Side dish: baked salmon, asparagus and shiitake mushroom stir sry
Rice part: brown rice, white rice, black beans, black sesame with salt, pickled plum, asari cram with ginger
Side dish: steamed chicken glazed with minced ginger/garlic/green onion and seasoned vinegar and soy sauce, boiled broccoli/red bell pepper/shiitake mushroom
Allergic rhinitis is annoying and can cause headache. If you suffer from it, you may not be able to enjoy wonderful weather and beautiful flowers. So sad!
If you have runny nose with clear abundant nasal discharge, watery eyes, and sneezing, Ma Huang Fu Zi Xi Xin Tang, which warms your body and removes excess water, may work well. Do you think Kampo herbal treatment takes long time to show it’s effect? Not always. Japanese Kampo practitioner, Dr. Iwao Yamamoto (-2001) was used to bring the Kampo formula powder with him when he went to give a lecture for medical doctors who are interested in Kampo. He asked the audience to raise hand if they suffered from allergic rhinitis, gave the powder formula to them at site, and watched how long it took to stop their sneezing and runny nose. He found out that it usually took only 5 minutes to stop sneezing and 15 minutes to stop runny nose. Isn’t it fast?
Shozo Bando, Kampo Treatment 44 Rules (2006), Medical Yukon (in Japanese)
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) aims to apply the best available evidence gained from the scientific method to clinical decision making (by Wikipedia). In Japan, EBM started to be used in Kampo, traditional Japanese herbal medicine, to re-evaluate the classical anecdotes associated with each Kampo formula and to help the modern medical doctors use Kampo formulas effectively. For example, Wu Zhu Yu Tang, one of the most frequently used formulas for migraine, was given to 80 patients with migraine, and 57 were judged as responders and 23 as non-responders. The researchers analyzed what signs, symptoms, and diagnostic findings were commonly found among the responders or non-responders by using statistical methods. They concluded that “subjective cold feet”, “fluid retention in stomach”, “rib-cage pain”, “tenderness around navel”, “pulsation at abdomen” are the most useful signs to recognize Wu Zhu Yu Tang responders. Nausea was not included in the five most useful signs while it was listed in the classical anecdote (1). I personally think this is a fair evaluation of usage of the classical formulas beyond the different styles of treatments among the schools of thought.
Untreated constipation sometimes causes headache. Major two types of constipation are, hypotonic constipation and spastic constipation. Recently, a Japanese medical doctor, Dr. Yoshiharu Uno found that more than 60% of the difficult chronic constipation cases were actually a mixed type of the two. Dr. Yoshio Otsuka who is the son of Dr. Keisetsu Otsuka, the modern Kampo master in Japan, developed Kampo formulas that treat those three types of constipation as mentioned below.
People with hypotonic constipation have hard thick stools, abdominal distension, tend not to feel the urge to defecate, and no abdominal pain. For those people, a Kampo formula named, Da Jian Zhong Tang (Major Construct the Middle Decoction) which promotes the peristalsis in the colon, is effective. People with spastic constipation have pebble-like dry stools or pencil-like thin stools, abdominal pain, alternating constipation and lose stools, and do not feel completed after defecation. For those people, a Kampo formula named, Xiao Jian Zhong Tang (Minor Construct the Middle Decoction) which relaxes the smooth muscle in the intestine, is effective.
For the people with the mixed type, the mixture of Da Jain Zhong Tang and Xiao Jian Zhong Tang named, Zhong Jiang Zhong tang (Medium Construct the Middle Decoction) has been found to be effective.
Although some purgatives tend to develop habitualness and require higher doses to be effective after the long term use, those Kampo formulas don’t contain herbs to cause that problem. That is a great news for the people with chronic constipation.
After the long rainy days, it’s finally sunny this week! Some people have headache only on rainy days or right before rain starts. Japanese Kampo researchers found out that more than 90% of people who experience this type of headache respond well to Wu Ling San (1). Wu Ling San has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for “removing water toxin” from the body. In Kampo, the use of Wu Ling San is expanded from toddler’s acute vomitting/diarrhea such as in noro virus infection, to brain edema, trigeminal neuralgia, shingles, and headache from reduced volume of spinal fluid. If you suffer from rainy day headache, call us! We can help you.
(1) Journal of Kampo Medicine, vol.52 12 (2005) (in Japanese)