Chinese Herbs: anyone tried them? They work for me!

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Chinese Herbs: anyone tried them? They work for me!

Post  ConcordGrape on Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:57 pm

Being a scientist at heart and educated in the US, I've always been very skeptical of Chinese medicine, especially herbal supplements. Well, migraines have taken me well beyond my boundaries, and at the suggestion of my acupuncturist, I started taking herbs. What I take changes with our weekly herbal consults, but I am happy to report with fairly high confidence that it is working!

So here are my problems: Chronic migraine, and ammenorhea (lack of or a VERY irregular a menstrual cycle). My OB/GYN put me on birth control so I would get my period, and limited me to the 4x a year one, so I would have less menstrual migraines. I was not really happy with this solution, and after talking to the acupuncturist discovered that in Eastern Medicine, the view is much more holistic. All systems work together, and 'stasis' in one system--i.e. not getting my period--could cause daily migraine. She was not surprised to hear my complaints, told me everything was hormone-related, and confidently reassured me that she could help.

I was still skeptical, and reluctantly agreed to take 4 pills 3x a day. The pill bottles cost $12-$15 each and last about 2 weeks. Still, this is less than what I was spending on triptans.

It has been two months of Chinese herbs, and my migraines have DRASTICALLY reduced in frequency and severity! I don't know if this is solely due to the herbs, but I have seen hormonal changes happening (my period is actually coming normally), and with each subsequent period, the pre-menstrual migraine improves. Most recently, I didn't even have a headache!!! This is the first time in my life I have ever had a period without a migraine before Shocked


WHY DOES IT WORK? I don't really know. A bare-bones explanation is that the herbal supplements stimulate my body to naturally produce the hormone it is lacking. (Instead of just taking this missing hormone in a combined contraceptive or pill). As a result, my systems will balance out and start working normally, and this will also resolve the hormonal-triggered migraines I have been suffering from for so long.

I just wanted to throw this out there as another option, because I know it is so easy to feel like we have run out of options!

Let me know what you guys think, and if anyone else has entrusted their care to an eastern medicine practitioner, and what the result was.

PS if anyone lives in or around Philadelphia, send me a message and I can give you the contact information for my Acupuncturist. She is very good, and has helped other chronic migraine sufferers in the past.
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ConcordGrape

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Re: Chinese Herbs: anyone tried them? They work for me!

Post  Kem10 on Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:39 pm

I use a lot of herbal things and like them a lot better than chemical pharmaceuticals. Have never had any luck with treating migraine with them however. Which herbs are you taking and how long did it take for them to start helping? Congrats on finding something that works! Very Happy
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Re: Chinese Herbs: anyone tried them? They work for me!

Post  Mini on Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:40 am

If anything works for you, without harming you, or giving you nasty s/e this is proof enough.
Unfortunately neither acupuncture, nor Chinese medicine, helped me.

In both cases I have used Chinese practitioners: herbal Chinese doctor in Melbourne Australia who after examining me gave me a course of some large sachets full of strangely looking bark, roots etc, which I religiously steamed etc, as prescribed over few weeks (they tasted revolting) with no effect whatsoever, in fact I think I had few more M then usual.

I tried Acu twice, and it did not work for me either. But it is good to hear for you it works. This is a good news.
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Chinese Herbs: Perhaps a little too enthusiastic last time?

Post  ConcordGrape on Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:39 pm

Sorry for taking so long to reply!

Kem10: I am on the 4th mix of herbs now. For the first two months she had me alternative between two: Jai Wei Xiao Yao San (Bupleurum and Peony Formula) & Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan (Cinnamon and Hoelen Formula). But for the last two months, my period actually stopped coming, so she switched me to just the cinnamon mix, and now is trying something more 'aggressive' (i.e. a laxative): Teo Ren Cheng Qi Tang (Persica & Rhubarb Combination).

All Herbs are from KPC Herb company, but you have to be a licensed herbalist to buy them.

For now I'm going with it, but I'm definitely not satisfied. I was researching more online and apparently hormonal chinese herbal therapies take 3-12 months to work, but my acupuncturist assured me that mine shouldn't take me as long because I am "young and otherwise very healthy". (Sidenote: I've always seen myself as being so sick, that it was nice to hear someone call me healthy!)

Lucky for me, my insurance is going to cover 20 acupuncture visits beginning Jan 1, so I'll at least use those up before I consider this option exhausted.

As far as headache frequency goes...when I wrote the first post on this thread, I was on a streak of days with no pain. But shortly after, they came back to daily. I've bounced back a little bit so now the headaches will come and go throughout the day (instead of constantly pain), but I still have something every day.
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Re: Chinese Herbs: anyone tried them? They work for me!

Post  Migrainegirl on Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:15 pm

I tried once, but they were so nasty tasting I could not force them down. Glad it worked for you.
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Re: Chinese Herbs: anyone tried them? They work for me!

Post  ConcordGrape on Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:28 pm

Yes, they are very bad tasting, but my herbalist luckily has them in both dissolvable and pill form. So I take the pills. I definitely couldn't stomach it otherwise Razz
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Re: Chinese Herbs: anyone tried them? They work for me!

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