Do You Know How Can Chinese Herbal Medicine Effective?

How Kampo works

How does Chinese Herbal Medicine work?

Chinese Herbal Medicine
Many Chinese herbs cannot be fully effective unless they are suitable for their constitution and symptoms

Many Chinese herbs cannot be fully effective unless they are suitable for their constitution and symptoms.  It’s essential to diagnose the patient’s constitution and “measure” to Chinese medicine here.  

What is the “constitution” to be diagnosed in Kampo? 

In Kampo, there is an original method that diagnoses the constitution based on its theory.  That is “Sho” and “Qi, blood, water.” 

In Chinese medicine, it’s prescribed not only for each person’s condition but also for their constitution.  Therefore, sometimes you can see the stomach even though it is an acne treatment, or you can check the condition of your period (menstruation) even though it is a treatment for coldness (one of the constitution). 

It is one of the methods necessary to determine the person’s constitution and prescribe Chinese herbs that are good for the person. “Sho” is a person’s condition (individual differences in the body, physical strength, resistance, appearance of symptoms, etc.). 

It is determined from the signs that the person complains about and factors such as physique.  Therefore, even if you have the same symptoms if your “sho” is different from the other person, the prescribed Chinese medicine will naturally be extra.  Even if the Chinese herbs you are taking have the same symptoms, it may not be effective even if other people take them.  

One of the ways to divide “Sho” is Excess and deficiency.  A person with sufficient physical strength and resistance is called “Excess,” and a person who has no physical power and feels weak is called “deficiency.”  

Deficiency type

  • Weak without stamina
  • Thin and delicate
  • the complexion is pale, and the skin is easy to breakout
  • weak voice
  • Gastrointestinal weakness and easy to get diarrhea
  • Sensitive to cold

Excess type

  • Stamina
  • A muscular and good physique
  • Good complexion
  • Strong voice
  • Strong GI but easy to get constipation
  • Sensitive to heat

“Qi, blood, water” measures the cause of the disorder.

Qi / Blood / Water is a ruler for finding the cause of a disorder.  In Kampo, our body is in good health when the three elements of “Qi, blood, and water” circulate well in the body, and when in the body, and when these are deficient, stagnant, or biased, we get sick.  It’s thought that illness, disability will occur.  Therefore, we will diagnose the condition of “Qi, blood, and water” at the medical examination to find out where the problem is.  

Qi: Invisible life energy

It’s said to be close to the function of the autonomic nerves

Blood: Nourishes various tissues and organs throughout the body

Water: It corresponds to all body fluids other than blood and is related to water metabolism and the immune system. 

Relationship between Qi, Blood, Water disturbance and disorder

Qi Deficiency

Low energy, fatigue, lethargy, tiredness, loss of appetite etc

Qi Stagnation

Heavy head, feels like stuck in the throat (plum-pit syndrome), difficult to breathe, abdominal bloating, etc.  

Qi / Yang rising

Heart palpitations, sweating, anxiety, etc.  

Blood stagnation

Menstrual disorders, constipation, tenderness in the abdominal (pain when pressed), etc

Blood deficiency

Anemia, dry skin, hair loss, poor circulation etc

Water toxic, water stagnation

Edema, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, abnormal urination, etc

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Please feel welcome to comment if you have any questions about this post.

Sayonara till next post.

About Author: Satoru Ozawa – Doctor of Oriental Medicine, an acupuncturist, and a Chinese herb specialist.

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