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Case histories of a Chinese herbal medicine doctor

Hello everyone! For the past 3 years, I documented some of my treatment cases which I consider technically valuable. I'd like to share them here together with my understanding and insights on Chinese herbal treatments.

The Chinese in the articles are herb names of a formula for the mentioned patient. The prescription is on an individual basis. For a same type of disease, treatment schemes are different according to individual differences. The treatment is dynamic and the formulae are not the same for each week. So to prevent unpredictable consequences, please do not follow the prescriptions.

The diseases are miscellaneous such as chronic pain, cadiovescular disease, depression/anxiety, infertility, gynaecology, prostatitis, respiration problem, rheumatic disorders, etc.

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The patient described: one year ago he had a micro-invasive surgery because of his myocardial infarction and was out of danger after the surgery. Later he kept taking western medicine to control his heart problem, but still had chest oppression, hand/feet/face distending and all around discomforts and was very worried about the heart attack coming back. He visited many Chinese medicine doctors in Beijing, but these symptoms were not relieved. On May 7, 2010, he consulted me about his disease.

Mr. Tian, male, 50 years old, businessman, lives in Lishuiqiao, Beijing.

First visit: May 7, 2010

He had a strong body, darkish complexion with many black plaques on his face. Tongue sign: yellow thick greasy coating. Pulse: slow, weak and sunken. His voice was thick and heavy. His bowel movements were normal; urine was yellow, frequent and he couldn’t hold it longer when he wanted to urinate. He had tired legs and the above symptoms of the heart.

Based on the above, I diagnosed him as: damp and heat toxin and phlegm obstructed the heart-vessel. Treatment should be first clearing the heat toxin, draining the dampness toxin, resolving the phlegm, regulating the “qi”, dissipating the nodulations, unblocking the collaterals; Then secondly be nourishing the heart, reinforcing the kidney, adjusting the balance between fire and water (heart and kidney).

(here the concept of “phlegm” in Chinese medicine is not only regarded as the visible substance secreted by the Lungs and upper respiratory tract. It is broadly defined as the concentration of the body’s fluid when the fluid metabolism can not work properly.)

Prescription on May 7: etc. 6 days.

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Second visit: May 14, 2010

He said: “it is very effective. It’s the first time I experienced the magic of Chinese medicine. It’s the first time I felt really relieved since my heart disease of more than one year.” His feeling of chest oppression was greatly reduced; frequency of urine was reduced and controlled. When taking the medicine, he had easy bowel movements and everyday the stools were very foul and sticky. (Sign of body toxin being expelled by bowel movements). His body felt much more relaxed and light each time after a bowel movement and he had a good mood. The tiredness of his legs was also reduced greatly.
Prescriptions: ……

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Fifth visit: 4th June, 2010
The dampness level revealed by his tongue sign had become normal and all his symptoms had disappeared. Now the treatment should come in to the stage of tonifying and recovering.

Now the treatment has been for 1 month, all his clinical symptoms disappeared. He hurried go on a trip for his business. During and after the TCM treatment he stopped all the western medicines he took before.


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Mrs. Zhao, female, 38 years old, lives near LIULIQIAO, Beijing.
Occupation: supermarket manager.

First visit: August 18, 2011

Pale tongue color with thin, yellow-white and greasy coating. Weak and sunken/deep pulse. Symptoms: every time it is raining or on days before weather change, her joints in hands and feet ached and bloated severely. (when it attacked, it was too pain for her to sleep well or to hold a handbag).

At the time, there were eczema at the joint bend of her hands and feet. Severe lower back pain. Severe pain and bloating in hand joints and it became worse when touching cold water. Stomachache in the morning before breakfast, stomach bloating. She ate small amount of meal and was prone to diarrhea. Palpitation and shortness of breath. Impatient. Easy to sweat. More leucorrhoea than normal, irregular menstrual periods (3~5 days earlier).

She was suspected as “rheumatism”, but repeated examinations in big hospitals in Beijing didn’t find out any “rheumatoid factor”. Treatment effect at hospitals was not ideal.

By TCM principle, I diagnosed her illness as: deficiency of liver, spleen and kidney; cold, wind and damp toxin transformed into heat.

Prescription: etc. 7 days.

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Second visit: August 25, 2011
The pain and bloating of her hand were alleviated. Lower back pain was alleviated. Less leucorrhoea than before. Stomach nausea in the morning. Sleeping quality was not good with many dreams.
Prescription:……

Third visit: September 1, 2011
The eczema at the joint bends was reduced. On rainy days no joints pain anymore, but still some uncomfortable feelings. Sleeping quality was not good. Palpitation and shortness of breath. Easy to sweat.

Fourth visit: September 8, 2011
Stomach bloating was alleviated. Palpitation, shortness of breath and impatience were alleviated. Still easy to sweat.

Fifth visit: September 15, 2011
No stomach bloating anymore. Palpitation, shortness of breath and impatience all disappeared. Sweating was alleviated. On rainy days the joints were not painful anymore, with only very mild uncomfortable feelings.

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The treatment was effective and the patient was advised to continue the treatment for some more time to consolidate the effect.

The supermarket she works at is next door to my working place, so we often meet each other after her treatment was finished. For the past more than one year’s time, she often gave me feedbacks that she felt very well and the joint pain never happened again. While before the treatment, she was too painful to go to work on each rainy day and became worse in winter.

Traditional chinese herbal medicine treatment could be very effective for rheumatic disorders (may it include many types and disease names, or joint pain which couldn’t be diagnosed by western medicine) without any side effect or any harm/toxin to liver and kidney.

TCM thinks the cause of this disease is the deficiency of liver and kidney (similar as the concept of low immune system by western medicine) and at the same time the body is affected by wind, cold, damp and heat from outside, thus having different disease manifestations and types. But no matter what type, there is an ideal treatment solution by TCM principles which is treating the underlying cause of the disease.
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replied April 19th, 2013
<Infertility>

Patient: Ms.Tang, Female, 28 years old, lives in Xicheng District, Beijing

She was married in 2009 and couldn’t get pregnant for the past 3 years time.

First Visit: Nov.16, 2011

Pale-red tongue with white dry coating, cracks on its surface. Pulse diagnosis: right-normal pulse, left-sunken, weak pulse. Menstrual cycles: a little delayed. Frequency of night urination: 2~3 times every night. Lower back soreness and leg tiredness. Undersexed. There’s pain during sex. She wanted to get pregnant.

Diagnosis: Deficiency of liver, kidney and spleen.
Prescription:(herbal formula) etc.

Second Visit: Nov.23, 2011
I asked her husband to take herbals for reinforcing kidney.

Third Visit: Nov.30, 2011
Night time urination frequency improved to once every night.

Fourth Visit: Dec.7, 2011
Lumber soreness improved. Sleep quality improved. Better quality sex without any pain.

Fifth Visit: Feb.15, 2012
Feedback: already got pregnant for 2 months. She wanted treatment for pregnancy reaction (nausea and vomiting)

Sixth Visit: Mar.2, 2012
She came with her husband. She had a good complexion. She felt everything is OK. She consulted on dietary dos and don’ts. The couple was very happy.
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replied April 19th, 2013
Chronic headaches

Name: H.M. Male, 40 years old, French

First Visit on Sep. 23, 2012:

Tongue color is a little dark. Yellow tongue coating which was a little greasy and thin. Pulse: slow and week.

He said he had chronic headache (top of head, back of neck and back pain). It occured once every 2~3 days and each attack lasted whole day long. He had lower back pain. Constipations of 2~3 dayswhich was very related with headache attacks. Aches in joints of hands, wrists and ankles recently. Occasional gum inflammations. A history of nasal inflammation and a little low iron level of his blood. Cold hands and feet in winter and cold feet in summer.

Diagnosis: deficiency of liver yang, kidney yang and spleen yang, deficiency of blood. (here the deficiency diagnosed by TCM can not be easily checked out by western medicine. Diagnoses by western medicine and TCM are very different on many aspects and are complementary to each other. TCM is good at treating diseases that can’t be very well diagnosed or cured by western medicine.)

Prescription: 7

Second visit on Sep.30,2012:

The pain didn’t happened for the last week and there’re 2 bowel movements everyday. Wrist pain was improved, cold hand is improved. Ankles pain remained the same.
It was very effective. Advice: continue the treatment. Prescription:… … 7days.

For the first several weeks it’s better that the prescription was adjusted every week. Later on the interval could be two weeks.

Fourth visit on Oct.28, 2012:

The headaches was very mild for the first week. But for the second week his work was very busy and he had mild pain on the sides of the head and back of neck. There was a headache attack on Tuesday. Lower back pain never happened any more. Hands were not cold any more. Feet were still cold. He felt very well and all the symptoms were alleviated a lot.

Visit on Nov.25, 2012:

He said that for the past 2 weeks, there wasn’t any pain at all and his sleeping quality was very good. He felt very energetic.

I told him that after another visit 2 weeks later, which is to consolidate the effectiveness, his treatment can be finished.

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The areas of top of head, neck and back are governed by liver and kidney meridians. The ache of these areas is caused by short of yin and yang energy supply of liver and kidney. Cold hands and feet also show the lack of kidney energy to support.

TCM considers the body’s systems as one integrated and balanced whole and treats illness by solving the underlying causes. The treatment focused on adjusting and strengthening yin and yang energy of liver and kidney so that they can supply energy normally to areas they govern. TCM has many methods to fill this energy into the body.
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replied May 1st, 2013
<Cirrhosis of the liver, lumps in the liver (liver cyst)>

Mr.L, Male, 43 years old

By a friends recommendation, he came to visit me by train. He got hepatitis B in 2004. At that time he had stomach-ache, high level of bilirubin, and felt bloating in his liver area.

In April, 2011, he was diagnosed by hospital as: Cirrhosis of the liver, hypertrophy of spleen, multiple lumps in the liver, multiple gall-stones; relatively high level of total bilirubin, conjugated bilirubin, transaminase and total bile acid.

After less than 2 months chinese herbal treatment, he went to the same hospital to check but wasnt diagnosed as cirrhosis any longer, instead, the report wrote "the echo from the liver is relatively thick, suggesting early hepatic cirrhosis". As for the liver lumps, the report wrote "lumps: unseen".

First Visit: May 3, 2011

Red-purple tongue with thin yellow moist coating. Right inch pulse and bar pulse were slippery. Right cubit pulse was weak. Left pulse was weak and rapid. Appetite was OK. Bowel movements: twice a day with undigested food.

Sleeping: He woke up at 4~5 am everyday. Many dreams. Cold hands and feet with sweating in the palm. Left eye was protruding apparently and felt ache when catching a cold. Deaf of left ear. Temper: prone to get impatient. Belching in afternoons. Felt uncomfortable in stomach and liver area and pain on pressure at those area. Felt bloating in both side of the chest.

Prescription: etc. 7 days.

Feedback by telephone on May 8: I already took 5 days medicine. On the beginning days I had watery stools, but felt more energetic without any tiredness anymore. Now the stools are loose and better digested than before. The bloating feeling of stomach and liver is alleviated.


Second visit: May 13, 2011.

Tip of the tongue was red with a little of petechiae. Yellow coating of the tongue disappeared. A little thin tongue coating. Pulse was slippery, wiry and rapid. Afternoon belching and uncomfortable feeling of stomach disappeared. Liver was still uncomfortable, but no pain and bloating any more. Left eyes pain disappeared. Eye watering remained.

Prescription:

Third visit: May 23, 2011

Because of the long distance, he couldnt come to visit and asked for a prescription by telephone. (Below information of inspections of the patient was obtained by a Chinese medicine doctor in his local hospital)

Belching remained. He felt a little more comfortable after belching. (He wanted the problem of belching to be focused and solved). Right abdomen (at the same height of belly button) was uncomfortable and painful on pressure. No bloating of upper abdomen or vomiting. Shapeless stool 1~2 times a day. No tenesmus. Fart was relatively few. Urine was normal. He felt moist in his eyes without eye bloating and pain. No eye watering. No headache, dizziness or tiredness. No dryness in the mouth or coughing. Sleeping and appetite were OK. Pulse was slippery, wiry and thin. Pale red tongue with little coating.

Prescription:

Fourth visit: June 1, 2011

(Below information of inspections of the patient was obtained by a Chinese medicine doctor in his local hospital)

A little belching. Lower abdomen pain on moderate pressure. of lower abdomen without pressure. No vomiting or bloating feeling of upper abdomen. Shapeless stools. Bowel movements after each meal (loose stool). No tenesmus. Frequent fart with a sour foul smell. (stool the same smell). Urine was OK. Left eye uncomfortable without bloating or watering. No , dizziness or tiredness. No dryness or coughing. Sleeping was OK with dreams. Appetite was OK. Pulse: slippery and wiry. Pale red tongue with thin yellow coating which was a little greasy.

Prescription:

Fifth visit: June 23, 2011

Examination on June 20, 2011 by his local hospital showed: No lumps were found. All the lumps previously found has disappeared after two months treatment.

Advice: continue the treatment......
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replied May 1st, 2013
<story of gall bladder stone>

It was the afternoon the day before the eve of Chinese New Year around year 2002 and my female cousin called me "my husband is sick..." When I arrived their home, I saw her husband lying in bed painfully moaning.

My cousin said, "He's been on a business trip for one week and then had acute abdominal ache. He went to the local hospital and was diagnosed as gall-stone. He had infusion treatments for several days but didn't get well. So he hurried back home and went to hospital. They've treated him with infusion for another 3 days but the pain wasn't alleviated. Everyday he can't help moaning because of the pain. The hospital recommends a surgical operation to take those stones away. But it is New Years Eve and not very lucky to have surgery at this festival. For his condition, do you think you can help alleviate his pain by Chinese herbal medicine?"

I quickly checked his pulse, observed his tongue sign and prescribed a Chinese herb formula. Half an hour later, the herbs were bought back from the street. Quickly I cooked the herbs and asked him to drink a cup of the herbal tea. Less than 20 minutes later, a big snore came out of his bedroom. My cousin said, "He couldn't sleep for more than one week. It must be that his pain stopped..." I realized that it was effective and asked that the patient took the same herbal formula for 3 days more and I will come back to check.
Later they told me that the pain never appeared again since the first cup. One month later, he went to hospital to check and examination showed that the stones disappeared. It must be the herbs that helped expel the stones.

As I remember, his tongue coating was yellow, thick and greasy at that time. I treated him by clearing up the heat toxin, draining the dampness, soothing the liver, promoting the bile flow and dilating the bile duct. Prescription: "" formula plus ...etc.
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replied May 1st, 2013


Mr. W, male, 37 years old, African (now living in Beijing)

When making an appointment, he said he was diagnosed as prostatitis.

1st visit: Sep.9,2012

Tongue: thick greasy yellow coating with little Saliva. Pulse: very weak. When checking his pulse, I found that his hands were very cold, which can be considered by TCM as deficiency of Yang and kidney.

He said he had chronic lower back pain. Recently the pains occurred every 20 minutes, accompanied with lower abdomen and groin pain, hip pain, knees pain and wrist pain. Yellow urinations. Frequent inflammations in the throat. He felt dry in the throat in the morning. His appetite was not good and he ate few each meal. After meal he often felt distending in the stomach. Sleeping quality is low. He also had headaches and heartaches. The above symptoms will be worse after sex. He felt tired and sleepy all the time.

Prescription etc.

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2nd visit: Sep 16, 2012

The thickness and greasiness of the tongue coating were obviously reduced than the last time (my translator felt so surprised by the contrast). Weak and sunken pulse. The interval between his pain occurrences was 1.5~2 hours (before it was 20 minutes). The severity of the pain at groin, lower back and lower abdomen was obviously alleviated. Appetite was better. He had a feeling of hungry and ate more than before. There wasn’t stomach distending any more. Sleeping quality was improved. Pain at heart area occurred once every other day (before it occurred several times a day). Headache was still the same. A lot of stinky gas expelled since taking the herbs (this is temperory, and is a common and good phenomenon, which shows the body function is increased and so helps eliminating body wastes and toxins). He still felt tired and drowsy from 10am to 4pm. Still dryness in the throat.

During the consequent treatments, the pains continued to be alleviated gradually.

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Revisit on Nov.11, 2012

All the pain had already disappeared. Only a few symptoms remained.

During the treatment, he caught a heavy cold and fever. I prescribed 3 days herbs for him. He told me that he recovered very soon and easily and thought that Chinese herbs could be very fast for acute cold. But before, it took a long time for him to recover from a heavy cold.

Revisit on Jan 20, 2013

No symptoms has occured for the past 2 weeks without taking any herbs. He felt relaxed, no pain, had good appetite and sleeping.

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Mr. W's letter after his treatment:

i took in july 2011 with a serious kidney infection and my visits to the hospital were fruitless and time consuming and let alone expensive. my then discovered a tcm doctor who correctly diagnosed my problem and prescribed the correct medicine. he assured me that it would work but it was going to take some time(5-6 months). the time factor was a concern for my wife and i but we decided to give it a shot and sure enough within the first month i could see some improvements. it was slow but it worked. i feel great and am in high spirits because of care and treatment given me by the said doctor. if you have any doubts as regards tcm treatment...give doctor a visit and he soon dispel those doubts.

thank you so much doctor for all your hard work.

your patient

XXXXXX
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replied September 26th, 2013
<Cancer of an 80 years old lady treated by Chinese herbal medicine>

Mrs. Li, female, 80 years old

Her grand-daughter is a staff in a new working place of mine and asked for my help. Her grandmother got peritoneal cancer and had been completely bedridden for a month. She wouldn’t give up hope and wanted to make every possible effort and asked whether I could make an herbal prescription for her grandmother. The patient is not in Beijing. So I asked her to provide several pictures of the tongue and symptom descriptions of the patient.

1st consultation: Jul. 16, 2013

She didn’t bring the diagnosis report this time. She just told me that the patient was diagnosed as peritoneal cancer. Symptoms includes: nausea; difficulty in eating (each meal she could eat a little steamed bread); belly bloating; back and lower back pain; abdomen pain; constipation (she only had one bowel movement every week, which was in small amount and very dry); swollen legs; cold in the lower legs; completely bedridden. Tongue: dented in the middle part with very little tongue coating and obvious cracks on the top. I made a prescription by the insufficient information given and asked them to have a try. Prescription:... 5 days.

2nd consultation: Jul. 23, 2013

Her appetite and constipation were both improved (one bowel movements every 2~3 days). Her belly bloating was alleviated. She still had nausea, back and lower back pain, and right abdomen pain. She felt dry and bitter in her mouth. Her family was very happy to see the improvements and felt hopeful again. Prescription: … …7 days.

3rd consultation: Aug. 13, 2013

Her appetite and diet became normal. For each meal she could take a big bowel of steamed egg custard. Occasionally she had nausea. She left her bed and she can hang out on the street with her little great-grandson now. One bowel movement every 2~3 days. Her belly was not bloating any more. The pains in her back, lower back and abdomen were all disappeared. All her family felt miraculous. Prescription: … …7 days.

I didn’t get her detailed condition information till at the 3rd consultation:

She first went to hospital to have a check because of lower back pain and swollen legs. She had a CT scan of her abdomen on Mar. 11, 2013 and the report said:

1. Irregular shaped lump beneath the peritoneum, the biggest cross-sectional area was 13.83cm * 11.42cm * 19.33cm. The lump surrounded the abdominal aorta, both Common iliac artery, left ureter and part of left kidney.
2. low density shadow in the top of the liver, suggesting small cyst
3. kidney cyst on both sides

On the second day (Mar. 12, 2013) she had her blood tested. The carcinoma antigen 125 is 102.23 (reference: less than 35) and she was diagnosed as cancer. She was also diagnosed as anaemia. At that time, the patient was still able to walk and move normally.

The hospital considered that she was too old to take any surgery or chemo/radio therapy. So she took conservative treatments of western medicine and Chinese medicine since the diagnosis. In May 2013, her condition became worse obviously: her appetite was decreased; she had lower back and abdomen pain; the lump in her belly became obvious. In June 2013 she began having nausea and difficulty in eating, and her pain became heavier. This condition trend could not be altered by the western medicine or Chinese medicine she was taking. She was completely bedridden and relied on intravenous nutrition to sustain life. The patient thought her disease was incurable and was not willing to take medicine anymore (her family didn’t tell her it was cancer). At that time, her family had even made the funeral arrangement. Then did the above scene happen with the patient’s grand-daughter.

The treatment is continued ...
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