercising and getting enough quality sleep.
2. Quality varies greatly in over-the-counter (OTC) preparations. It’s strongly recommended not to buy this product from an OTC retailer due to the low - quality of the preparations, likelihood of adulteration and unstandardized methods of extraction of the bioactive substances.
It's very common for manufacturers to use different species of the herb, which effects quality and potency. Also, they often only use one part of the plant as opposed to the whole plant. This greatly decreases the efficacy of the product, because different chemical constituents come from different parts of the plant. In the case of echinacea, the majority of the immune boosting active ingredients come from the roots. Be sure that the product you buy is a whole plant preparation (including the roots).
Manufacturers often adulterate OTC products with inferior herbs and other unknown substances. OTC echinacea is one of those products that is frequently adulterated with other herbs that do not have the same actions or they have lesser actions than echinacea. This can be dangerous to your health, because you don’t know what you’re putting into your body.
This is why it’s always preferred that you purchase products from qualified physicians, who have access to higher quality products that come straight from reputable manufacturers (Thorne, Metagenics, Standard Process, MediHerb, etc., etc.)
3. Since echinacea is a natural immunomodulator it’s not recommended for long-term use in people with autoimmune diseases, because it may worsen the condition.
Other things you should know:
Common side - effects include: headache, dizziness, nausea, mild stomach pain, constipation, and skin irritation.
Contraindications: Pregnancy or nursing; people who suffer from allergies and asthma should use with caution due to reported allergic reactions; people with progressive systemic diseases, such as multiple sclerosis or tuberculosis; people undergoing chemotherapy, as it may cause adverse side-effects or reduce the efficacy of some anticancer drugs; people undergoing eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) should avoid echinacea due to the possibility of causing dry eyes; if taken with anabolic steroids or methotrexate it may cause hepatitis.
Herb - drug interactions: Tamoxifen (reduces efficacy), Docetoxal (caution), drugs that utilize Cytochrome P450 enzymes, drugs that utilize Cytochrome P3a or CYP1A2 (caution), immunosuppressants (could antagonize the effects)
If you are a person who gets sick often, there could be some underlying issues that are contributing to your body’s inability to defend itself. If this is the case, it’s strongly recommended that you come in for an appointment so we can get to the root of the problem, and start you on your pathway to wellness.
American and Chinese botanical combination to promote optimal immune function*
Shoulder pain caused by rotator cuff injuries can be very painful and cause restricted movement; making daily tasks almost impossible. The usual cause of this type of shoulder pain is an impingement of the tendons or bursa, which are being pinched by the bones of the shoulder. If left untreated, this can cause inflammation of the aforementioned structures (tendinitis or bursitis).
In April of this year, a group of Spanish researchers published the results of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) that investigated the effects of acupuncture on pain caused by shoulder impingement.
Study participants were placed into two groups, one received verum (true) acupuncture, and the other group received sham acupuncture. Treatments were given once a week for 4 weeks, and pain levels were recorded after every treatment, and at a 3 month follow-up.
Researchers concluded that true acupuncture provided clinically significant results for reducing shoulder pain and for increasing shoulder functioning compared to sham acupuncture; and they recommended acupuncture as a safe and reliable treatment for shoulder impingement.