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I think that everyone should read this post on TCM

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  • I think that everyone should read this post on TCM

    I've had rosacea for about 4 years and I think that I found out I had rosacea about 3 years ago.

    Last year, I tried a 1 week detox program and while I was detoxing (comprised of a healthy diet and a bunch of capsules each day) my face went completely calm. I didn't apply any noritate for this "calm" time. Unfortunately, this feeling only lasted a couple of weeks and sure enough the burning and the flare ups came again.

    The whole thing made me think that I was on to something. Throughout the year I experimented a bit. I tried things like taking acidophilus capsules, playing around with my diet etc. Nothing seemed to be all that effective.

    About 3 weeks ago, I went to a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner. I went in with a healthy dose of skepticism, but also with an open mind. I had been thinking about going down this avenue because I have a client that had a case of the shingles and said no doctors could help her, but a TCM doctor did wonders. I thought, well it's worth a shot.

    The "doctor" asked me a bit about my history. I said that I was on antibiotics for awhile for my rosacea, but also for a few years in my teens for some acne problems. She said that was bad and many problems come from antibiotic use. She said that my face was red from toxic heat and she said things like "I want the heat to escape from your feet." Well, these kind of answers didn't make me any less skeptical. But after asking alot of questions, it did seem that she did know what she was talking about. She started by using TCM terms, but when pressed answered with what seemed to make more scientific sense. Like the problems really being a digestive system problem with an imbalance between good bacteria and bad bacteria. Also explaining that she would like to increase the circulation with the use of acupuncture.

    I've now been taking herbs (which taste awful) and been going in for acupuncture twice a week. My face is 70% less red and my face feels 95% better. I cannot believe how good this has made me feel. Calmness in the face feels amazing.

    I don't come to this message board very often but I will make an effort to update people over the coming weeks and months if people are interested. I hope that others that have tried TCM and have had success might also post.

  • #2
    Hi eastwest,

    Thank you for posting this! I had a really good TCM practitioner back in Edmonton and, even though I did not understand most of it, really came to believe in their approach, mostly due to the great results. I have had no luck finding anyone here that is genuinely gifted with acupuncture. I've just purchased a few books to immerse myself on the subject of Herbal medicine and TCM (Herbal Remedies For Dummies, Chinese Herbal Medicine: Formulas and Strategies, Medical Herbalism, Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica, Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct, Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism: Basic Doctrine, Energetics, and Classification) and wonder if you know the herbs that you are taking and what meridians the practitioner is focusing on?


    Happiness is a choice.


    • #3
      That's funny, cuz that's where I am ... Edmonton. I went to the Bethune Clinic here. I went there because it is a teaching centre for Grant Macewan College, therefore added some legitimacy to the whole thing. As far as the herbs? I have know idea. I just get a bag of herbs every time I leave. All I know is that it is very bitter.


      • #4
        I thought this post was gonna be about the Turner Classic Movies channel..


        • #5
          I was expecting a tiny chattering monkey.
          dx early 2006.
          current stategy;
          finacea (on occasional spot), 20+ x IPL and 17+ low level PDL (n-light)


          • #6
            eastwest, could you ask what the herbs are the next time you are there? Im interested in chinese medicine since western medicine obviously doesnt work for us.


            • #7
              Did anyone read DG's blog about his treatment in the Ukraine. On it he lists in detail a variety of herbs... I know it's not CTM but it may be of interest to some.

              Here is the list of the basic herbs... there is detail about each one on the blog.

              These herbs suppliment the other treatments which include rubbing solutions on the skin, enimas, fasting etc.

              "These are the herbs the doctor will prescribe after the interview.

              1) Bidens Tripartita (Agrimony) – Astringent tonic, diuretic. Agrimony has had a great reputation for curing jaundice and other liver complaints.

              Agrimony is also considered a very useful agent in skin eruptions and diseases of the blood, pimples, blotches, etc. A strong decoction of the root and leaves, sweetened with honey or sugar, has been taken successfully to cure scrofulous sores, being administered two or three times a day, in doses of a wineglassful, persistently for several months. The same decoction is also often employed in rural districts as an application to ulcers.

              2) Chelidonium Majus (Greater Celandine) - Alterative, diuretic, purgative. It is used in jaundice, eczema, scrofulous diseases, etc., the infusion of 1 OZ. of the dried herb to a pint of boiling water being taken in wineglassful doses. The infusion is a cordial and greatly promotes perspiration. The addition of a few aniseeds in making a decoction of the herb in wine has been held to increase its efficacy in removing obstructions of the liver and gall.

              3) Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) - Diaphoretic, astringent, tonic, stimulant and mild aromatic.

              Yarrow Tea is a good remedy for severe colds, being most useful in the commencement of fevers, and in cases of obstructed perspiration. The infusion is made with 1 OZ. of dried herb to 1 pint of boiling water, drunk warm, in wineglassful doses. It may be sweetened with sugar, honey or treacle, adding a little Cayenne Pepper, and to each dose a teaspoonful of Composition Essence. It opens the pores freely and purifies the blood, and is recommended in the early stages of children's colds, and in measles and other eruptive diseases.

              A decoction of the whole plant is employed for bleeding piles, and is good for kidney disorders.

              4) Salvia Officinalis (Sage) - Stimulant, as stringent, tonic and carminative. Has been used in dyspepsia, but is now mostly employed as a condiment. In the United States, where it is still an official medicine, it is in some repute, especially in the form of an infusion, the principal and most valued application of which is as a wash for the cure of affections of the mouth and as a gargle in inflamed sore throat, being excellent for relaxed throat and tonsils, and also for ulcerated throat. The gargle is useful for bleeding gums and to prevent an excessive flow of saliva.

              5) Matricaria Chamomilla (German Chamomile) - Carminative, sedative and tonic. It acts as a nerve sedative and also as a tonic upon the gastro-intestinal canal. It proves useful during dentition in cases of earache, neuralgic pain, stomach disorders and infantile convulsions. The flowers may also be used externally as a fomentation.

              German Chamomile is used medically against sore stomach, irritable bowel syndrome and as a gentle sleep aid. It can be taken as an herbal tea, two teaspoons of dried flowers per cup of tea. For a sore stomach, some recommend taking a cup every morning without food for two to three months. It is also used as a mouthwash against oral mucositis. It has acaricidal properties against certain mites, such as Psoroptes cuniculi (ear mite). The primary active ingredient of the essential oil from German Chamomile is bisabolol. Bisabolol is known to have anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

              The active ingredients are essential oils, notably chamazulene, flavonoids, and coumarin.

              Mucositis is the painful inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes lining the digestive tract.

              The pathophysiology of mucositis can be divided into its 5 stages; including an initiation phase, a message generation phase, a signaling and amplification phase, an ulceration phase, and a healing phase.

              6) Tanacetum Vulgare (Tansy) – Tansy is largely used for expelling worms in children. The infusion of 1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water being taken in teacupful doses, night and morning, fasting. It is also valuable in hysteria and in kidney weaknesses, the same infusion being taken in wineglassful doses, repeated frequently. It forms an excellent and safe emmenagogue, and is of good service in low forms of fever, in ague and hysterical and nervous affections. As a diaphoretic nervine it is also useful.

              7) Hypericum Perforatum (St John’s Wart) - Aromatic, astringent, resolvent, expectorant and nervine.

              Used in all pulmonary complaints, bladder troubles, in suppression of urine, dysentery, worms, diarrhea, hysteria and nervous depression, haemoptysis and other hemorrhages and jaundice. For children troubled with incontinence of urine at night an infusion or tea given before retiring will be found effectual; it is also useful in pulmonary consumption, chronic catarrh of the lungs, bowels or urinary passages. Externally for fomentations to dispel hard tumors, caked breasts, ecchymosis, etc.

              8) Helichrysum Arenarium – no information available.

              9) Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Liquorice) – It is a popular and well-known remedy for coughs, consumption and chest complaints generally, notably bronchitis, and is an ingredient in almost all popular cough medicines on account of its valuable soothing properties. The Extract enters into the composition of cough lozenges and pastilles, with sedatives and expectorants.

              10) Inula Helenium (Elecampane) - Diuretic, tonic, diaphoretic, expectorant, alterative, antiseptic, astringent and gently stimulant. It was employed by the ancients in certain diseases of women, also in phthisis, in dropsy and in skin affections. Its name 'Scabwort' arose from the fact that a decoction of it is said to cure sheep affected with the scab, and the name 'Horse-heal' was given it from its reputed virtues in curing the cutaneous diseases of horses.

              In herbal medicine it is chiefly used for coughs, consumption and other pulmonary complaints, being a favorite domestic remedy for bronchitis. It has been employed for many years with good results in chest affections, for which it is a valuable medicine as it is in all chronic diseases of the lungs asthma and bronchitis. It gives relief to the respiratory difficulties and assists expectoration. Its principal employment as a separate remedy is in acute catarrhal affections, and in dyspepsia attended with relaxation and debility, given in small, warm and frequently repeated doses. It is, however, seldom given alone, but most frequently preferred in combination with other medicines of a similar nature. It is best given in the form of decoction, the dose being a small teaspoonful, three times a day.

              11) Valeriana Officinalis - It has a remarkable influence on the cerebro-spinal system, and is used as a sedative to the higher nerve centers in conditions of nervous unrest, St. Vitus's dance, hypochrondriasis, neuralgic pains and the like.

              The drug allays pain and promotes sleep. It is of special use and benefit to those suffering from nervous overstrain, as it possesses none of the after-effects produced by narcotics.

              Though in ordinary doses, it exerts an influence quieting and soothing in its nature upon the brain and nervous system, large doses, too often repeated, have a tendency to produce pain in the head, heaviness and stupor.

              12) Arctium Lappa (Burdock) – Not required. Alterative, diuretic and diaphoretic.

              One of the best blood purifiers. In all skin diseases, it is a certain remedy and has affected a cure in many cases of eczema, either taken alone or combined with other remedies, such as Yellow Dock and Sarsaparilla.

              13) Cichorium intybus (Chicory) - Chicory, especially the flower, was used as a treatment in Germany, and is recorded in many books as an ancient German treatment for everyday ailments.

              Howard (1987) mentions its use as, variously, a tonic and appetite stimulant, and as a treatment for gallstones, gastro-enteritis, sinus problems and cuts and bruises. Chicory has properties similar to those of Dandelion, its action being tonic, laxative and diuretic

              14) Thymus Serpyllum (Thyme) - In medicine, Wild Thyme or Serpolet has the same properties as Common Thyme, but to an inferior degree. It is aromatic, antiseptic, stimulant, antispasmodic, diuretic and emmenagogue.

              The infusion is used for chest maladies and for weak digestion, being a good remedy for flatulence, and favorable results have been obtained in convulsive coughs, especially in whooping cough, catarrh and sore throat.

              15) Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) – ---Peppermint oil is the most extensively used of all the volatile oils, both medicinally and commercially. The characteristic anti-spasmodic action of the volatile oil is more marked in this than in any other oil, and greatly adds to its power of relieving pains arising in the alimentary canal.

              From its stimulating, stomachic and carminative properties, it is valuable in certain forms of dyspepsia, being mostly used for flatulence and colic. It may also be employed for other sudden pains and for cramp in the abdomen; wide use is made of Peppermint in cholera and diarrhea.

              16) Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm) - Carminative, diaphoretic and febrifuge. It induces a mild perspiration and makes a pleasant and cooling tea for feverish patients in cases of catarrh and influenza.

              Balm is a useful herb, either alone or in combination with others. It is excellent in colds attended with fever, as it promotes perspiration.

              Used with salt, it was formerly applied for the purpose of taking away veins, and had the reputation of cleansing sores and easing the pains of gout.


              17) Leonurus Quinquelobatus Gilib (Motherwort) – Leonurus quinquelobatus Gilib. - ??????????? - Lamiaceae (Labiatae) A medicinal plant Russia, West Siberia, Novosibirsk Academy Town. No other information available.

              18) Crataegus Sanguinea (Red Hawthorn) - Cardiac, diuretic, astringent, tonic. Mainly used as a cardiac tonic in organic and functional heart troubles. Both flowers and berries are astringent and useful in decoction to cure sore throats. A useful diuretic in dropsy and kidney troubles.

              19) Rosa Cinnamomea (Cinnamon Rose) – no information available.

              20) Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi (Bearberry) – No required. Administration is in the form of an infusion, which has a soothing as well as an astringent effect and marked diuretic action. Of great value in diseases of the bladder and kidneys, strengthening and imparting tone to the urinary passages. The diuretic action is due to the glucoside Arbutin, which is largely absorbed unchanged and is excreted by the kidneys. During its excretion, Arbutin exercises an antiseptic effect on the urinary mucous membrane:

              Bearberry leaves are, therefore, used in inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract, urethritis, cystisis, etc.

              21) Urtica Dioica (Greater Nettle) - Preparations of the herb has astringent properties and act also as a stimulating tonic.

              Nettle is anti-asthmatic: the juice of the roots or leaves, mixed with honey or sugar, will relieve bronchial and asthmatic troubles and the dried leaves, burnt and inhaled, will have the same effect. The seeds have also been used in consumption, the infusion of herb or seeds being taken in wineglassful doses.

              22) Linuim Usitatissimum (Flaxseed) - The seeds and oil of the flax plant contain substances which promote good health. Flaxseed and flaxseed oil are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential fatty acid that appears to be beneficial for heart disease Flaxseed belongs to a group of substances called omega-3 fatty acids.

              Good health requires the right ratio of Omega 3 fatty acids to Omega 6 fatty acids in the diet. The ideal ratio is around 1:2. The average American diet is more around 1:20 to 1:50, with way too much Omega 6 and not enough Omega 3. The ratio present in Flaxseed oil is about 4:1. So flaxseed oil is a good source of Omega 3. You should consume every day small portions of flaxseed or flaxseed oil. However if flaxseed oil is used in the diet for long time, without other oils, it may cause Omega 6 LA deficiency symptoms. So the best bet is to blend flaxseed oil with other oils that contain more Omega 6, in order to get the right balance, such as sesame oil, sunflower oil, evening primrose oil.

              Flaxseed oil is good for the heart because it is the richest source of alpha-linolenic acid. Flaxseed itself (ground or whole) also contains lignans, which may have antioxidant actions and may help protect against certain cancers, though not everyone agrees on this issue.

              23) Vaccinum Vitis-Idaea (Lingonberry or Cowberries) - contain plentiful organic acids, vitamin C, provitamin A (as beta carotene), B Vitamins, (B1, B2, B3), and the elements potassium, calcium, magnesium and phsophorus. In addition to these healthful nutrients, cowberries also contain phytochemicals that are thought to counteract urinary-tract infections, and the seeds are rich in Omega – 3 fatty acids.

              24) Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) - The juice can be boiled to an extract with sugar, when it is called Rob, and is used for inflammatory sore throats. Excellent lozenges are also prepared from it.

              The infusion of the leaves is cleansing and diuretic, while an infusion of the young roots is useful in eruptive fevers and the dysenteric fevers of cattle. The raw juice is diuretic and diaphoretic, and is an excellent beverage in febrile diseases.

              25) Fragaria Vesca Complex (Strawberry) - Laxative, diuretic, astringent. Both the leaves and the fruit were in early pharmacopoeias, though the leaves were mostly used. The fruit contains malic and citric acids, a volatile matter, sugar, mucilage, pectin, woody fiber and water. It is easily digested and is not subject to acetous fermentation in the stomach. In feverish conditions the fruit is invaluable, and is also recommended for stone. Strawberry vitamins are of value in sprue. Culpepper declares the plant to be 'singularly good for the healing of many ills,' but Linnaeus was the first to discover and prove the efficacy of the berries as a cure for rheumatic gout.

              26) Zea Mays (Corn silk) - A mild stimulant, diuretic and demulcent, useful in acute and chronic cystitis and in the bladder irritation of uric acid and phosphatic gravel; has also been employed in gonorrhea.

              27) Viola Tricolor (Heartsease) - It was formerly official in the United States Pharmacopoeia, and is still employed in America in the form of an ointment and poultice in eczema and other skin troubles, and internally for bronchitis.

              28) Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) – No required. Diuretic and astringent. Horsetail has been found beneficial in dropsy, gravel and kidney affections generally, and a drachm of the dried herb, powdered, taken three or four times a day, has proved very effectual in spitting of blood.

              The ashes of the plant are considered very valuable in acidity of the stomach, dyspepsia, etc., administered in doses of 3 to 10 grains.

              Besides being useful in kidney and bladder trouble, a strong decoction acts as an emmenagogue; being cooling and astringent, it is of efficacy for hemorrhage, cystic ulceration and ulcers in the urinary passages.

              The decoction applied externally will stop the bleeding of wounds and quickly heal them, and will also reduce the swelling of eyelids.

              29) Plantago Major (Plantain) - Refrigerant, diuretic, deobstruent and somewhat astringent. It has been used in inflammation of the skin, malignant ulcers, intermittent fever, etc., and as a vulnerary, and externally as a stimulant application to sores.

              Applied to a bleeding surface, the leaves are of some value in arresting hemorrhage, but they are useless in internal hemorrhage, although they were formerly used for bleeding of the lungs and stomach, consumption and dysentery. The fresh leaves are applied whole or bruised in the form of a poultice. Rubbed on parts of the body stung by insects, nettles, etc., or as an application to burns and scalds, the leaves will afford relief and will stay the bleeding of minor wounds.

              30) Calendula Officinalis (Pot Marigold) - Plants are used for the treatment of skin disorders and pain, and as a bactericide, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. The petals and pollen contain triterpenoid esters (an anti-inflammatory) and the carotenoids flavoxanthin and auroxanthin (antioxidants, and the source of the yellow-orange coloration). The leaves and stems contain other carotenoids, mostly lutein (80%) and zeaxanthan (5%), and beta-carotene. Plant extracts are also widely used by cosmetics, presumably due to presence of compounds such as saponins, resins and essential oils.

              31) Betula Folia (Birch) - Various parts of the tree have been applied to medicinal uses. The young shoots and leaves secrete a resinous substance having acid properties, which, combined with alkalis, is said to be a tonic laxative. The leaves have a peculiar, aromatic, agreeable odor and a bitter taste, and have been employed in the form of infusion (Birch Tea) in gout, rheumatism and dropsy, and recommended as a reliable solvent of stone in the kidneys. With the bark they resolve and resist putrefaction. A decoction of them is good for bathing skin eruptions, and is serviceable in dropsy.

              32) Gnaphalium Uliginosum (Marsh Cudweed) – not required. No information available.

              33) Coriandrum Sativum (Cilantro) - Stimulant, aromatic and carminative. The powdered fruit, fluid extract and oil are chiefly used medicinally as flavoring to disguise the taste of active purgatives and correct their griping tendencies. It is an ingredient of the following compound preparations of the Pharmacopceia: confection, syrup and tincture of senna, and tincture and syrup of Rhubarb, and enters also into compounds with angelica gentian, jalap, quassia and lavender. As a coregent to senna, it is considered superior to other aromatics.

              34) Sophora Japonhica – not required.


              Astringent - a substance used on the skin to draw tissue together

              Resolvent - medicine able to cause reduction in inflammation or swelling".

              ... the ones thay say not required were not required for that particular patient only.
              dx early 2006.
              current stategy;
              finacea (on occasional spot), 20+ x IPL and 17+ low level PDL (n-light)


              • #8
                Re: I think that everyone should read this post on TCM

                Toxic heat is a very interesting concept. A problem I have inherited from my mother is not sweating enough. Even after excercise I really don't sweat much AT ALL. Someone else doing the same thing is usally soaked.

                My point is I have no way to cool down, and I agree that it is trying to escape somehow and that is probaly a big contribution to my rosacea. Anyone have any opinions on this?

                Anyways Im currently in India and I will search for a reputable acupuncurist and see what they think. I've tried homeopathy, and no results as expected. I think its all the power of suggestion when it comes to people being 'healed' by it. Its a cute idea.. But it won't work unless you believe it enough.

                Id be very interested in TCM. I want to find a Chinese practicioner preferiably, how many herbs are you currently taking?



                • #9
                  Well, I asked if I could get a list of the herbs that I've been taking. I was told that it changes from week to week as the TCM doctor has been trying different herbs, but I think most of them have been the same with a little tweaking needed here or there. Here's the list right now:

                  Anemarrhena Rhizome

                  phellodendron bark

                  rehmannia root

                  Moutan bark

                  hairy birthwort

                  dogwood fruit

                  alismatis rhizome

                  selfheal leaf.

                  I have been amazed by my progress the last few weeks, but it feels like i've gone backwards the last few days. It's like I went 10 steps forward then 2 steps back. No big deal, but my face has been perfectly calm for a few weeks. 2 days ago I felt a very minor flushing episode. I went in for an acupuncture session today and the doctor said that the body does that sometimes.


                  • #10

                    In terms of believing in things, I've always been one to go in skeptical when it comes to these things. The only reason I was somewhat open to it is because of the success that someone I know had (not for rosacea). As I've gone through this process, I've gone from applying noritate to my face twice a day to once a day to every other day. Previously, I pretty much had to apply noritate twice a day or I would have bad bouts of flushing.

                    Even with this early success, I'm still wondering if I will have long term success. However, I do have more hope now than I've ever had.


                    • #11
                      hey, check out

                      they sell capsules to help rosacea...
                      ingredients listed are

                      Rehmannia unprocessed root
                      Salvia root & rhizome
                      Red peony root
                      Moutan root bark
                      Scute root
                      Gardenia fruit
                      Lonicera flower bud
                      Forsythia fruit
                      Anemarrhena rhizome
                      Dandelion whole plant
                      Lycium bark
                      Platycodon root
                      dx early 2006.
                      current stategy;
                      finacea (on occasional spot), 20+ x IPL and 17+ low level PDL (n-light)


                      • #12
                        I'm thinking that capsules aren't going to cut it. I bring 3 bags of herbs home with me after every visit to the clinic. I have to boil each bag of herbs for 2 hours, which gives me 2 cups of herbal tea. I drink one cup in the morning and one cup in the evening. The tea concoction tastes awful! The Dr. tells me that most people won't to keep up with the herbal therapy because of the bad taste.

                        If I could just take capsules, I would be all over it. I suspect the capsules are not very effective.


                        • #13
                          You could be right, although the testimonials are good... you never know with testimonials though. They are reccomending upto 20 capsules a day!!

                          It was interesting to see that some of your herbs and the capsule ingredients were similar.

                          I'm thinking of giving the capsules a try for a few weeks. nothing to loose except a bit of cash (and I'm used to that now).

                          best wishes
                          dx early 2006.
                          current stategy;
                          finacea (on occasional spot), 20+ x IPL and 17+ low level PDL (n-light)


                          • #14
                            Hi eastwest,
                            do you know the proportions of the herbs in your formula?


                            • #15
                              I have no idea.

                              The doctor changes some of the herbs every few days also.