Doctor who is passionate about acupuncture

I love what I do, I am good at it and I am always there for my patients. If you come and see me, you will know why I am standing out. .

Welcome to my blog

Leading acupuncture specialist for facial rejuvenation, pain relief, stress relief, fertility, fatigue, anxiety.
Based at Kensington and Chelsea at Central London. Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Many year research and clinical experiences. This blog is for information only.

My Website

My Guest blog articles and Reviews

Guest blog articles
https://anamayahealth.blogspot.com/2018/03/dr-maggie-ju-talks-about-vulvodynia.html

Reviews
M Ju. (2015) What Part Does Acupuncture Play in IVF?
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 22 Issue 1 March 2015 P21
M Ju (2014) Current opinion in acupuncture on stroke rehabilitation
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 21 Issue 1 September 2014 P9

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Chinese medicine stories : Citri Reticulatae Pericarpium, dried tangerine peel (Chen Pi)

Citri Reticulatae Pericarpium, dried tangerine peel (Chen Pi)

In Song dynasty, Zhongyan Fan, a famous official’s mother was sick, but she didn’t want to take Chinese medicine. Zhongyan Fan was worried. One day he went to see a doctor for his mother and the doctor asked him to fertilise Glutinous rice together with an herb for her mother. His mother drank this herbal tea and got better gradually. This herb was Chen Pi.

Another story about Chen Pi was over two thousand years ago. A couple of Phoenixes was taking a citrus plant from heaven to earth. When they passed in Xin Hui a place in Guang Zhong province, they were amazed by the beauty of the scenery: a winding river surrounded the green mountains, sunset was falling on the lake, the water was sparkling as a diamond. They left the plant there and started to play. They went back to heaven when it was dark and forgot the citrus plant. Then the two plants grew by the lake in Xin Hui. The local people found out later that this orange skins had a great flavour, helped digestion, removed dampness and phlegm.

The third story was about Chen Pi and a famous Chinese medicine doctor Hua Tuo. One day Hua Tuo were doing home visits. When the boat passed Gang Jiang, he was suddenly ill caused by cold wind there. He had fever, coughing, dry mouth. At that time, his herbs for cold were run out. He saw the orange trees along the shore and thought that oranges can help reduce thirsty. He ate a few whole oranges with the skins. By the evening, he felt better not coughing that much. He was wondered if the oranges can be effective for coughing. Next day, the two boatmen were sick with coughing. He gave them orange to eat. But one boatman’s coughing stopped, but the other one’s didn’t. He asked them and found that the one who ate orange skin stopped coughing, the other one didn’t eat the orange skin. Since then, he kept the orange skin whenever he ate oranges and he found that the longer the orange skin was kept, the better it stopped coughing. This was why the aged orange skin was called Chen Pi meaning aged orange skin.

Citri Reticulatae Pericarpium is found mainly in major citrus-producing areas such as the Guangdong, Guangxi, Sichuan, Fujian, and Zhejiang Provinces of China. It has been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine prescription for about 2000 years up to now and has the function of strengthening spleen and stomach qi, eliminating dampness and phlegm. It is bitter in flavour and warm in nature. Daily dose is 3-10 g.

They have been used widely in clinical practice to treat nausea, vomiting, indigestion, diarrhea, loss of appetite, cough with phlegm.

Other pharmacological effects include having a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular, digestive, and respiratory systems, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, and a protective effect on the liver and nerve.

References
Xin Yu et al. J Ethnopharmacol. 2018 Jun 28;220:265-282.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Chinese medicine story :Angelicae Sinensis Radix, Chinese Angelica (Dang Gui)

Angelicae Sinensis Radix, Chinese Angelica (Dang Gui)

Angelicae Sinensis Radix (Dang Gui). Dang Gui means return in Chinese. In ancient China, there were a newly married couple. The husband decided to go to mountains to pick up some herbs. He and his wife had an agreement: if he didn’t come back in three years, she may marry to someone else. The wife missed her husband during the time and became ill with irregular periods, agitating and dizziness. After three years she married someone else. Before long his ex-husband came back and asked her why didn’t you wait for me to return? The wife cried and said that you should returned n three years, but you didn’t, also there was no letter at all; Now I had remarried and regretted so much. This guy then gave all his herbs to his ex-wife for her treatment. The wife took the herbs tea and got better afterwards. Since then, this herb was named Dang Gui.

Another story about Dang Gui was in Three Kingdom. After Liu Chan from Shu gave in, Jiang Wei who was a commander in Jiang Men had to fake his surrendering to find a chance later to rebuild Shu again. His mother didn’t know about his plan, sent a letter to blame his surrendering. Jiang Wei could say his plan to his mother, just in case this plan was leaked. He worked out how to tell his mother about his thought eventually. He sent two bags of Chinese herbs to his mother: one was Yuan Zhi meaning ambition; another one was Dang Gui meaning returning to home. His mother understood he had a great plan. Not to let him worry about her, she killed herself.

Angelicae Sinensis Radix, were firstly recorded in a classical masterpiece of TCM Shennong Bencao Jing (200–300 A.D., Han Dynasty). They are so-called “female ginseng”, well-known for treatment of intractable gynecological disorders. They are one of the most used Chinese herbs. It is said that nine out of ten herb formula comprise Angelicae Sinensis Radix. They are mainly produced in south east of Gan Su province. They are spicy in flavour and warm in nature. They are attributed to liver, goldbladder and Pericardium Meridians. They replenish and invigorate blood; regulate periods and alleviate period pain; relieve constipation. Daily dose is 6-12 g.

1, Angelicae Sinensis Radix are used for treating blood stasis, known as microcirculation problems in modern pathology. They have vasodilation effect and improving microcirculation; anti-arthrosclerosis effects; anti-platelet aggregation effects; anti-inflammatory effects; anti-oxidative effects

2, Angelicae Sinensis Radix mimic the effects of estrogen in the body and help balance women’s hormone levels, both restraining and supplementing the body’s production of estrogen as needed.

3,They are very widely used to help establish, support and maintain healthy menstrual balance in women.

4, They have analgesic and mild sedative (calming, relaxing) actions. They are used to treat menstrual and menopausal symptoms, including migraine, cramps, mood fluctuations, and hot flashes. It is also said to help speed a woman’s recovery from childbirth and symptoms of low energy/chronic fatigue.

References
Yi-Chian Wu & Ching-Liang Hsieh
https://cmjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1749-8546-6-32

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Muscle aging

Skeletal muscle is responsible for voluntary movement control of the human body. Aging process leads to a decrease in muscle mass and strength.

In age 20-30, the muscles are in their maximum of physical capacity. In age 30-50 changes in muscle mass, power and strength are small. After age 50, muscle changes with aging process are pronounced which is more than 15% of strength loss per decade. In some research this could start from 40s.

Aging muscles with

Declined muscle fibers

muscle Type II fast twitch fibers appeared smaller and flatter. This results in reduced muscle power

Reduced muscle mass

Muscle mass loss is caused by reduced numbers of muscle fibers. This reduction in muscle cross-sectional area associated with decreases in contractile structures muscle fibers accompanied by increases in non contractile structures such as fat and connective tissue.

Decreased motor units

There were fewer motor unites and muscles are denervated.

Reduced muscle strength

Loss of muscle fibers and innervation reduces strength capacities, decreases muscle metabolism and increase risk of muscle damage. Synthesis rate of muscle protein decreases with aging process. muscle repair capacities are reduced with increased age.

The major cause of strength and muscle mass loss with aging process is endocrine changes, including increased insulin resistant, decreased growth hormone, reduction in oestrogen and testosterone, vitamin D deficiency, increased parathyroid hormone.

Chinese medicine stories :Codonopsis Radix (Dangshen)

Codonopsis Radix (Dangshen) Replenishing both Qi and blood

A long time ago in a mountain village, there was a rich owner of a herb shop ‘Ji Shi Tang’. He sold poor quality herbs or fake herbs to make profit. There was a poor young guy in the village named Lang Zhang. His mother died of eating the fake herbs from ‘Ji Shi Tang’. After his mother died, he lived with his father. Not long after, his father was ill and took some herbs from ‘Ji Shi Tang’, but he got worse after taking the herbs. Someone who knew the herbs said that this was because one herb ‘Dang Shen’ on the formula was replaced by grass root. Lang understood the fake herbs and decided to go to the mountain to pick up the herb himself. He looked for the herb all over the mountains; it was windy and cold; it was getting dark and the cliffs was everywhere and very terrifying. Lang was tired and hungry, finally he was too tired and fell in a cave. In his dream, he felt lying on the flower bed, soft and warm, very comfortable; a beautiful fairy stood in front of him. The gfairy asked him why he was her? He told her his story. The fairy told him that there was a big Dang Shen plant in the gorge; you picked it up and planted in your garden. Then you picked up a leaf and made tea to let your father drink it. He would recover. When he woke up and found out it was a dream. But he decided to act according to what the fairy said in his dream. Suddenly he found Dang Shen plant and he picked up the plant carefully. This Dang Shen plant was one foot high, like a small human being with arms and legs, nose and eyes just like the fairy said. He carefully put the plant in his basket and bring it home and planted it in his garden. He made tea with a leaf for his father. After drinking Dang Shen tea, his father felt much better. Since then, Lang watered the plant, gave it the plant food, and get rit of the grass around the plant every day. He cherish Dang Shen plant so much. Someday The girl from dream walked out from the plant tree and married Lang. They lived happily thereafter.

Codonopsis Radix (Dangshen) are the root of Codonopsis pilosula. They strengthen spleen and lung Qi and nourish blood and essence. They are sweet in taste and neutral in nature. They are attributed to spleen and lung meridians. Daily dosage is 9-30 g.

Dang Shen is used for replenishing qi (vital energy) deficiency and can be sometimes used as a substitute for Ginseng, so it is called poor man’s Ginseng.

Pharmacological effects of Codonopsis Radix are

1, strengthening the immune system, having anti-aging antioxidant effect and neuro protective effect and reducing fatigue to improve energy level;

2, improving lung function such as shortness breath, coughing.

3, improving gastrointestinal function, diarrhea, appetite and protecting gastric inner lining from ulcer.

4, other effects such as antidiabetic, anti-ischemia and reperfusion injury.

References

Jing-Yu He J Nat Med. 2015; 69: 1–21.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Chinese Medicine stories : Lycii Fructus (Gou Qi Zi)

Lycii Fructus (Gou Qi Zi)

Lycii Fructus (Gou Qi Zi) is known as the wolfberry or goji berry, the fruits of Lycium barbarum and is used as a traditional Chinese herbal medicine and functional food in daily life.

In an ancient Chinese medical book <Tai Ping Sheng Hui Fang>, there was a story about Gou Qi (Lycium barbarum). A civil service officer went on business trip to Ning Xia province. He saw that teenage girl was beating an old man aged 80-90; the old man didn’t defend himself but accepted it by nodding his head. Then the officer went to ask why? The young lady said that this old man was her great grandson. Because he didn’t listen to her advice and he looked so old with grey hair and fallen teeth in such a young age; it was why she was beating him. The officer asked ‘how old were you?’ she said ‘I was over 375 year old’. The officer was shocked and asked why she looked so young? She said, ‘I ate Gou Qi everyday: young leaves in the spring, stems in the summer, fruits in the autumn, skin and root in the winter’. The officer was speechless.

In Song Dynasty, a famous poet Lu You was treated with Gou Qi Zi for his aged eyes and then his eyesight was good as normal. He wrote a famous poem to praise Gou Qi Zi porridge.

The earliest use of Lycium barbarum dried fruits as a medicinal plant was at around 2300 years ago. At Present, China is the largest world producer, mainly in Ning Xia province. The fruits are red and about 1–2 cm long. They are sweet in taste. Daily dose is 6-12 g. They attribute to liver and kidney. They tonic liver and kidney, strengthen the essence and improve eyesight.

In modern pharmacology, many health effects of Lycii Fructus have been confirmed.

1, Anti-aging: Lycii Fructus protects neuros from aging. This is because it has antioxidant effects reducing antioxidative stress, inhibits inflammation, inhibits abnormal differentiation of nerve cells, apoptosis glutamate toxicity, protects microvascular endothelial cells to protect neuros from damaging and degenerating.

2, Immune regulation and antitumour activities.

3, Other effects include liver protection, alleviating dry-eye syndrome, antidiabetics etc.

References

http://www.ningxiahong.com/content/details_49_840.html

Biomolecules. 2019 Sep; 9(9): 389.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Blue spot in the brain

In the brain there is a blue spot called the locus coeruleus. It is a small pigmented region in the pons of the brainstem- a part of the brain just above the skull base at the back. The blue colouring is caused by the production of a pigment formed by chemical reactions involving the neurotransmitter noradrenaline. This is the principal site for brain synthesis of noradrenaline. This blue spot sends noradrenaline almost to all regions of the brain including mood control regions prefrontal cortex, amygdala and hippocampus. It is involved in physiological responses to stress and panic. Neurons in this blue spot are less active at calm situation and sleep, but their activities are increased in response to alert situation such as stress. In response to stress, the blue spot is activated and produces more noradrenaline to alter cognitive function and activate hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis to produce more stress hormones and increase sympathetic nerve activities. It also affects amygdala to induce most stress-induced fear-circuitry disorders, such as anxiety. Aging is associated with a significant loss of neurons in the blue spot.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Chinese herb stories : Lonicera japonica Flos or Japanese honeysuckle (Jin Yin Hua)

Lonicerae japonicae flos (Jin Yin Hua in Chinese), flowers or flower buds of Lonicera japonica Thunberg, is an extremely used traditional edible-medicinal herb.

Once upon a time, in a small village, A couple who were very diligent had twin daughters. The girls’ names were Jin Hua and Yin Hua which Jin Hua meant yellow color flower, Yin Hua meant white color flower, the combination meant white and yellow flowers. In a summer, a terrible disease spread out in the village. People who got it had high fever, did not respond to any treatments and they were dying. The twin sisters asked the permission from their parents to go and find a doctor and medicine for the patients. They came to the mountain Hua and a Chinese doctor told them to climb up to the mountain to pick up flowers which blossomed in the summer yellow and white due to changing colour from white to yellow. These plants didn’t die off in the winter. The twin sisters picked up the flowers from all of the mountains. They took the flowers home, boiled them and let patients drink the soup. All sick people were healed. To remember the twin sisters, they name the flowers Jin Yin Hua.

Lonicerae japonicae flos was first described in different name in The Collective Notes to Canon of Materia Medica (around 480–498 AD). It gained its current name Jin Yin Hua since Qing Dynasty. Lonicerae japonicae flos grows mainly in Shandong, Shaanxi, Henan, and Hebei Provinces in China, among which the Pingyi County, Linyi City, Shandong Province, is the main area with the largest production. They are sweet in flavor and cold in nature, attribute to lung, heart, and stomach meridians. They clear heat, toxins, and certain external ailments.

They have many pharmacological effects and therapeutic applications and have long been applied in treating inflammation and infectious diseases.

Modern pharmacological study has confirmed their antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities, antioxidative, anti-tumour, liver protective and hypoglycemic activities by regulating glucose and lipid metabolism,

1, Its anti-inflammatory activities were via inhibiting inflammatory factor synthesis/release, decreased expression of immune related molecules, and enzyme activities of matrix metalloproteinase

2, It has broad spectrum of antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral effects; it has significant anti-inflammatory effects, antioxidative Effects and immunoregulation. It is most used for inflammatory and infectious diseases.

3, Other effects include antiatherosclerotic effects, modulates gut microbiota, antiallergic effects, antiultraviolet Radiation to protect skin damage from UV light, a ntiendotoxin Effects, spasmolytic Effects, antiplatelet Effect, neuroprotective Effect etc.

References
Yujie Li et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015; 2015: 905063.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Microcirculation and blood stasis

The microcirculation is the terminal branching network of the vessels consisting of microvessels with diameters <100 ┬Ám. Vessels of the microcirculation are almost entirely lined by endothelial cells (EC) to keep the entirety of the network. This network cannot be seen by our eyes due to its small sizes and it comprises arterioles, post-capillary venules, capillaries, and their cellular constituents (blood cells) including red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The lymphatic capillaries carry the extravascular fluid into the venous system. These vessels distribute blood to the body’s tissues and are the site where exchanges of oxygen and nutrients, solutes, hormones and inflammatory cells occurs between blood and tissue to provide energy for tissue function and mediate the functional activity of the immune system and hemostasis.

Microcirculation dysfunction causes tissue injury, organ impairment and dysfunction. In Chinese medicine this is known as blood stasis which means that the blood is not flowing or circulating as optimally as it could to all parts of the body. Microcirculation dysfunction will result in energy deprivation, oxidative stress to the cardiovascular system and the tissues, as a consequence, tissue injury and impairment in related organs.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Acupuncture boosts energy

Qi is energy system in Chinese medicine. This is equivalent to Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy system which is the universal energy source in all biological systems. ATP is energy-carrying molecule found in the cells of all living things and provides energy to drive many processes in living cells such as all muscle movements, heart beats, nerve signals and chemical reactions inside the body. ATP carried energy is obtained from food molecules and oxygens. It is estimated that the human body uses roughly 2 × 1026 transient molecules of ATP or more than the bodies weight; 160 kg of ATP in a day.

When the energy is needed by the cells, ATP is break down to ADP to release energy for the cells to use. After ATP being and energy are used, the cells restore ATP by converting ADP back to ATP. These processes occur in the cell membrane called mitochondria. Because our body consume so much energy in a day, we need constantly refuel to restore energy by eating nutritious food and breathing in oxygen and the heart and blood circulatory system need continually supply this substances to the cells to produce energy ATP.

If any part of the pathway is blocked, the qi and energy supply and circulation will be blocked. We would feel lack of energy and tired. Acupuncture helps improve blood circulation, keep sufficient energy supply to the body and boost our energy.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

How five of the world’s worst pandemics finally ended.

1, Plague of Justinian—No One Left to Die

This plague was one of the three deadliest pandemics in recorded history which was caused by bacterium, Yersinia pestis infection. The Emperor Justinian was receiving tribute in grain from conquered Egypt. The plague was carried across the Mediterranean Sea from Egypt with the grain contaminated with fleas and black rats and arrived in Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, in 541 CE.

The plague decimated Constantinople and spread like wildfire across Europe, Asia, North Africa and Arabia killing an estimated 30 to 50 million people, perhaps half of the world’s population.

People had no real understanding of how to fight it other than trying to avoid sick people at that time. The guess how the plague ended was that those who survive have immunity.

2. Black Death— Quarantine invented

The plague never really went away, and it came back 800 years later. The black death caused by the same bacterium, Yersinia pestis infection hit Europe in 1347 and was the worst pandemic in human history by claiming 200 million lives. People still had no scientific understanding of contagion and transmission, but they realised the close contact contributed to the infection. Isolation was invented at that time. Newly arrived sailors were held in isolation for 30 days, then extended to 40 days or a quarantine, the origin of the word quarantine until they could prove they weren’t sick. This had effects of controlling the transmission.

3. The Great Plague of London—Sealing up the Sick

The Great Plague of London was another outbreak caused by bacterium, Yersinia pestis infection. Actually, London never really caught a break after the Black Death. The outbreaks were on and off for 300 years from 1348 to 1665. By the early 1500s, England imposed the first laws to separate and isolate the sick. Homes stricken by plague were marked with a bale of hay strung to a pole outside. If you had infected family members, you had to carry a white pole when you went out in public. Cats and dogs were believed to carry the disease, so there was a wholesale massacre of hundreds of thousands of animals.

The Great Plague of 1665 was the last and one of the worst of the centuries-long outbreaks, killing 100,000 Londoners in just seven months. All public entertainment was banned and victims were forcibly shut into their homes to prevent the spread of the disease. This may have been the only way to bring the last great plague outbreak to an end.

4. Smallpox—Vaccinating healthy people

Smallpox was endemic to Europe, Asia and Arabia for centuries and this was bringing to Americas by the first European explorers in 15th century. The indigenous peoples of modern-day Mexico and the United States had zero natural immunity to smallpox and the virus cut them down by the tens of millions.

In the late 18th-century, a British doctor named Edward Jenner discovered that milkmaids infected with a milder virus called cowpox seemed immune to smallpox. Jenner famously inoculated his gardener’s 9-year-old son with cowpox and then exposed him to the smallpox virus with no ill effect.

And he was right. It took nearly two more centuries, but in 1980 the World Health Organization announced that smallpox had been completely eradicated from the face of the Earth. Smallpox became the first virus epidemic to be ended by a vaccine.

5. Cholera—Avoiding contaminated water

In the early- to mid-19th century, cholera killing its victims within days of the first symptoms tore through England, killing tens of thousands.

A British doctor named John Snow suspected that it was related to London’s drinking water. He tracked the precise locations of deadly outbreaks and created a geographic chart of cholera deaths over a 10-day period and found a cluster of 500 fatal infections surrounding the Broad Street pump, a popular city well for drinking water. He convinced local officials to remove the pump handle on the Broad Street drinking well, rendering it unusable, and like magic the infections dried up.

His work didn’t cure cholera overnight, but it eventually led to a global effort to improve urban sanitation and protect drinking water from contamination. While cholera has largely been eradicated in developed countries, it’s still a persistent killer in third-world countries lacking adequate sewage treatment and access to clean drinking water.

References
https://www.history.com/news/pandemics-end-plague-cholera-black-death-smallpox

Friday, 15 May 2020

20 of the worst epidemics and pandemics in history. Which one is the deadliest?


Top 20 worst epidemic and pandemic in history from AD.Black death made to the top one deadliest pandemic outbreak in the history.

Outbreak
Cause
Year and duration
Places affected
Death toll
1
Antonine Plague
smallpox
A.D. 165-180
The Roman Empire

2
Plague of Cyprian

smallpox or measles
A.D. 250-271
The Roman Empire
5,000 people a day in Rome alone
3
Plague of Justinian
the bacterium Yersinia pestisspread by fleas on infected rodents
A.D. 541-542
The Byzantine Empire
25 millions
4
The Black Death

the bacterium Yersinia pestis
spread by fleas on infected rodents
1346-1353

Asia and Europe
200 millions (50-60% of the population of Europe)
5
Cocoliztli epidemic

viral hemorrhagic fever
1545-1548
Mexico and Central America.
15 million
6
American Plagues

a cluster of diseases:smallbox etc
16th century
the Americas
90% of the indigenous population in the Western Hemisphere
7
Great Plague of London

the bacterium Yersinia pestis
spread by fleas from plague-infected rodents
1665-1666
London
100,000 people
15% of the population of London
8
Great Plague of Marseille
fleas on plague-infected rodents
1720-1723
Marseille
100,000
9
Russian plague
fleas on plague-infected rodents
1770-1772


10
Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic
yellow fever
1793
Philadelphia
US
More than 5,000
11
Third cholera pandemic

cholera bacteria
1852–1860
India to globally
1 million
12
Flu pandemic:
Russian Flu
influenza viruses
1889-1890
Russia to globally
 1 million 
13
Sixth cholera pandemic
cholera bacteria
1910-1911
India to Globally
800,000
14
Spanish Flu
influenza viruses
1918-1920
Globally
50 million
15
Asian Flu
influenza viruses
1957-1958
China to Globally
1 million
16
Flu pandemic
(Hong Kong flu)

influenza viruses
H3N2 
1968
Hong Kong to Globally
1 million
17
AIDS pandemic and epidemic:

HIV
1981-present day
West Africa to Globally
35 millions
18
H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic

influenza viruses H1N1
2009-2010
Mexico to Globally
151,700 and 575,400
19
West African Ebola epidemic

Ebola viruses
2014-2016 
Guinea to West Africa
11,325
20
Covid-19
SARS-CoV-2
2019-present
China to globally
Over 300,000


References
https://www.livescience.com/worst-epidemics-and-pandemics-in-history.html
https://www.mphonline.org/worst-pandemics-in-history/

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Chinese herb stories 1: Astragali Radix, or milkvetch root (Huang qi)

Stories of Astragali Radix, or milkvetch root (Huang qi):

Huang means yellow. In ancient China, Qi meant people in their 60’s. A Chinese doctor named Dai Shen in his 60’s. He was tall and slim, and his face was a bit yellowish; he was kind and humble, he was good at acupuncture and saved many lives. He was respected and was nicknamed as Huang Qi because of his look. He died to save a child falling a cliff. After he died, people called the type of plants surrounding his grave as Huang Qi to remember him.

Another story was about Huang Qi. A famous Chinese doctor Xu Yinzong was asked to treat Queen mother who had stroke and couldn’t talk. Dr Xu used a formula with Huang Qi and put boiled Huang Qi tea under Queen’s mother’s bed to smoke her mouth and skin. Next day the Queen’s mother woke up and could talk.

Huang Qi had a nickname as a prince, this was because they was yellow in color, big and straight like royals in people’s mind. The famous poem by Wang Wei from tang Dynasty <farewell>: Saw off a friend in mountains, closed the twigged door. The grass would turn green next year, would the price come back?

Huang Qi porridge was extremely popular in ancient China. This was known from the poems by Bai Yu Yi in Tang Dynasty and Su Shi in Song Dynasty.

Astragalus Radix (Huang qi) are the dried root of Astragalus. They are sweet in flavour and warm in nature. Daily dose is 9-30 g. They attribute to lung, spleen, liver and kidney maridians. They tonify Qi, draws out toxicity.

Astragalus Radix was first appeared in Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing-an ancient Chinese medicinal herbs book in 200 AD. It was described that it had effect of nourishing Qi and blood with a wide range of treatment uses and without toxicity. It was used for the treatment of cardiovascular disorders, liver problem, kidney disease, and skin condition.

There’s still limited research on astragalus, but it has uses in treating the common cold, seasonal allergies, heart conditions, kidney disease, chronic fatigue and more.

1, They may help strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation. It regulates innate and acquired immune function including immune cells and antibodies. It is used for respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and lung infection. It is the most frequently used herbs for prevention of COVID-19 in China. It reduces frequency of getting cold. It was found that it can kills bacteria and viruses.

2, They may boost energy and reduce fatigue.

3, They have antiaging effect via inhibiting the oxidant stress by up-regulating the antioxidant factors. It can reverse the memory impairment and neurodegeneration and has anti-tumor effect.

4, They improve circulation to protect the heart and blood vessels and may Improve Heart Function.

5, They helps people with diabetes by reducing blood sugar level and insulin resistance. It is the most frequently prescribed herb to help with diabetes management in China.

6, They may protect liver.

7, They have diuretic effects and protects kidney.

Radix Astragali provide significant protection against heart, brain, kidney, intestine, liver and lung injury in various models of oxidative stress-related disease

References
Guo Z et al Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Mar 22;20(6).
Liu Y et al Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019 Dec 12;2019:4598167.
Lou H et al Chin J Integr Med. 2020 Apr;26(4):243-250.
Liu P et al Aging Dis. 2017 Dec; 8(6): 868–886.
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/astragalus immune-system

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Acupuncture reduce migraines and associated depression and anxiety

Migraine is a common condition affecting about 1/10 of the human population, with an especially dominant prevalence in females, students, and urban residents. Depression and anxiety are the most frequent psychiatric disorders associated with migraine.

Acupuncture was shown to be an effective therapy for reducing pain severity in acute migraine attack or prevention of frequent and chronic migraine. A study assessed the effectiveness of acupuncture on reducing migraine medical cost and risk of depression and anxiety development in Taiwan using the NHIRD information.

In this study all patients diagnosed with migraine were from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2012. The 1:1 propensity score method by sex, age, income, urbanization, occupation, baseline comorbidities, conventional medicine used, and diagnosis year of migraine and index year was used to match an equal number of patients in both cohorts. 1,948 patients were selected in the acupuncture group and non-acupuncture group separately.

Result has shown that acupuncture may reduce the frequency and severity of a migraine attack and bring rapid, safe, effective pain relief, and patients with migraine could reduce medication usage. Acupuncture users had significantly lower total medical expenditures compared with non-users within a year.

The mean follow-up periods for depression were 5.50 and 4.03 years for the acupuncture group and non-acupuncture group, respectively. The mean follow-up periods for anxiety were 4.78 and 2.60 years for the acupuncture group and non-acupuncture group, respectively. The conclusion is that migraine patients receiving acupuncture treatment were less likely to develop both depression and anxiety compared to those not receiving acupuncture treatment during the 13-year follow-up period

References
Liao CC et al Front Neurol. 2020 Apr 24;11:321. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2020.00321. eCollection 2020.

Monday, 11 May 2020

Acupuncture improves the pain of vulvodynia

A recent study assessed acupuncture's augmentation of lidocaine therapy in the treatment of provoked localized vulvodynia (PLV). In this study, 14 women with moderate to severe PLV were randomized to either 18 sessions of traditional acupuncture (TA) or non-TA (NTA) for 12 weeks. All participants applied lidocaine 5% cream 4 times daily to the vestibule. Change in tampon test scores from baseline to week 12 and follow-up at week 24 was used to assess the progress. Participants in both groups reported pain reduction for 12 weeks.

References
Hullender Rubin LE et al J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2019 Oct;23(4):279-286. doi: 10.1097/LGT.0000000000000489.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

What did they try to constrain the Spanish flu in 1918?

Spanish flu pandemic that swept the globe in 1918 was caused by the deadly strain of influenza. It tended to strike those aged between 20 and 30, with strong immune systems.

The actions taken by governments and individuals to prevent the spread of infection have a similarity to today’s COVID-19.

The first recorded victim of Spanish flu was found in May 1918 when the country was at war. In 1918, there were no treatments for influenza and no antibiotics to treat complications such as pneumonia. Hospitals were quickly overwhelmed. There was no centrally imposed lockdown to contain the spread of infection, although many theatres, dance halls, cinemas and churches were closed, in some cases for months; Pubs, which were already subject to wartime restrictions on opening hours, mostly stayed open. The Football League and the FA Cup had been cancelled for the war, but there was no effort to cancel other matches or limit crowds, with men's teams playing in regional competitions, and women's football, which attracted large crowds, continuing throughout the pandemic. The major duty was still carrying on.

Streets in some towns and cities were sprayed with disinfectant and some people wore anti-germ masks, as they went about their daily lives. They believed fresh air could protect them from the viruses and they took 15-minute walks to breathe in fresh air every morning and night. Other advices include ‘avoid street crowd; don’t take train, bus and taxi; don’t get tired; don’t speak anyone who has signs of cold’.

There was a more deadly second wave of the disease, in the autumn of 1918. By the end of the pandemic, the death toll in Britain was 228,000, and a quarter of the population are thought to have been infected.

References

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-52564371

Friday, 8 May 2020

A unique mutation of new coronavirus was discovered, and it could be the end of the pandemic

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes the illness COVID-19. Viral mutations are a normal part of a virus’s evolution and can alter the severity of the disease they cause. A team of scientists at the Arizona State University (ASU), United States conducted a research on coronavirus RNA sequences. They discovered a mutation in the genetic code of SARS-CoV-2 which is 81 letters in the virus’s genome had been deleted. The deletions that the ASU team identified in SARS-CoV-2 affect parts of the code that produce a particular protein. The scientists believe that this protein is key to helping SARS-CoV-2 evade human defenses, allowing it to replicate quickly. This finding is interesting because the nature of the mutation suggests it may have an association with a less severe form of the disease. This reflects changes scientists saw in the 2003 SARS outbreak, as previous research has suggested that similar deletions reduced the ability of the coronavirus at the heart of the 2003 SARS outbreak to replicate.

References
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/scientists-discover-unique-mutation-of-new-coronavirus
https://jvi.asm.org/content/early/2020/04/30/JVI.00711-20
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-33487-8

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Study showed that sunlight exposure increases COVID-19 recovery

A study investigated the correlation between sunlight exposure and Covid-19 recovery statuses in Jakarta, Indonesia. They found that the number of recovered patients is correlated significantly with sunlight exposure and suggested that sunlight exposure was associated with recovery from Covid-19.

References
Asyary A & Veruswati M Sci Total Environ. 2020 Apr 27;729:139016. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139016. [Epub ahead of print]

Monday, 4 May 2020

The cause of death of COVID-19

In COVID-19 aggressive inflammatory responses result in damage to the airways. Therefore, disease severity in patients is due to not only the viral infection but also the host response. Severe COVID-19 cases progress to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) characterized by difficulty in breathing and low blood oxygen level. ARDS may lead directly to respiratory failure, which is the cause of death in 70% of fatal COVID-19 case.Besides, the vast release of cytokines by the immune system in response to the viral infection and/or secondary infections can result in a cytokine storm and symptoms of sepsis that are the cause of death in 28% of fatal COVID-19 cases. In these cases, uncontrolled inflammation inflicts multi- organ damage leading to organ failure, especially of the cardiac, hepatic and renal systems.
References
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41577-020-0311-8

Acupuncture helps sleep quality in patients with insomnia by altering brain activities

Primary insomnia is that people have difficulty in falling sleep and difficulty in maintaining sleep. People with insomnia has caused an inc...