It's been a while since we've had a teeny tiny formula post. I am writing today about a favorite of mine, one that really packs some power: Chi Xiao Dou Dang Gui San. This formula is written about in two places in the Jin Gui Yao Lue. Firstly it is in Chapter 3 on Pulses, Patterns and Treatment of Bai He (Lilly) Disease, Hu Huo Disease and Yin Yang Toxin Disease. Line thirteen says: "The patient has rapid pulses, no fever, slight vexation, reticent but with a desire to lay down, and sweating. Three or four days after the initial onset, the eyes are red as those of a turtle dove. After seven or eight days, the four corners of the eyes turn dark. If the patient is able to eat, this indicates that pus has developed. Chi Xiao Dou Dang Gui San is indicated." Secondly, it is in chapter 16: Pulses, Patterns and Treatment of Fright palpitations, Purgation of Blood, Fullness in the Chest and Static Blood where line 16 says: "With bleeding in the bowel, first there is bleeding followed by defecation. This is called proximal bleeding. Chi Xiao Dou Dang Gui San is indicated." Ah, the Jin Gui text.....it can be difficult to determine how to use a formula in the clinic well with just these lines [...]
I'm so glad to have the website launched so I can get back to the business of talking about Chinese medicine in this blog! About six years ago, I wrote a blog post about E Zhu and San Leng. Over time, I've only come to appreciate these herbs more and more. Recently I treated a woman who had a history of severe dysmenorrhea since menarche. This was the kind of painful menstruation that leaves a woman unable to function. In cases of severe dysmenorrhea, I always ask if there are any meat-like or tissue-like clots in the menstruate. I also ask if there is relief of pain upon discharging one of these clots. In her case the answer was yes to both of these questions. This was a clear case of membranous dysmenorrhea. She did not have any craving for warmth or aversion to cold related to her menstruation. Typically she would start to have pain and water retention starting a week and a half before her menstruation. 2 weeks before the start of her menstruation I gave her a formula to vitalize the blood, disolve masses and stop pain. The formula included E Zhu and San Leng as well as Xu Duan to direct the formula to her uterus. There were no herbs to disinhibit water. When I [...]
Amazing! According to this, post-menopausal women are sad and can't communicate with heaven!
This was an intense case in which the patient really did not want to go to the hospital. I had to both support this wish while making sure she was remaining safe. It is important to allow for the possibility that my skills may not be enough! I find it important to make agreements with patients in cases like this such as - after an agreed upon period of time or if symptoms get worse, they will go to the ER. Without this, I am not comfortable working with these kinds of crises. On the other hand, with this kind of clear communication, it is great to see what the herbs can do.
My personal experience has been nearly 100% positive, with mothers reporting feeling strong, bleeding times shortened, milk supply coming in full, and an overall sense of well-being. The clearest evidence, though, has come to me from second-time mothers who report feeling so much stronger and in control, even with a toddler to run around after in addition to the newborn. The placenta can easily be combined with a customized herbal treatment to provide the mother with full post-partum recovery.
I used a point near Large Intestine 4 where there was an induration, Spleen 6 and Bladder 60. The next contraction was completely different than the previous ones. It was much more intense but the pressure had shifted to the perineum.
A recent exchange with a student of mine inspired me to share information about one particular formula of hers. Check out the results! This is just one example of her creativity and effectiveness. Her work is something to study and try to keep alive.
In my clinic I have treated women who have contracted various illnesses, like fever, during the postpartum period. It is presupposed that one always differentially diagnoses in order to seek the cause and determines treatment upon examining the cause. At all times I pay attention to and give aid to the righteous Qi. Especially after the evil has retreated it is even more important to do such things as nourishing the blood and boosting the Qi, using banking up and supplementing methods.
Recently a practitioner posted a query on our Chinese medicine egroup wondering about a patient who suffered from insufficient lactation. It gave me the idea to post some interesting and very helpful material for this type of thing. Anyone working with women during pregnancy and through the postpartum time will come up on nursing issues and Chinese herbal medicine has so much to offer. I myself had insufficient lactation some 21 years ago and made myself some Pig's Trotter Soup (see below) and experienced first hand the way it worked instantaneously. In the Graduate Mentorship Program we spend a 3 full days on treating women during pregnancy and postpartum and some of the principles taught in this program are illustrated below. I'd like to mention these before going into the case studies: When seeing women during the postpartum time, there are several checks that need to be done along with your regular intake and diagnosis. All of the issues you check for have an influence on the breast milk. The first thing you check for is the woman's appetite and thirst. If the woman has a poor appetite, it will be difficult for her to transform her foods and fluids into breast milk. In addition, if she is not thirsty, she will not take in enough fluids to produce milk. [...]
The MOST important idea I want to convey to practitioners is to forget that your patient has dysmenorrhea! Yes, I mean it. Ignore the dysmenorrhea especially if it is the main complaint!