What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?
If you’ve heard about Chinese Medicine before, you might automatically think about acupuncture, needles, cupping, or even Gua Sha scraping. But if these treatments aren’t for you, you’ll be relieved to hear that Chinese Medicine also offers herbal medicines. Living with painful conditions like endometriosis can be difficult if not excruciating, but with Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) our team at Centre of Balance can help you get back to your healthy, vibrant self again. Read on to find out more about how CHM can help you treat endometriosis.
How Does Chinese Herbal Medicine Treat Endometriosis?
The first part of Chinese Medicine treatment for most conditions is the diagnosis of your health problems. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, any symptom that you observe in your body indicates the presence of disease. Similarly, diseases are understood to be caused by imbalances within your body. In your first appointment at Centre of Balance, your Chinese Medicine practitioner will discuss all of your symptoms with you and may take your pulse or observe your tongue. This information helps your practitioner to identify the nature of your condition.
Most conditions can be designated as syndromes, or a group of specific symptoms. Your practitioner will identify the nature of your syndrome based on a detailed analysis of your symptoms. In Chinese Medicine, syndromes often indicate imbalances of our organ functions, the flow of Qi (energy) or blood through our body, or between opposite/complementary elements like hot and cold, external and internal, or Yin and Yang.
Chinese Medicine Endometriosis Syndromes:
So, what syndromes can cause endometriosis? The main syndrome that causes endometriosis is called “blood (Xue) stasis syndrome” in Chinese Medicine. This means that endometriosis usually occurs due to your blood not being able to flow properly. Blood stasis syndromes can be influenced by multiple factors, including:
- Liver Qi Stagnation
- Accumulation of damp heat in the blood (Xue)
- Qi and blood vacuity
Chinese Herbal Medicines for Endometriosis:
Once your Chinese Medicine practitioner has identified the nature of your syndrome, they can prescribe specific CHMs for you. According to Chinese Medicine, different herbs can treat different imbalances in your body (hot-natured herbs can combat coldness in the body and so on). The specific combination of herbs prescribed to you will be based entirely on your individual symptoms and your unique health situation. Some examples of common Chinese herbs used to treat endometriosis include:
- Cinnamon twig
- Angelica root
- Liquorice root
- White peony root
- Corydalis rhizome extract
While Chinese Medicine practitioners traditionally prescribe Chinese herbs on an individual basis, researchers have also found that there are some general benefits from CHMs. The following statement shows that, “There is growing evidence that medicinal Chinese herbs with anti-inflammatory and pain-alleviating properties may be utilized in the treatment of endometriosis-associated symptoms.”
Why Treat Endometriosis with CHM?
Since mainstream Western medicine offers many treatment options for endometriosis, you might wonder, “why do I need to bother with CHM?” Unfortunately, many of the common treatments for endometriosis can cause harmful side effects, and simply aim to suppress the symptoms of this condition. Western medicine openly admits that no cure has been found for endometriosis so far. However, Chinese Herbal Medicine can treat the symptoms of endometriosis by addressing the underlying cause. There is also a lower risk of side effects from CHM when compared with routine endometriosis medications such as Danazol.
Researchers have found that, “Post-surgical administration of CHM may have comparable benefits to gestrinone but with fewer side effects. Oral CHM may have a better overall treatment effect than danazol; it may be more effective in relieving dysmenorrhoea and shrinking adnexal masses when used in conjunction with a CHM enema.” Additionally, “…100% of women in all the groups showed some improvement in their symptoms.”
Treating endometriosis with CHM can be highly effective and beneficial. This holistic treatment approach works by addressing the underlying syndrome that causes our symptoms and involves taking Chinese herbs based on individual needs. It is a very easy and natural way to treat endometriosis, and rarely presents the risk of harmful side effects.