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2/18/15: Blood deficiency and Anemia

In nursing school we are on anemia. I can already envision how much this will help when I can combine my nursing license with my acupuncture license. Because all of the signs and symptoms of blood deficiency (eastern medicine diagnosis) and anemia (western medicine diagnosis) are the same. So what in general do doctors do for anemia? From what I've learned so far, you do a CBC. So you find ou...t the Hemoglobin and Hematocrit.

Those numbers tell you if you have mild, moderate, or severe anemia.

The thing is, blood is like a tube raft, that carries little oxygen people on each raft. So when there is less blood, there is less oxygen. That means you get short of breath. Your heart rate increases because your heart is trying to work harder to get the blood to get around the body where its needed. Your blood pressure goes down because there's less blood, so you have a greater chance of passing out. You feel weak and fatigued and anxious.

So doctors in general give B12 and Iron. Iron is best taken on an empty stomach with vitamin c (just drink it with a glass of orange juice). It also helps if your body can stimulate hormones like erythropoietin...and acupuncture stimulates hormones. I'd also start you on blood deficiency herbs which stimulates hormones, increases circulation and calms you.

What is cool about me mixing both licenses eventually is that while we treat you with supplements, herbs and acupuncture, I will know enough to refer you to get tested for a CBC panel and we can keep checking the results and make sure the Hg and Hct numbers are going up (in other words, that the treatment is working). As the treatment works, you'll start to feel better. But I love the idea of being able to mix the two medicines (east and west) and use them in the best possible way.

So as an example of herbal formulas for anemia here's the classic blood deficiency formula Si Wu Tang. Please note that you shouldn't just go and get it. You should get a referral by your acupuncturist who can check signs and symptoms and work with you. According to research done on animals, this formula has hemopoetic properties (it stimulates formation of blood cells). If you are anemic, you don't h...ave enough.

Signs and symptoms:
•Irregular menstruation with scanty flow, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, lower abdominal or periumbilical pain, and PMS
•Dizziness, fatigue, tinnitus, blurred vision, palpitations, and pale nails and complexion
•Painful and hard abdominal masses, threatened miscarriage, and lochioschesis.

Western Uses:
•Irregular Menstruation
•Pre-Menstrual Syndrome
•Threatened Miscarriage
•Post Partum Weakness
•Insufficient Lactation
•Neurogenic Headache

Cautions, Contraindications, Herb Drug Interactions:
•This formula is heavy and cloying and should not be used in cases with loose stool, poor appetite, and indigestion due to Spleen Qi/Yang deficiency
•Use with extreme caution if pregnant (and always work with a licensed practitioner)
•Do not use in cases of acute or severe blood loss.

Shu Di Huang (Qty: 9-21 grams)
Slightly Warm Shu Di Huang (Processed Radix Rehmanniae)
Properties: Sweet, Slightly Warm
Latin: Processed Radix Rehmanniae
•Shu di huang is a thick black herb that grows deep into the ground. This depth of root means that it can serve to nourish very deeply. In Chinese medicine, the “blood” is considered the deepest of the levels of the body.

Bai Shao (Qty: 9-15 grams)
Cool Bai Shao (Radix Albus Paeoniae Lactiflorae)
Channels: LIV, SP
Properties: Bitter, Sour, Cool
Latin: Radix Albus Paeoniae Lactiflorae
•Bai shao’s properties of nourishing the blood also serve to regulate the so-called “liver qi” which could be described as having a calming influence.

Dang Gui (Qty: 9-12 grams)
Warm Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis)
Channels: HT, LIV, SP
Properties: Sweet, Spicy, Bitter, Warm
Latin: Radix Angelicae Sinensis
•Dang gui is probably the most famous of all herbs associated with women’s health. However dang gui can be used to promote blood healthy circulation for men as well. Women get the added benefit of its blood nourishing properties. Western medicine looks to hormonal regulation to explain dang gui’s actions.

Chuan Xiong (Qty: 3-6 grams)
Warm Chuan Xiong (Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong)
Channels: LIV, GB, PER
Properties: Spicy, Warm
Latin: Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong
•Chuang xiong is a spicy little number that moves the blood. In a way, this herb acts a little bit like baby asprin in keeping the blood unstuck and flowing well through the vessels.

2 Comments to 2/18/15: Blood deficiency and Anemia:

Comments RSS on Thursday, November 12, 2015 5:08 AM
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janny on Monday, January 25, 2016 7:23 AM
Chuang xiong is a spicy little number that moves the blood. In a way, this herb acts a little bit like baby asprin in keeping the blood unstuck and flowing well through the vessels.
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