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Breast lumps or cysts are the most common reason for women to seek medical consultation in the United States. Like every other part of our bodies, our breasts are subject to various types of problems. Breast lumps can occur in women of any age, but are more common in middle age. Although the majority of breast lumps are benign or non-cancerous, women still experience the discomfort of tenderness, pressure or distention within the breast. Conventional medicine provides women with a variety of treatments for breast lumps. Traditional Chinese medicine, which has accumulated abundant experience and knowledge in treating and preventing breast lumps over its long history, is another option for achieving and maintaining healthy breast tissue.

Understanding Breast Lumps
Breast lumps fall into two categories: benign lumps or cysts, and malignant tumors. Breast lumps are frequently, but not always, associated with the conditions of premenstrual breast distention, infertility, irregular periods, and menopausal syndrome.

Breast Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that may develop in the breast. Breast cysts may cause breast pain. The most common conventional medical interventions are to withdraw fluid from the cyst with a needle, or to surgically remove the cyst if necessary.

Fibrocystic Breasts normally contain small, nodular lumps and cysts. Most of these lumps and cysts are located in the upper, outer area of the breasts. Although most women with fibrocystic breasts do not have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, women who have fibrocystic breasts are more likely to develop breast cysts.

Fibrous Breast Lumps are small, solid, non-cancerous lumps that are composed of fibrous and glandular tissue. Fibrous breast lumps usually appear in young women. these lumps can be removed surgically, but they often recur.

Breast Cancer is a malignant, hard, stony lump or mass in the breast. Breast cancer may start from the milk glands, milk ducts, fatty tissue, or connective tissue. Statistics indicate that one out of eight women will develop breast cancer at some time in her life. Conventional treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone-blocking drugs.

In traditional Chinese medical theory, benign breast lumps or cysts are classified as Ru Pi (breast nodule), while malignant breast tumors are classified as Ru Yan (breast stone). Even the earliest Chinese medical literature had records for diagnosing and differentiating the patterns of both Ru Pi (breast nodule) and Ru Yan (breast stone). In the following section, we will focus exclusively on non-cancerous breast lumps.

Breast Lumps and the Liver Connection
Jane is an artist and free-lance writer. Whenever she has an argument with her husband about his ongoing affair with his former girlfriend, swelling lumps appear in her breasts, and she experiences distention and tenderness in her breasts. Jane visits my clinic regularly for help with her emotional and physical complaints. Breast lumps are extremely susceptible to emotional disturbance.

Chinese medicine believes that the diagnostic pattern called “Liver Qi Stagnation” is the mechanism primarily responsible for the development of breast problems, including breast lumps. In traditional Chinese medicine, the two main functions of the Liver are to store the Blood and to regulate Qi. The Liver regulates Qi by promoting its free flow, and encouraging smoothness of flow. When the Liver is dysfunctional, Qi does not flow freely and smoothly, and Liver Qi Stagnation is one result. Chinese medicine considers emotions to have a very powerful effect on the functioning of the internal organs, and strong or unresolved emotions can damage the organs with which they are associated. Although anger is the primary emotion associated with the Liver, the Liver is responsible for keeping all the emotions in a state of smooth flow. Therefore, when there is emotional stress or psychic trauma, and the Liver is overwhelmed, several types of Liver dysfunction can result, among which is Liver Qi Stagnation. Among the possible Liver disorders, Liver Qi Stagnation stands out sharply as the main cause of breast lumps. One reason for this is that the Liver meridian (energy pathway) is connected by internal pathways to the breasts. Liver Qi Stagnation based in emotional stress is especially common among women, and traditional Chinese gynecology places a lot of emphasis on keeping the Liver on an even keel. Regulating the Liver, soothing the Liver, cleansing the Liver, calming the Liver, and softening the Liver through Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture and dietary therapy are common treatment strategies in the practice of traditional Chinese medicine gynecology.

Patterns of Breast Lumps and Leading Herbs for Treatment
The following four patterns are differentiated for non-cancerous breast lumps.

  • Qi Stagnation. Emotional problems are the main cause of this pattern of breast lumps. Symptoms of this pattern include: growing lumps with dull pain; enlarging or shrinking lumps with emotional disturbance; depression; a feeling of distention under the rib cage; a thin white tongue coating; and a wiry or thin-choppy pulse. The leading Chinese herbs for treating this pattern include immature tangerine peel (Qing Pi), buplerum (Chai Hu), nut-grass rhizome (Xiang Fu), melia fruit (Chuan Lian Zi), and vaccaria seed (Wan Bu Liu Xing).
  • Phlegm Accumulation. The excessive consumption of dairy products, fats and sweets leads to this pattern of breast lumps. Symptoms of this pattern include: variably-sized lumps with no pain or slight pain; dizziness with a feeling of heaviness; no appetite; thick or puffy tongue body; and a deep, wiry and slippery pulse. The leading Chinese herbs for resolving Phlegm include atractylodes (Bai Zhu), poria (Fu Ling), and Job’s tears (Yi Yi Ren).
  • Excessive Heat. The habitual consumption of greasy, hot, spicy foods, deep fried foods and alcohol, or long-standing anxiety or anger lead directly to the Excessive Heat pattern of breast lumps. Symptoms of this pattern include: lumps with burning pain; irregular periods; hot flashes; anxiety; dizziness; disturbing dreams; red tongue tip; and a deep-thin-wiry-rapid pulse. The leading Chinese herbs for eliminating the Excessive Heat pattern include peony bark (Mu Dan Pi), gardenia (Zhi Zi), gentiana (Long Dan Cao), coptis (Huang Lian), and skullcap (Huang Qin).
  • Chronic Disharmony. Chronic illness, or slow recovery from surgery or childbirth are the sources of the Chronic Disharmony pattern of breast lumps. Symptoms of this pattern include: growing and disappearing lumps with menstrual cycles; breast distention; irregular periods; lassitude; dark eyelids; insomnia; back pain; pale-red tongue; and “soggy” pulse. The leading Chinese herbs for balancing the Chronic Disharmony pattern include astragalus (Huang Qi), rehemannia (Di Huang), angelica (Dang Gui), and Fu Ti (He Shou Wu).

Top Herbal Formulas for Breast Lumps

Mood Smooth (Jia Wei Xiao Yao San) is a classical formula which functions to harmonize the Liver and the Spleen. It has been in use for a thousand years. It is one of the favorite herbal formulas among women in China and other Asian countries. It is used to relieve breast lumps, and is also widely used to soothe mood fluctuations, relieve depression, and treat the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Like many other traditional Chinese herbal formulas, this formula also reflects the underlying philosophy of treating the whole body instead of concentrating on one part while ignoring or hurting another part.

Mood Smooth (Jia Wei Xiao Yao San)
Bupleurum (Chai Hu)
Mint (Bo He)
Angelica (Dang Gui)
Peony (Bai Shao)
Atractylodes (Bai Zhu)
Poria (Fu Ling)
Licorice (Gan Cao)
Ginger (Sheng Jiang)
Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi)
Gardenia (Zhi Zi)

LumpEASE is a formula which was developed recently by Dongzhimen Hospital (affiliated with Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine), and has already won wide acceptance and acclaim from women in China who suffer from breast disorders. Literally translated as “Breast Lumps Disappearance,” this formula is widely used and sold in every hospital and pharmacy in China.

LumpEASE (Ru Kuan Xiao) Salvia Root (Dan Shen)
Citrus Seed (Ju He)
Vaccaria Seed (Wan Bu Liu Xing)
Eupolyphaga (Tu Bie Chong)
Melia Fruit (Chuan Lian Zi)
Honeylocust Spine (Zao Jiao Ci)

By Wei Liu, TCMD, MPH, LAC and Changzhen Gong, PhD, MS - The American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM)

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…. but that is not reason enough to kill yourself

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Over the last 50-75 years, the incidence of asthma in industrialized countries has steadily increased, especially among children, to alarming proportions. Scientists around the world are studying this “epidemic,” as well as researching the long-term effects of taking anti-asthma drugs such as bronchodilators. In China, research on the efficacy of acupuncture and herbal medicine in the treatment of asthma shows that traditional Chinese medicine compares favorably with standard Western treatment, and provides an alternative approach for those who want to strengthen their bodies natural defenses and avoid the long-term use of drugs.

Asthma is an immune-system-related respiratory disorder in which the breathing passages become narrow or blocked, and are typically inflamed. Asthma can be “extrinsic” or “intrinsic.” Extrinsic asthma is caused by an allergic reaction to a foreign substance (called an allergen) such as pollen, animal dander, animal fur, dust, mold, food additives, or feather pillows, and it is strongly seasonal. Intrinsic asthma is a non-seasonal, non-allergic type of asthma. Trigger factors for intrinsic asthma attacks include air pollutants, tobacco smoke, strong odors, cold weather, physical exertion, emotional stress, or temperature or humidity changes. Often, an episode of intrinsic asthma will follow a severe respiratory infection.

Asthma in Chinese Medicine
In traditional Chinese medicine theory, asthma is clearly differentiated between the actual attacks and the periods between attacks. When the attacks are happening, this is considered to be an acute, Excess condition, and the objective is to disperse the Excess and stop the attack. Wind, a non-substantial pathogenic factor, lodges in the bronchi and combines with Cold or Heat pathogenic factors to cause bronchospasms.

Between attacks, the body is considered to be in a Deficiency condition. The Lungs and Kidneys work together to produce “wei qi,” or Defensive Chi. Defensive Chi can be thought of as analogous to the immune system. It is a Yang energy that is manufactured from the food we eat. The Kidneys are the root of our ability to produce Defensive Chi, and the Lungs spread Defensive Chi near the outer surface of our bodies to ward off pathogenic factors like Wind, Cold, and Heat. When the Lungs or Kidneys (or both) are weak, there is often a deficiency of Defensive Chi, making us more vulnerable to colds, infections, asthma attacks, etc. It is thought that a person’s Defensive Chi can be weak due to a hereditary constitutional weakness (up to 75% of children with asthma have a family history of the disorder); but mothers who smoke during pregnancy and childhood immunizations are also cited as contributing factors in asthma.

Acupuncture can have a remarkable effect in stopping an acute asthma attack. Many patients experience immediate relief after an acupuncture treatment, feeling that the airway blockage was simply removed. Because bronchospasms result from over-stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system, some traditional acupuncture points for “calming the spirit” are widely used for asthma. Stimulation of these points can relieve both physical and emotional stress, possibly because they trigger the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. The patient can therefore experience both a physical release from his bronchial constriction, and also an emotional or psychological release from the fear of constriction and suffocation.

In Chinese philosophy, and in Chinese medicine, man is seen as an integral part of nature. The fact that allergen-induced asthma attacks are strongly seasonal, with the most devastating attacks occurring in winter and spring, leads Chinese medicine practitioners to coordinate their treatment of asthma sufferers with the seasons. In the winter and spring, during attacks, the emphasis is on dispersing the pathogenic factors of Wind, Cold, and Heat. In the summer, attention is turned to tonifying the Deficiency condition of the Lungs and Kidneys, and stimulating the body to increase its reserves of Defensive Chi. Because summer is the most Yang time of the year, the energy of the season is used to build up the body’s supply of Yang energy.

Science Says
Scientific studies in China and elsewhere show that the ancient Chinese medicine theories have a basis in scientific fact. The whole scope of traditional Chinese medicine is an elaborate and elegant construct which can’t be scientifically proven in its entirety, but modern research reveals a number of mechanisms that support the ancient healing arts:

Neuro-regulation of Air Passages. Researchers at Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine found that relieving asthma attacks by acupuncture is closely related to neuro-regulation of air passages. They further found that sympathetic nerve excitement and diastolization of the smooth muscle of the bronchial tubes can be achieved by stimulating acupuncture points on the back. The systaltic function of the smooth muscles of the airways is regulated through the neuroendocrine center of the hypothalamus, and this function can be measurably affected by needling certain back shu points.

Serum cAMP and cAMP/cGMP. Levels of certain substances in the blood called cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) seem to have a bearing on asthma patients. Asthma patients experiencing wheezing and breathlessness have lower serum levels of cAMP and cAMP/cGMP. Many clinical studies conducted in China found that acupuncture can increase the levels of serum cAMP and cAMP/cGMP.

RBC-CR1R. Red blood cells have the function of transporting oxygen to body tissues, and also aid in immunoabsorption. In traditional Chinese medicine, the Kidneys have the function of generating and controlling bone growth, storing our genetic essence, generating bone marrow, and aiding in the production of blood. Kidney Deficiency in traditional Chinese medicine and low red blood cell counts in conventional medicine are related. Research in Hangzhou Red Cross Hospital shows that the immunological index of red blood cells (RBC-CR1R) was markedly increased after optimum-timing acupuncture treatment for Kidney Deficiency, compared with the control group.

Acidocyte Regulation. An acidocyte is a type of white blood cell. An increase in acidocyte levels indicates allergic reaction in an organism. A clinical study at the Affiliated Yueyang Hospital of Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine shows that acupuncture at UB13 (Fei Shu), LU5 (Chi Ze), LU7 (Lie Que), ST40 (Feng Long), Ren 22 (Tian Tu), and extra point Ding Chuan can decrease acidocyte levels.

17-Hydroxy Corticosteroid in Urine. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that there exists a correlation between asthma and the pattern of Kidney Deficiency. Clinical observations reveal that asthma patients tend to have lower levels of the hormone 17-hydroxy corticosteroid in their urine, which is closely related to Kidney Deficiency in Chinese medicine. Many clinical studies show that acupuncture can increase the level of 17-hydroxy corticosteroid in urine.

Regulate Hypophalmus-pituitary-adrenocortical function. It is believed that asthma attacks are correlated with a lower hypophalmus-pituitary-adrenocortical function. Clinical research found that tonifying the Kidneys with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can improve that function and relieve asthma attacks.

More Support
In a randomized, controlled clinical trial in the department of the Osler Chest Unit, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, England, twelve matched pairs of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease received either traditional acupuncture or placebo acupuncture over a three-week treatment period. After treatment, the traditional acupuncture group showed a significant improvement in terms of subjective scores of breathlessness and six-minute walking distance. Kim Jobst at Oxford University conducted a parallel study of the efficacy of acupuncture on asthma. This study also showed improvements by two measures: “quality of life” scores, and breathlessness measurements.

These clinical trials at Oxford indicate that acupuncture treatments achieved the following goals: reduced the spasmodic tendency in the bronchi; kept the lungs from contracting at the least little irritant in the air; opened narrowed blood vessels in the lungs; and promoted relaxation and the ability to breathe more fully.

By Wei Liu, TCMD, MPH, LAC and Changzhen Gong, PhD, MS - The American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM)

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Over the last 50-75 years, the incidence of asthma in industrialized countries has steadily increased, especially among children, to alarming proportions. Scientists around the world are studying this “epidemic,” as well as researching the long-term effects of taking anti-asthma drugs such as bronchodilators. In China, research on the efficacy of acupuncture and herbal medicine in the treatment of asthma shows that traditional Chinese medicine compares favorably with standard Western treatment, and provides an alternative approach for those who want to strengthen their bodies natural defenses and avoid the long-term use of drugs.

Asthma is an immune-system-related respiratory disorder in which the breathing passages become narrow or blocked, and are typically inflamed. Asthma can be “extrinsic” or “intrinsic.” Extrinsic asthma is caused by an allergic reaction to a foreign substance (called an allergen) such as pollen, animal dander, animal fur, dust, mold, food additives, or feather pillows, and it is strongly seasonal. Intrinsic asthma is a non-seasonal, non-allergic type of asthma. Trigger factors for intrinsic asthma attacks include air pollutants, tobacco smoke, strong odors, cold weather, physical exertion, emotional stress, or temperature or humidity changes. Often, an episode of intrinsic asthma will follow a severe respiratory infection.

Asthma in Chinese Medicine
In traditional Chinese medicine theory, asthma is clearly differentiated between the actual attacks and the periods between attacks. When the attacks are happening, this is considered to be an acute, Excess condition, and the objective is to disperse the Excess and stop the attack. Wind, a non-substantial pathogenic factor, lodges in the bronchi and combines with Cold or Heat pathogenic factors to cause bronchospasms.

Between attacks, the body is considered to be in a Deficiency condition. The Lungs and Kidneys work together to produce “wei qi,” or Defensive Chi. Defensive Chi can be thought of as analogous to the immune system. It is a Yang energy that is manufactured from the food we eat. The Kidneys are the root of our ability to produce Defensive Chi, and the Lungs spread Defensive Chi near the outer surface of our bodies to ward off pathogenic factors like Wind, Cold, and Heat. When the Lungs or Kidneys (or both) are weak, there is often a deficiency of Defensive Chi, making us more vulnerable to colds, infections, asthma attacks, etc. It is thought that a person’s Defensive Chi can be weak due to a hereditary constitutional weakness (up to 75% of children with asthma have a family history of the disorder); but mothers who smoke during pregnancy and childhood immunizations are also cited as contributing factors in asthma.

Acupuncture can have a remarkable effect in stopping an acute asthma attack. Many patients experience immediate relief after an acupuncture treatment, feeling that the airway blockage was simply removed. Because bronchospasms result from over-stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system, some traditional acupuncture points for “calming the spirit” are widely used for asthma. Stimulation of these points can relieve both physical and emotional stress, possibly because they trigger the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. The patient can therefore experience both a physical release from his bronchial constriction, and also an emotional or psychological release from the fear of constriction and suffocation.

In Chinese philosophy, and in Chinese medicine, man is seen as an integral part of nature. The fact that allergen-induced asthma attacks are strongly seasonal, with the most devastating attacks occurring in winter and spring, leads Chinese medicine practitioners to coordinate their treatment of asthma sufferers with the seasons. In the winter and spring, during attacks, the emphasis is on dispersing the pathogenic factors of Wind, Cold, and Heat. In the summer, attention is turned to tonifying the Deficiency condition of the Lungs and Kidneys, and stimulating the body to increase its reserves of Defensive Chi. Because summer is the most Yang time of the year, the energy of the season is used to build up the body’s supply of Yang energy.

Science Says
Scientific studies in China and elsewhere show that the ancient Chinese medicine theories have a basis in scientific fact. The whole scope of traditional Chinese medicine is an elaborate and elegant construct which can’t be scientifically proven in its entirety, but modern research reveals a number of mechanisms that support the ancient healing arts:

Neuro-regulation of Air Passages. Researchers at Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine found that relieving asthma attacks by acupuncture is closely related to neuro-regulation of air passages. They further found that sympathetic nerve excitement and diastolization of the smooth muscle of the bronchial tubes can be achieved by stimulating acupuncture points on the back. The systaltic function of the smooth muscles of the airways is regulated through the neuroendocrine center of the hypothalamus, and this function can be measurably affected by needling certain back shu points.

Serum cAMP and cAMP/cGMP. Levels of certain substances in the blood called cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) seem to have a bearing on asthma patients. Asthma patients experiencing wheezing and breathlessness have lower serum levels of cAMP and cAMP/cGMP. Many clinical studies conducted in China found that acupuncture can increase the levels of serum cAMP and cAMP/cGMP.

RBC-CR1R. Red blood cells have the function of transporting oxygen to body tissues, and also aid in immunoabsorption. In traditional Chinese medicine, the Kidneys have the function of generating and controlling bone growth, storing our genetic essence, generating bone marrow, and aiding in the production of blood. Kidney Deficiency in traditional Chinese medicine and low red blood cell counts in conventional medicine are related. Research in Hangzhou Red Cross Hospital shows that the immunological index of red blood cells (RBC-CR1R) was markedly increased after optimum-timing acupuncture treatment for Kidney Deficiency, compared with the control group.

Acidocyte Regulation. An acidocyte is a type of white blood cell. An increase in acidocyte levels indicates allergic reaction in an organism. A clinical study at the Affiliated Yueyang Hospital of Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine shows that acupuncture at UB13 (Fei Shu), LU5 (Chi Ze), LU7 (Lie Que), ST40 (Feng Long), Ren 22 (Tian Tu), and extra point Ding Chuan can decrease acidocyte levels.

17-Hydroxy Corticosteroid in Urine. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that there exists a correlation between asthma and the pattern of Kidney Deficiency. Clinical observations reveal that asthma patients tend to have lower levels of the hormone 17-hydroxy corticosteroid in their urine, which is closely related to Kidney Deficiency in Chinese medicine. Many clinical studies show that acupuncture can increase the level of 17-hydroxy corticosteroid in urine.

Regulate Hypophalmus-pituitary-adrenocortical function. It is believed that asthma attacks are correlated with a lower hypophalmus-pituitary-adrenocortical function. Clinical research found that tonifying the Kidneys with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can improve that function and relieve asthma attacks.

More Support
In a randomized, controlled clinical trial in the department of the Osler Chest Unit, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, England, twelve matched pairs of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease received either traditional acupuncture or placebo acupuncture over a three-week treatment period. After treatment, the traditional acupuncture group showed a significant improvement in terms of subjective scores of breathlessness and six-minute walking distance. Kim Jobst at Oxford University conducted a parallel study of the efficacy of acupuncture on asthma. This study also showed improvements by two measures: “quality of life” scores, and breathlessness measurements.

These clinical trials at Oxford indicate that acupuncture treatments achieved the following goals: reduced the spasmodic tendency in the bronchi; kept the lungs from contracting at the least little irritant in the air; opened narrowed blood vessels in the lungs; and promoted relaxation and the ability to breathe more fully.

 By Wei Liu, TCMD, MPH, LAC and Changzhen Gong, PhD, MS - The American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM)

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Every year, sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, affect 250 million people worldwide, including 12 million Americans. Because it is easier for a sexually transmitted disease to be transferred from a man to a woman, women suffer more adverse consequences from sexually transmitted diseases than do men. A woman’s reproductive system can be severely and permanently damaged by sexually transmitted diseases, so it is important for everyone to know something about them. Sexually transmitted diseases are caused by three types of pathogens: bacteria, virus, and parasitic insects (scabies, body lice, etc.).

AIDS (acquired immune deficiency) is a generally fatal disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). AIDS patients suffer from flu-like illness characterized by fever, tiredness, swollen lymph nodes and muscle aches. Symptoms of AIDS might be experienced only after many years  infection. Both clearing toxins and enhancing immunity are incorporated in the traditional Chinese medicine treatment.

Conventional medicine treats sexually transmitted diseases by identifying the pathogens of the disease and attacking them with antibiotics and other drugs. Traditional Chinese medicine treats sexually transmitted diseases (and all disease) by differentiating patterns of disease and then treating the specific pattern. Symptoms presented by the patient are analyzed and then classified into an overall pattern of disease or imbalance. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are then used to treat the problem. Chinese medicine therapies were well-established before microscopes permitted researchers to “see” bacteria and virus, but many of the traditional herbal formulas have anti-bacterial or anti-viral properties, and are highly effective against what modern science calls infection, and what classical Chinese texts call “heat toxins.” Other traditional herbal formulas “tonify” various Fundamental Substances of the body (such as Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang), and seem to have a positive effect on what modern science identifies as the immune system.

The following sections contain some historical background on sexually transmitted diseases in Chinese medicine, descriptions of the two most common patterns of sexually transmitted diseases, Chinese herbs used in the treatment of sexually transmitted disease patterns, and brief descriptions of common sexually transmitted diseases.

In Chinese medicine, the term “chancre” (Xia Gan) includes all diseases of the reproductive system which are sexually transmitted. This long legacy of Chinese medicine  the painstaking observation and analysis that differentiates patterns  is still valuable today in dealing with the increasing number of modern diseases.

Common Patterns of AIDS
Most expressions of AIDS fall into one of the two patterns discussed below. Generally, acute, infectious-type eruptions of disease fall into the “Toxic Heat” pattern, whereas chronic, debilitating expressions of disease fall into the “Chronic Deficiency” pattern. Symptoms of each pattern are detailed, as well as the Chinese herbal formulas commonly used in treatment.

Toxic Heat Pattern. Symptoms include: ruptured abscesses; itching and burning sensation in the genital area; fever; headache; nausea; vomiting; increased vaginal discharge; turbid/cloudy urine; a burning sensation during urination; painful urination; frequent urination; urgent urination; a red tongue body with a yellow tongue coating; and a rapid pulse. UT Clearing (Ba Zhen San), Damp Heat Clearing (Long Dan Xie Gan Tang), Toxin Cleansing (Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin), and Honeysuckle & Forsthia Decoction (Yin Chao Hong Jiang Jie Du Tang) are some widely used formulas for clearing Heat toxins.

Chronic Deficiency Pattern. Symptoms include: ruptured abscesses; low-grade fever; cough without sputum; dry throat; dizziness; back soreness; chest congestion; heart palpitations; insomnia; lassitude; irregular periods; dry bowel movements; weak pulse; and a red tongue body with a thin tongue coating. For this pattern, toxin-cleansing herbal formulas should be combined with tonic herbal formulas. Chi Yin Tonic (Sheng Mai Yin), Water Fire Balance (Zhi Bai Di Huang Tang), Chi Blood Tonic (Ba Zhen Tang), Chi Spleen Tonic (Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang), GI Strength (Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Wan), and Kidney Yang Tonic (Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan) are some time-tested formulas for tonifying the Qi and Blood, and nourishing and strengthening the Lung, Spleen and Kidneys.

Top Chinese Herbs for AIDS
From age-old sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis to modern sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS, enhancing immunity is fundamental to the sufferers. People with a lowered immune-system response are more vulnerable to infections, and to the abnormal cell changes that can lead to cancer and tumors. The leading Chinese herbs for enhancing immunity and combating infections and tumor formation are as follows:
1. Herbs for Enhancing Immunity: The leading Chinese herbs which boost the immune system include: ginseng (Ren Shen), astragalus (Huang Qi), atractylodis (Bai Zhu), licorice (Gan Cao), rehmannia (Shu Di Huang), angelica (Dan Gui), white peony root (Bai Shao), and buplerum (Chai Hu). These herbs are traditionally used for tonifying Qi and Blood and nourishing the Kidneys and Spleen. Modern research indicates they are natural immune system enhancers.
2. Herbs that are Anti-infection Agents: Leading anti-infectious herbs in Chinese medicine include: honeysuckle (Jin Yin Hua), dandelion (Pu Gong Ying), woad leaf (Da Qing Ye), yedeon’s violet (Di Ding Cao), scabiosaefolia (Bai Jiang Cao), houttuynia (Yu Xing Cao), woad root (Ban Lan Gen), phellodendron (Huang Bai), and sophora (Ku Shen). Most of these herbs are traditionally used for clearing Heat and toxins. Modern pharmacological and clinical research focuses on their anti-microbial, anti-viral and anti-fungal effects.
3. Herbs that Counteract Tumors: Leading anti-tumor herbs in Chinese medicine include: bur-reed rhizome (San Ling), zedoary rhizome (E Zhu), edulis (Shan Ci Gu), nux-vomica (Ma Qian Cao), lobelia (Ban Zhi Lian), and odlenlandia (Bai Hua She She Cao). In traditional Chinese medicine, masses and tumors are diagnosed as Blood Stasis. The function of these herbs is to move and resolve Blood Stasis.

By Wei Liu, TCMD, MPH, LAC and Changzhen Gong, PhD, MS - The American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM)