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Post-herpetic neuralgia.

Problems:

Date: Thu, 24 Aug 1995 16:41:58 GMT
Sender: HERB.TREARNPC.EGE.EDU.TR
From: Paul Iannone <p_iannone.POP.COM>
Subject: Re: Herb of the week

: I have patients who have had good pain relief from degenerative arthritis and from post herpetic neuralgia using capsaicin cream.

The use of Hot herbs to treat pain conditions is common in East-Asian Traditional Healing as well, but the key feature of this use is that differentiation is made to determine if the condition itself is due to Cold or Heat, or some other factor. Pungent, Hot herbs move Qi very effectively, but in conditions of pain --due to-- Heat, they leave behind a residue of Heat that makes the problem more intractable. If Hot herbs are used in cases that are not due to Cold, they are ALWAYS modified to account for this residue.

Post-herpetic neuralgia IS, almost always, a Heat condition. The appropriate herbal formula DOES NOT utilize Hot herbs. A traditional formula that works well for this condition is Long dan Xie Gan Tang, which contains NO Heating herbs whatsoever (and NO pain relieving herbs particularly--it works by Draining Heat from the Bladder, Gallbladder, and Liver Channels).

Degenerative arthritis, if the joints are swollen and red, may also be due to Heat. As with the use of Hot Ventilators like Ma huang, used by Hot sinus condition sufferers naively since it does give relief temporarily, the use of Hot substances like cayenne for ANY condition is perilous if the 'energetics' is wrong.


From: christopher hedley <christopher.GN.APC.ORG>

Paul makes a good point about not using heating herbs in hot conditions, but I can't say that I see post herpetic neuralgia as, 'almost always a hot condition'. That which I have seen has almost always been cold and it almost always responds to Capsicum cream.

The most persistant cases are in elderly people...

Acute inflammations usually burn out into chronic inflammations,ie. the vital heat burns out, locally or systemically, leaving a cold state...

It is, of course, possible to have complicated situations with central heat and local cold [and other variations] leading to all sorts of variations in treatment.

And, I don't forget that hot and cold are relative terms.

Paul, I would be interested in the details of the Long dan Xie Gan Tang formula, pain relief is an interest of mine... and a very complicated subject.

Christopher Hedley


From: Paul Iannone <p_iannone.POP.COM>

: Paul makes a good point about not using heating herbs in hot conditions, but I can't say that I see post hepatic neuralgia as, 'almost always a hot condition'.

Shingles is Accumulation of Heat in the Bladder Channel, mostly. Sure, there can be Cold also (in the Stomach, for instance, or even Kidney Yang Depletion Cold at the same time). Part of the Cold you might see as well, which capsicum might counter, is the Stagnation and Cold of conventional pain-relieving drugs.

But look at the symptoms of shingles--Hot inflammation in the Bladder Channel (usually), spreading like wild fire across the Belt Channel region (commonly)[which is ruled by the Gall Bladder]. The main method of treatment in post-Fire conditions is to Clear Excess--and residual Heat qualifies for that approach.

Capsicum will relieve pain (because it moves Qi), but it doesn't deal with the CAUSE of the complaint (it may actually exacerbate).

: Paul, I would be interested in the details of the Long dan Xie Gan Tang formula, pain relief is an interest of mine... and a very complicated subject.

--Long dan Xie Gan Tang--, Gentiana Clear the Liver Decoction, is a Clear Organ Heat formula that focuses on the Wood Channels and Organs, as well as the Water Channels and Organs (Water is required to Clear Wood's Heat).

[Wood equals Gall Bladder and Liver, for those who don't know Five Phase symbology.]

Ingredients: gentiana, scute, gardenia, Mu tong, plantago seed, water plantain, bupleurum, raw rehmannia, Dang gui, licorice.

As you can see, it is a Cold formula, so if there is Digestive weakness, then you have to modify it or choose another formula. I participated in an informal pain management endeavor with PHN patients who the M.D.'s had given up on. This was the formula I used--it was dramatically effective in about 30% of the cases (no effect or negative effects in an equivalent number, though this included those who simply didn't like to take herbs).


From: christopher hedley <christopher.GN.APC.ORG>
Subject: Trigeminal Neuralgia

I have used local remedies of creams based on Lavender and Rosemary. The simple way is to add 12 drops of each of the essential oils to any good, gentle skin cream.
Local remedies often make all the difference in treating stubborn complaints.

Christopher Hedley



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