Treating Acute And Chronic Viral Infections With Chinese Herbal Products
Jake Paul Fratkin, OMD, L.Ac.
If one were to ask me what the single greatest contribution of Chinese herbal medicine into western society might be, I would answer unhesitatingly. I would say it is the availability of herbal products to treat common viruses and bacteria. I say this not because this is TCMs greatest hat trick. There are extraordinary herbal treatments that are superior to western medicines for a variety of non-infectious disorders. I say it because common infections are one of the main reasons people come to a health care provider, and that the conventional western medical response is inadequate, expensive, and carries health consequences. If the western medical society, or for that matter, society in general, were aware of the incredible effectiveness of commonly available Chinese herbal products, it would significantly change how common infections are treated in North America.
TCM approach to treating infectious disorders.
The classical approach to infection was first described by Zhang in the 3rd century as Shang Hun Lun theory, and later, in the 18th century was further developed in the Wen Bing school of thought. The classical approach combined various therapeutic strategies in combating heat toxins that included herbs to clear wind heat, clear blood heat, nourish yin, as well as specific herbs to clear heat and resolve toxins, or clear damp-heat.
- Lonicera & Forsythia Formula
- Yin Qiao Jie Du Wan
- Yin Chiao Formula
- Yin Qiao Jie Du Wan
Description Of The Intervention
Although the majority of patients with AOM are treated with antibiotics, antibiotics have been suggested to provide only a marginal benefit and are not adequately effective for the relief of pain and distress.910 A review of randomised controlled trials involving the treatment of AOM with antibiotics revealed a limited role for antibiotics, and 80% of the untreated children were pain-free between 2 and 7days after the onset of AOM.1112
In recent years, a large number of AOM patients have chosen complementary and alternative medicine to cure or prevent AOM.13 Forty-six per cent of children with recurrent AOM used some component of CAM such as herbal medicines.14 Herbal medicine is a therapy that utilises medicinal plants, minerals and animal parts to prevent or cure clinical conditions it is approved by the WHO as a therapy for the treatment of AOM.1516
Data Processing And Analysis
All subjects will undergo otologic evaluation and audiologic evaluation . Pure-tone audiometry and tympanometry will be conducted to ensure that all subjects meet the inclusion criteria. Pure-tone air conduction thresholds will be measured at 250, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, 6,000, and 8,000 Hz, and bone-conduction thresholds will be measured at 500, 1,000, 2,000, and 4,000 Hz using the standard Hughson-Westlake clinical procedure in 5-dB steps . High-frequency audiometry will also be performed at 10 kHz, 12.5 kHz, 16 kHz, and 20 kHz. The characteristics of tinnitus will involve measurement of parameters of self-perceived loudness in dB SL, pitch matching, and minimum masking level. Tinnitus pitch and loudness matching will be performed according to Vernon and Meikleâs procedure . Stimuli will be presented to the contralateral ear in cases of lateralized tinnitus, or randomly to either ear for bilateral tinnitus.
The following variables will be collected at baseline: age, gender, BMI, educational level, employment status, duration of tinnitus, percentage of tinnitus awareness during the day, and other coexisting health problems.
Primary Outcome Measures
Secondary Outcome Measures
A comprehensive set of outcome measures is employed to assess mainly the following six domains: tinnitus percept, impact of tinnitus, co-occurring complaints, quality of life, and treatment-related outcomes .
1) Tinnitus Handicap Inventory in Chinese version
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Data Collection And Analysis
Selection of studies
Two review authors will independently screen the titles and abstracts of the searched studies, perform the study selection and record their decisions on a standard eligibility form. When disagreements regarding the study selection are not resolved through discussions between these two authors, the arbiter will decide.
Data extraction and management
Two review authors will read the hard copies of all the articles and independently extract the data using a standard data extraction form. Any disagreement between the authors will be resolved by a discussion with all the authors. When the reported data are insufficient or ambiguous, the authors will contact the corresponding clinical trial authors through an email or telephone to request the additional information or clarification.
Assessment of risk of bias in the included studies
Measurement of the treatment effect
For the continuous data, we will use the mean difference with 95% CIs to measure the treatment effect. We will convert other forms of data into MDs. In the case of outcome variables with different scales, we will use the standard MD with 95% CIs. For dichotomous data, we will present the treatment effects as a relative risk with 95% CIs. We will convert other binary data into the RR form.
Units of analysis issues
Dealing with missing data
Assessment of heterogeneity
Assessment of reporting biases
What Is The Scientific Evidence For Acupressure
There are several studies that look at the effectiveness of acupressure.
Although the studies vary in size, quality, and the condition they analyze, most find that using acupressure to treat various conditions has favorable results.
A 2015 review of studies looked at data on acupressure of the ear for treating a variety of illnesses, including pain in different parts of the body.
The researchers found that acupressure can positively affect peopleâs symptoms. However, it is still unclear what the exact mechanisms of acupressure are.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health state that activating acupuncture pressure points may play a role in decreasing the occurrence of tension headaches and fending off migraine headaches.
The NCCIH caution that while it is reasonable for people with chronic pain to consider acupuncture as a possible solution, there is no consensus in clinical practice guidelines about acupuncture recommendations.
A person interested in using acupressure should seek guidance from their doctor, who may provide information or refer them to a certified acupuncture specialist, who can provide therapy and instruction.
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Pressure Points For Earaches And Headaches
If you would like to try acupressure to treat a headache or earache, follow these steps:
Below is a list of pressure points, as well as a list of conditions each claims to treat.
Treating Middle Ear Infection With Chinese Medicine
John K. Chen, Ph.D., Pharm.D., O.M.D., L.Ac.
TREATING MIDDLE EAR INFECTION WITH CHINESE MEDICINE
Middle ear infection can be treated quickly and effectively with Chinese medicine with a success rate of over 95% within a week. Below is a case study detailing how to achieve relief from the infection.
A 53-year-old male patient presents with an ear infection for over 2 months. He completed 2 rounds of oral antibiotics which were ineffective. This was followed by an IV injection of antibiotics which were also ineffective. The patient was sent home by his primary care physician after 30 days and was told there was nothing they could do.
Reddish purple with slight white coating
Convex pounding on the right cun and right chi. Concave and weak on right guan. Convex forceful on the left cun, concave on the left guan. Thick, forceful and wiry on the left chi.
The patient said the pressure from the ear infection was approximately 8 to 9 at night from a scale of 1 to 10, which caused insomnia and preventing him from a restful sleep. Using the same scale, the pain level was 4 out of 10. The patient also reports an increase of sinus congestion and mucus. The patient works in a cold environment with air conditioning blowing on him all day.
Thoughts on How to Select Points and Herbs.
Dr. Jimmy Changs Astringent Complex 25%
WHY THESE HERBS WERE PRESCRIBED
A 4 point set on the bottom of the foot, Huaguyi
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Traditional Chinese Medicine For Sinusitis
From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, sinusitis can be caused by internal and external factors. For internal factors, common patterns of sinusitis are qi deficiency in lungs, qi deficiency in spleen, lung heat. For external factors, there are six external forces invade the human body to cause diseases. They are called the six external pathogens in Chinese medicine, namely wind, heat, dampness, fire, dryness and cold. The most common external factor of sinusitis is wind heat.
Sinusitis becomes chronic condition for many people because fail to eliminate sinus infection completely. It creates an ongoing pattern of infection after infection. Continually using antibiotics for infections can weaken the immune system, causing further problems. TCM aims to break this pattern. After sinus infection has been completely cleared, TCM focuses on strengthening bodys immune system in order to prevent recurrence.
Difficulty / Loss Of Hearing
Hearing involves the perception and processing of acoustic signals through the ears and the subsequent translation of the information by the brain. The causes of hearing loss are varied. It can be a symptom of old age, a result of disease or due to excessive noise.
TCM associates hearing loss with a weakening of the energy flow and thus blockages in the body. The treatment is as individual as the cause and requires a thorough diagnosis. As acupuncture is a holistic method, it treats not only the symptoms, but also the deep seated cause of the hearing loss.
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Herbal Remedies For Childrens Chronic Ear Infection
The potential to develop an ear infection is prevalent at any age. The damp dark environment of the ear canal is ideal for the proliferation of viruses, bacteria and fungus, three of the major consorts of auricular, middle, and inner ear irritation. The ear is a highly sensitive membrane that scratches easily. Abrasions to the ear, along with fresh water and a warm climate, are all a contagion needs to survive. Once an infection has taken hold it is highly difficult to wipe it out completely, hence the term chronic. While adults can develop an infection given the right constituents, children and infants are especially susceptible to them.
An underdeveloped immune system is often said to play precursor to ear infection in children. Their bodies are new to the world. They have yet to learn how to ward off and defend against the billions and billions of little bugs that are in the air, food, water, and environment. Sometimes, usually in infants, the infection can be related to biomechanical function. The Eustachian tubes that connect the ear canal to the sinuses are horizontal when we are born. In some cases, if those tubes do not drop naturally to a vertical position mucus and other fluids will be unable to drain properly. This can be treated through cranial adjustments.
How The Intervention Might Work
Herbal medicines reduce the swelling and prevent endotoxin-induced otitis media by stimulating the function of the mucociliary system related to pathogen clearance in experimental research.1718 Also, many types of herbal medicines have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects, such as increasing the phagocytosis for clearing up an infection.819â21 However, it is unclear how they work, in spite of observed immunomodulatory properties.
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Treating And Preventing Ear Infections With Chinese Medicine
Chinese herbal medicine offers gentle pediatric formulas for children that are safe and effective. Ive found Childrens Ear Formula Syrup to be the most effective for ear infections. It is in liquid form and can be syringed into your childs mouth. Finding the most appropriate herbal tincture with the correct dosing is covered during an office visit.
Acupuncture or Shonishin
Acupuncture can help reduce inflammation and mucus, relieve pain and circulate the lymph to increase drainage. Acupuncture can also boost the immune system to recover from and prevent further ear infections. Pediatric acupuncture doesnt always require needles, but may include non-insertive acupuncture techniques called shonishin, as well as special pediatric massage to stimulate acupressure points.
We also use moxa to stimulate drainage and soothe pain. Moxa is an herb called mugwort that is burned like an incense stick near the ear , to promote circulation in the area.
There you have it: ear infections can be treated and prevented with some at-home remedies, plus a visit to your acupuncturist.
Chinese Medicine To Treat Middle Ear Infections
- Posted on: Oct 18 2017
Its happening again. for the past three days your little brother has been moaning and agonizing in pain over the pain in his little ear. He tells you he wants to take his ear off and stop the agony. Something must be done! Does this scenario sound familiar? Ear infections are one of the most common conditions that affect babies and children.
For years, the standard Western medical treatment for children with middle ear infections, also known as otitis media, has been antibiotics and in some severe cases, ear tube surgery. Now, upon evaluation of the childs age, history of recurrent ear infections, and other underlying medical conditions, a growing number of pediatricians choose to first monitor the progression of an ear infection before resorting to antibiotics. In most cases, ear infections resolve on their own, and the fact that antibiotics have been so widely prescribed in the past could have overshadowed the childs self-healing potential.
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What To Expect In An Acupuncture Session
Acupuncture for ear blockages is likely performed in several sessions, spread out over a week or two. Your practitioner can choose the same points, or select different points during each session, depending on your presenting symptoms. The first session can last longer than an hour, but subsequent sessions are usually an hour or less. Additional techniques, such as the burning of medicinal herbs on a needle, electrical stimulation and massage, may also be employed during your treatment session to improve results.
- Acupuncture for ear blockages is likely performed in several sessions, spread out over a week or two.
Chinese Herbs For Tinnitus
After the pattern of tinnitus is identified, TCM practitioners will use an herbal formula based on your condition and constitution. If tinnitus is due to kidney disorder caused by kidney yin deficiency, Er Long Zuo Ci Wan, an herbal formula can be used. It contains herbs include Shu Di Huang, Shan Zhu Yu, Shan Yao, Shi Chang Pu, Niu Xi, Tu Si Zi, Fu Pen Zi and more. Among herbal formulas for tinnitus, many of them contain Bai Guo and Shu Di Huang, which can be used for inner ear diseases in Chinese medicine.
1) Bai Guo can help stabilize hearing loss and tinnitus ringing by increasing capillary blood circulation. There are many studies on the therapeutic effect of Ginkgo Biloba on tinnitus. Most findings are in contrast with each other so that some of studies reported that Ginkgo Biloba is effective for tinnitus and other studies referred to it as ineffective herbal medicine. According to the previous studies and the present study, it can mention that the Ginkgo Biloba may somewhat improve tinnitus .
Where to buy : Ginkgo Biloba
How to use: Ginkgo Biloba is available in many different forms including liquid extract, powder and capsules.
2) Shu Di Huang is a Chinese herb which is commonly used for inner ear diseases, such as tinnitus and hearing loss A study suggests that the ethanol extract of steamed roots of Rehmannia may help to protect auditory cells .
Where to buy : Rehmannia Extract
How to use: Rehmannia can be used in the forms of liquid extract, powder and capsules.
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Home Remedies For Ear Infection
Home remedies for ear infections are one of the approaches to use natural remedies for ear infections that have been proven to be effective with no side effects. It can also be achieved easily at home. Below are some most popular home remedies for ear infections:
Cold or warm compresses
- Both warm and cold compresses are effective home remedies for ear infections that can relieve pain from ear infections. Hold either a hot pad or cold washcloth against the ear for 10 to 15 minutes or alternate between hot and cold for an easy ear infection remedy, especially for children.
Neck exercises for ear infections
Neck exercises are another form of home remedy for ear infections that rotate the neck can help relieve pressure in the ear canal thats caused by ear infections. Heres how to do neck-rotation exercises:
- Sit or stand up straight.
- Rotate your neck to the right, so its parallel with your right shoulder. Hold for five to 10 seconds.
- Repeat this exercise on the left side.
- Raise your shoulders high like youre trying to reach your earlobes with them. Hold for five to 10 seconds.
- Repeat these exercises throughout the day.
- Oil made from the flowers of the mullein plant has shown to be an effective pain reliever for ear infections. Mullein is available at most health food stores as a stand-alone tincture or as an ingredient in herbal ear drops.
Treating And Preventing Ear Infections
Diet is key in resolving ear infections, especially chronic recurring ones.
Mucus producing foods, especially dairy can be a major culprit. We have found that even temporarily taking a child off of all dairy helped alleviate symptoms.
If cows milk is a family staple, try replacing with other milks such as goats milk or hemp milk which can be gentler. Try taking your child off all dairy for a couple of weeks and then add it back in slowly, starting with yogurt as theyll need the probiotics.
The key is to minimize foods that cause mucus production. Peanut products, oranges, bananas, foods with excessive sugar and fried foods should be avoided.
Diet habits are equally important. I recommend the following in my clinic:
- Curb irregular eating like eating too much at one time, or too close to bedtime.
- Make sure your child drinks in an upright position, as bottle feeding and drinking in a lying-down position can cause ear infections. This is due to the horizontal positioning of young childrens eustachian tubes.
I also recommend introducing more foods that help reduce mucus. These include: garlic, onions, umeboshi plums, daikon radish, parsley, lemon, watercress and mustard.
Give your child probiotics to build up good gut flora, especially after any course of antibiotics.
Massage in front of the ear canal and then stroking downwards from behind ear lobe along neck towards collarbone to help with drainage of excess fluids.
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