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Nourish

 

CLINICAL APPLICATIONS

* Menopause: hot flashes, night sweats, fluctuation of body temperature

* Kidney yin deficiency with mild deficiency heat conditions:

§ Eyes and ears: blurry vision, dizziness, general visual disturbance, fatigue of the eyes, optic nerve atrophy, mild cases of glaucoma, and macular degeneration 

§ Kidneys: chronic nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, chronic renal failure

§ Bladder: frequent urination, urinary incontinence

§ Liver: chronic hepatitis

§ Pancreas: diabetes mellitus

§ Skin: dryness with lack of elasticity of the skin throughout the body

 

WESTERN THERAPEUTIC ACTIONS

* Regulates endocrine functions to balance the hormones

* Revives eyes and ear functions

* Restores normal functions of internal organs, such as liver, kidneys, bladder, and pancreas

 

CHINESE THERAPEUTIC ACTIONS

* Nourishes Liver and Kidney yin

* Controls flare-ups of yin-deficient heat

 

DOSAGE

Take 3 to 4 capsules three times daily on an empty stomach with warm water. For prevention of chronic and recurrent infections in the genito-urinary region, take 2 to 3 capsules three times daily.

 

INGREDIENTS


Fu Ling (Poria)

Gou Qi Zi (Fructus Lycii)

Huang Bo (Cortex Phellodendri Chinensis)

Ju Hua (Flos Chrysanthemi)

Mu Dan Pi (Cortex Moutan)

Shan Yao (Rhizoma Dioscoreae)

Shan Zhu Yu (Fructus Corni)

Shu Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae Praeparata)

Ze Xie (Rhizoma Alismatis)

Zhi Mu (Rhizoma Anemarrhenae)


 

BACKGROUND

Chronic or consumptive disorders are often characterized by weakness, dryness, and atrophy of the glands or organs. These chronic or consumptive disorders affect various parts of the body, especially internal organs and endocrine glands. As a result, the internal organs and endocrine glands atrophy and gradually lose their normal functions. From traditional Chinese medicine perspective, these types of chronic or consumptive disorders are diagnosed as “yin deficiency.”

 

FORMULA EXPLANATION

Nourish is formulated to treat Kidney yin deficiency with deficiency heat. Clinically, these patients will show such symptoms as hot flashes, fluctuation of body temperature, night sweats, tinnitus, blurred vision, dry eyes, and dizziness. Furthermore, chronic bacterial or viral infections, such as urinary tract infections or genital herpes, will also show as Kidney yin deficiency with deficiency heat. Finally, aging is also a sign of Kidney yin deficiency, manifesting in symptoms such as soreness and weakness of the lower back and knees, tinnitus, vertigo, blurry vision, diminished hearing, heat sensations, thirst, and dryness of mucous membranes.

        Shu Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae Praeparata), Shan Zhu Yu (Fructus Corni), Shan Yao (Rhizoma Dioscoreae), Ze Xie (Rhizoma Alismatis), Mu Dan Pi (Cortex Moutan), and Fu Ling (Poria) compose the classic Kidney yin tonic formula Liu Wei Di Huang Wan (Six-Ingredient Pill with Rehmannia), one of the most famous herbal tonics. Shu Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae Praeparata) tonifies the Kidney yin and the Kidney jing (essence). Shan Zhu Yu (Fructus Corni) nourishes the Liver and prevents the leakage of Kidney jing (essence). Shan Yao (Rhizoma Dioscoreae) tonifies the Spleen and stabilizes the Kidney jing (essence). Ze Xie (Rhizoma Alismatis) clears deficiency fire from the Kidney. Mu Dan Pi (Cortex Moutan) sedates Liver fire. Fu Ling (Poria) dissolves dampness from the Spleen. These six herbs are formulated with careful checks and balances to maximize the therapeutic effects and minimized unwanted side effects.

        In addition to nourishing Kidney and Liver yin, Zhi Mu (Rhizoma Anemarrhenae) and Huang Bo (Cortex Phellodendri Chinensis) are added to sedate deficiency fire. Gou Qi Zi (Fructus Lycii) and Ju Hua (Flos Chrysanthemi) benefit the eyes and treat dry and blurry vision by nourishing the Liver and Kidney yin.

        In short, Nourish tonifies Liver and Kidney yin to treat various disorders characterized by aging and deterioration.

 

CAUTIONS & CONTRAINDICATIONS

* This formula should not be used for yang deficiency with such symptoms as intolerance of cold with cold hands and feet.

 

CLINICAL NOTES

* In contrast with hormone replacement therapy, use of yam, such as Shan Yao (Rhizoma Dioscoreae) in this formula, is not only effective to treat menopause symptoms, but also safe in regards to risks of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. In one study, the extract of yam has been shown to act as a weak phytoestrogen and protects against proliferation in human breast cancer (MCF-7) cells.[1] In another study, use of yam was found to reduce the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular diseases in postmenopausal women.[2]

* Most patients with chronic or debilitating illness have an underlying Kidney yin deficiency. Nourish can be used to change the fundamental constitution of these patients so they respond better to the overall treatment.

* This formula can also be used to treat cataracts by nourishing the Kidney yin and the eyes. If the cataract is secondary to other disorders such as diabetes, hypertension or arteriosclerosis, additional herbal formulas should also be prescribed (see Supplementary Formulas).

 

SUPPLEMENTARY FORMULAS

* For menopause with deficiency heat symptoms (hot flashes and irritability), use with Balance (Heat).

* For vaginal dryness, add Balance Spring.

* For Kidney yin deficiency without deficiency fire, use Kidney Tonic (Yin) instead.

* For irritability, stress, or anxiety, combine with Calm.

* For menopause with stress or anxiety with insomnia and underlying deficiency, add Calm ZZZ.

* For osteoporosis, add Osteo 8.

* For excess fire with severe hot flashes, add Gardenia Complex.

* As a constitutional tonic, combine with Imperial Tonic.

* For back pain, add Back Support (CR).

* For dry hair, premature gray hair or hair loss, combine with Polygonum 14.

* For general deterioration in both mental and physical functions, use Neuro Plus.

* For hypertension, combine with Gastrodia Complex.

* For irregular menstrual bleeding, add Notoginseng 9.

* To relieve side effects from chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments, use C/R Support.

* For acute attacks of herpes or urinary tract infection, use Gentiana Complex.

* For forgetfulness and to improve memory, add Enhance Memory.

* For adrenal insufficiency, add Adrenal +.

* For lack of sexual interest and other sexual dysfunction, add Vitality.

* To tonify the individual to remedy the underlying constitutional deficiency, add Cordyceps 3 .

* For visual disturbances, blurriness, redness or pain, add Lycium Support.

 

ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT

Traditional Points:

* Ququan (LR 8), Taixi (KI 3), Sanyinjiao (SP 6)

* Jingming (BL 1), Taichong (LR 3), Xingjian (LR 2), Taiyang (Extra 2), Hegu (LI 4), Xiaxi (GB 43)

 

Classic Master Tung's Points:

* Menopause (general): Tianhuang (T 77.17), Dihuang (T 77.19), Renhuang (T 77.21), Tianhuang (T 88.13), Minghuang (T 88.12), Qihuang (T 88.14), Shuijin (T 1010.20), Zhenjing (T 1010.08), Xinling (T 33.17)*, Simashang (T 88.18), Simazhong (T 88.17), Simaxia (T 88.19)

* Hot flashes: Tianhuang (T 77.17), Dihuang (T 77.19), Renhuang (T 77.21), Tianhuang (T 88.13), Minghuang (T 88.12), Qihuang (T 88.14), Shuijin (T 1010.20), Zhenjing (T 1010.08), Xinling (T 33.17)*, Simashang (T 88.18), Simazhong (T 88.17), Simaxia (T 88.19)

* Mood swings: Tianhuang (T 77.17), Dihuang (T 77.19), Renhuang (T 77.21), Tianhuang (T 88.13), Minghuang (T 88.12), Qihuang (T 88.14), Shuijin (T 1010.20), Zhenjing (T 1010.08), Xinling (T 33.17)*, Simashang (T 88.18), Simazhong (T 88.17), Simaxia (T 88.19), Fuke (T 11.24), Shuixiang (T 66.14)

* Irregular menstruation: Fuke (T 11.24), Tianhuang (T 77.17), Dihuang (T 77.19), Renhuang (T 77.21), Tianhuang (T 88.13), Minghuang (T 88.12), Qihuang (T 88.14), Shuijin (T 1010.20), Zhenjing (T 1010.08), Xinling (T 33.17)*, Simashang (T 88.18), Simazhong (T 88.17), Simaxia (T 88.19), Wanshunyi (T 22.08), Wanshuner (T 22.09)

* Osteoporosis: Tianhuang (T 77.17), Dihuang (T 77.19), Renhuang (T 77.21), Tianhuang (T 88.13), Minghuang (T 88.12), Qihuang (T 88.14), Fuke (T 11.24), Zhengji (T 44.24)*

* Blurry vision: Tongshen (T 88.09), Tianhuang (T 77.17), Dihuang (T 77.19), Renhuang (T 77.21), Shangbai (T 22.03), Libai (T 44.12), Sifuyi (T 1010.11), Sifuer (T 1010.10)

* Optic nerve atrophy: Sanchayi (T 22.15)*, two points on the first metacarpal joint of the thumb, Sizhukong (TH 23), Tianhuangfu [Shenguan] (T 77.18), Zhenjing (T 1010.08), Zanzhu (BL 2). Bleed dark veins nearby the temporal area. Bleed before needling for best result.

* Glaucoma: Guangming (GB 37), Tianhuang (T 77.17), Dihuang (T 77.19), Renhuang (T 77.21), Shangbai (T 22.03), Wanshunyi (T 22.08), Minghuang (T 88.12), Tianhuang (T 88.13), Qihuang (T 88.14), two points on the sides of the first metacarpal joint on the thumb. Bleed the dark veins nearby the temporal area. Bleed before needling for best result.

 

Master Tung’s Points by Dr. Chuan-Min Wang:

* Kidney yin deficiency: Tongshen (T 88.09), Tongwei (T 88.10), Tongbei (T 88.11)

 

Balance Method by Dr. Richard Tan:

* Left side: Hegu (LI 4), Tongli (HT 5)

* Right side: Zusanli (ST 36), Taixi (KI 3), Guanyuan (CV 4), Shimen (CV 5), Qihai (CV 6)

* Left and right sides can be alternated from treatment to treatment.

 

Ear Acupuncture:

* Menopause: Uterus, Ovary, Endocrine, Shenmen, Sympathetic, Subcortex

§ For emotional disturbance, add Shenmen and Heart.

§ For palpitation and irregular heart beat, add Heart and Small Intestine.

§ For hypertension, add Depression point on the back of the ear.

§ For flushed cheeks and excess perspiration, add Sympathetic, Cheeks and Lung.

* High pitched tinnitus: Inner Ear, Temporal Lobe, Pons, Adrenal Gland, Pituitary Gland

* Low pitched tinnitus: Middle Ear, Ear Drum, Eustachian Tube, Adrenal Gland, Pituitary Gland

 

Auricular Medicine by Dr. Li-Chun Huang:

* Menopause: Uterus, Endocrine, Ovary, Gonadotropin, Pituitary, Sympathetic, Anxious, Kidney, Liver, Heart

* Tinnitus: Gallbladder, Kidney, Sanjiao, Internal Ear, Auditory Centre (Temple). Bleed Ear Apex.

§ due to deficiency: add Coronary Vascular Subcortex, Sympathetic

* Improving the visual acuity: Kidney, Liver, Vision 2, Eye, Sympathetic, Optic Center (Occiput). Bleed Ear Apex.

* Improving hearing acuity: Speed Hearing, San Jiao, Internal Ear, External Ear, Sympathetic, Kidney, Gallbladder, Vision 1, Auditory Center.

* Cataract: Kidney, Liver, Eye, Vision 2, Endocrine, Sympathetic. Bleed Ear Apex.

 

NUTRITION

* Eat a variety of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables of all colors. 

* Incorporate more high-fiber whole grains and nuts into diet.

* Drink warm or hot liquids with meals. Putting cold and ice on any part of the body will immediately constrict the flow of blood to that region. Similarly, drinking cold or iced drinks with meals will hinder the natural peristaltic movements of the digestive system.

* Foods with antioxidant effects, such as vitamin A, C and E are beneficial as they neutralize the free radicals and minimize damage to cells. Beneficial foods include citrus fruits, carrots, green leaf vegetables, and green tea.

* Increase intake of foods that nourish yin and moisten dryness, such as yam, radishes, potatoes, carrots, melons, cucumbers, beets, turnips, malanga, celeriac, taro, and rutabaga.

* Chew food completely and thoroughly. The digestive tract can process and absorb smaller pieces of food much better than food that is incompletely chewed. Larger pieces of food can lead to incomplete digestion and digestive discomfort.

* Always eat breakfast. According to the TCM clock, the most optimal time for the digestive system is in the morning from 8 to 10 a.m.

* Give the body two to three hours between the last meal of the day and bedtime. During sleep, the digestive system slows down as well. Make sure the body has adequate time to digest the food before going into sleep mode.

* If the patient is allergic to any food or feels uncomfortable after eating certain foods, then avoid eating them.

* Avoid fast food, processed foods, junk food, foods with artificial colors or sugars, and carbonated drinks. Stay away from meat, greasy food, alcohol, caffeinated and energy drinks, dairy products (except for unsweetened low-fat yogurt), tap water, iron supplements and vegetables and fruits sprayed with pesticides.

* Avoid spicy/pungent/aromatic vegetables such as pepper, garlic, onions, basil, rosemary, cumin, funnel, anise, leeks, chives, scallions, thyme, saffron, wormwood, mustard, chili pepper, wasabi, and cardamom. Also avoid certain fruits that may produce heat and aggravate the condition, such as mango and durian.

* Consume as few meat products as possible. Do not eat processed meats, such as lunch meats, hot dogs and sausages, as they contain nitrites that are associated with inflammation and chronic disease.

 

The Tao of Nutrition by Dr. Maoshing Ni and Cathy McNease:

* Menopause

§ Recommendations: black beans, sesame seeds, soybeans, walnuts, lycium berries, mulberries, yams, licorice, lotus seeds, and chrysanthemum flowers.

§ Avoid stress, tension, and all stimulants.

* Tinnitus

§ Recommendations: black sesame seeds, black beans, walnuts, grapes, celery, oyster shells, pearl barley, azuki beans, Chinese black dates, yams, lotus seeds, chestnuts, and chrysanthemum. Get plenty of sleep, massage the neck and head area, and try to live in a quiet and peaceful place if possible.

§ Avoid loud noise, stress, tension, stimulating foods, spicy foods, smoking, alcohol, and coffee.

* Cataract

§ Recommendations: chrysanthemum, cilantro, spinach, cloves, water chestnuts, yams, lycium berries, black beans. Exercise the eyes regularly and get plenty of oxygen into the bloodstream. Steam the eyes over boiling spinach.

§ Avoid any type of spices, salt, and garlic. Avoid foods that may cause constipation.

 

LIFESTYLE INSTRUCTIONS

* Avoid stress, tension, and anxiety as much as possible.

* Avoid cigarette smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke as it may dry up yin and body fluids.

 

CASE STUDIES

* J.M., a 54-year-old female, presented with hot flashes, which were especially bad at night, causing her to wake up constantly throughout the night. Pulse was deep and thin, and her tongue was dusky pink with a center crack. The practitioner diagnosed this condition as Kidney yin deficiency; her Western diagnosis was menopause. Upon diagnosis, the patient was prescribed Nourish and Balance (Heat) up to five capsules three times a day. After taking the herbs for four weeks, the duration of the hot flashes was shorter and she was sleeping through the night. Submitted by T.W., Perrysburg, Ohio.

* P.I., a 46-year-old female, presented with spotting and uterine bleeding between menstrual cycles, which were irregular short cycles ranging from 15 to 27 days long. She had been experiencing heavy bleeding, no clots during her cycles, night sweats, and chronic anxiety, which was worse before her menses. Her Western diagnosis was perimenopausal syndrome with chronic anxiety; the TCM diagnosis was Liver and Kidney yin deficiencies with deficiency heat, blood stagnation, Liver qi stagnation, and shen (spirit) disturbance. The practitioner prescribed Calm (ES), two grams three times a day and has been taking this formula for anxiety the past two years. In addition, she was also prescribed Nourish and Notoginseng 9, same dosage as the other formula, for six months to stop the uterine bleeding. Notoginseng 9 successfully stopped the irregular bleeding. Nourish helped with her night sweats, which had been gradually reduced over the six month period. Her periods have returned to normal with light flow and her anxiety is also much better ever since adding Nourish. The patient had excellent wellness and lifestyle habits, including her diet and exercise, and she was very compliant with taking her herbs. Submitted by E.Z., Portland, Oregon.

* J.C., a 57-year-old female, presented with nervousness, insomnia, and anxiety with a desire to stop smoking. Night sweats were also present. Her tongue was red with no coating present. The practitioner diagnosed the condition as Kidney yin deficiency with heat and Liver qi stagnation. Her Western diagnosis was menopause and hypothyroidism. The patient was given a combination of Nourish, Shine, and Calm. Nourish was taken daily while Shine and Calm were taken as needed. After taking the herbs for six months, the patient reported improvement in sleep; she was calmer and more balanced overall with a positive attitude. Submitted by K.F., Honolulu, Hawaii.

* L.C., a 50-year-old female, presented with macular degeneration, experiencing pain one week before her menses and waking up at night. Tinnitus, low back and abdominal pain were also present. Her menses consisted of a bright red color, sometimes dark brown, and some clots. Pulse was thready and weak and her tongue had teeth marks and a red tip. The practitioner diagnosed this condition as Liver and Kidney yin deficiencies with qi and blood stagnation in the lower jiao. Upon diagnosis the patient was prescribed Nourish and Mense-Ease. After taking the herbs for two months, the patient no longer has pain with her menses and felt better overall. Submitted by T.W., Perrysburg, Ohio.

* A.S., a 29-year-old female, presented with PCOS, consisting of multiple sacs, no ripening of the eggs, irregular cycles, and fatigue. It was also mentioned that she had two unsuccessful IUIs due to two chemical pregnancies. Additional symptoms included cystic ovaries, acne, increase facial and body hair, deficiencies of both vitamin D and DHEA, and short temperatured luteal phase. The TCM diagnosis was blood deficiency, phlegm and damp accumulation, Spleen and Kidney deficiencies, and ren (conception) and chong (thoroughfare) channels dysregulation. Her Western diagnosis was cystic ovaries infertility, low follicular and luteal temperatured irregular menstruation, and elevated prolactin. Blossom (Phases 1-4) was prescribed to her all month, with Imperial Tonic to replenish the jing (essence), and Nourish to tonify the blood and Kidney yin. The six month protocol was used to clear heat, tonify the qi/blood/jing (essence), and regulate the cycle. As a result her temperatures had re-established to create normal cycles again. Secondly, after three months of balanced cycles, her cystic ovaries had reduced; she also had nourished her qi/blood/jing (essence), and her other deficiencies which were also restored. As a result she had a successful IUI and was now two months pregnant. The Blossom (Phases 1-4) and Nourish were very helpful. Submitted by N.T., Bethesda, Maryland.

* A 27-year-old female health care provider presented with genital herpes. The affected area in the genital region was itchy, red and swollen with thick white discharge. The patient also felt menstrual pain. Her pulse was slippery, deep and strong. Her tongue body was pale purple with a red tip, and the sides were swollen with scalloped edges. The practitioner diagnosed the condition as damp-heat in the Liver and Liver qi stagnation. After taking Nourish and Gentiana Complex, a decrease in symptoms was noted. Symptoms flared up when the patient stopped using the formulas. Submitted by B.H., Pearl City, Hawaii.

* A 50-year-old male presented with hearing loss, ringing in the ear and diminished hearing. The TCM diagnosis was Kidney yin deficiency. The patient was prescribed Nourish with good results. The practitioner commented that Nourish works the best for such conditions. Submitted by R.C., MD, Ph.D., New York, New York.

* D.S., a 45-year-old female, presented with insomnia, mood swings, cramps and fatigue. The tongue was slightly purplish pale with teeth marks. The coating was thin and white. The pulse was deep and wiry. She was diagnosed with Spleen qi deficiency and blood deficiency. Nourish, Calm, and Schisandra ZZZ were prescribed. The patient reported her sleep pattern improved, her moods balanced and her energy level increased. She was very happy with the herbs. Submitted by B.F., Newport Beach, California.

* A 53-year-old female patient presented with anxiety, depression and pale complexion. Her pulse was thin, weak and deep in all positions. She had cyclical bouts of rage, fatigue, sleeplessness, anxiety and severe depression. Periods were irregular. Her tongue was puffy and pale. The TCM diagnosis was blood and yin deficiencies with Liver qi stagnation, Kidney yin and yang deficiencies. Shine and Nourish, along with an iron supplement were prescribed. The patient noticed a change within the first ten days and more so around her cycle. She felt as if a cloud had been lifted from above. She found herself smiling more. Restlessness was still bothering her but her sleep was much better. This patient has suffered from depression for a long time and is very deficient. Submitted by N.V., Muir Beach, California.

 

PHARMACOLOGICAL AND CLINICAL RESEARCH

Nourish is a contemporary formula that is similar to classical formulas such as Liu Wei Di Huang Wan (Six-Ingredient Pill with Rehmannia), Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan (Anemarrhena, Phellodendron, and Rehmannia Pill) and Qi Ju Di Huang Wan (Lycium Fruit, Chrysanthemum, and Rehmannia Pill). Nourish is designed to tonify Liver and Kidney yin, a condition in traditional Chinese medicine that resembles deteriorations of internal organs and endocrine glands associated with chronic or consumptive disorders. To restore optimal health, Nourish utilizes many herbs to revive normal functions of eyes, ears, liver, kidneys, bladder, pancreas and skin.

        Nourish incorporates herbs to treat disorders associated with declining functions of the reproductive organs (ovaries and testes) and their corresponding hormones (estrogen, testosterone). For women, many herbs in the formula Liu Wei Di Huang Wan (Six-Ingredient Pill with Rehmannia), effectively treated 23 patients with menopause (marked improvement in 9 patients and moderate improvement in 14 patients). Clinical improvements included relief of hot flashes, tidal fever, perspiration, palpitations, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, forgetfulness, and others.[3] According to another study, Qi Ju Di Huang Wan (Lycium Fruit, Chrysanthemum, and Rehmannia Pill) successfully treated 144 women with menopausal symptoms. Of 144 patients, the study reported complete recovery in 12 patients, significant improvement in 48 patients, moderate improvement in 32 patients, and no benefit in 52 patients.[4] For men, herbs in this formula are also effective for treating sexual and reproductive disorders. Use of Gou Qi Zi (Fructus Lycii) is associated with improvements in sperm count and sperm motility.[5] Administration of modified Liu Wei Di Huang Wan (Six-Ingredient Pill with Rehmannia) was beneficial to treat impotence among 18 men (complete recovery in 12 patients, improvement in 4 patients, and no benefit in 2 patients).[6] Furthermore, one study reported 83.3% effectiveness using modified Liu Wei Di Huang Wan (Six-Ingredient Pill with Rehmannia) to treat 30 male patients with infertility.[7] Another study stated Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan (Anemarrhena, Phellodendron, and Rehmannia Pill) to be 92.2% effective in treating 220 men with infertility.[8] Lastly, modified Liu Wei Di Huang Wan (Six-Ingredient Pill with Rehmannia) was shown to effectively treat infertility in both men and women (16 males and 26 females between the ages of 22 to 37).[9]

        Nourish utilizes herbs to restore optimal function to the eyes and ears. Gou Qi Zi (Fructus Lycii) has a positive ocular effect to improve and restore eye functions. According to an up-to-date human trial, oral supplementation of Gou Qi Zi (Fructus Lycii) is effective in prevention of age-related macular degeneration, a common disorder that causes irreversible loss of central vision. This beneficial effect is attributed to zeaxanthin, a compound present in Gou Qi Zi (Fructus Lycii) that is essential to prevent degenerative eye disorder.[10] Shan Zhu Yu (Fructus Corni) has a positive auditory function to improve and restore ear functions. The ursolic acid from Shan Zhu Yu (Fructus Corni) shows a marked antioxidant effect to protect the auditory cells from hydrogen peroxide-induced cytotoxicity through inhibition of lipid peroxidation and induction of antioxidant enzymes, catalase and glutathione peroxidase.[11] Clinically, herbs in Nourish have been used successfully to treat 140 patients with retinitis (complete recovery in 22 patients, significant improvement in 21 patients, moderate improvement in 70 patients, and no benefit in 27 patients). The duration of treatment ranged from 30 to 118 days, with an average of 57 days.[12]

        Nourish is an excellent formula to restore kidney functions and treat kidney disorders. Liu Wei Di Huang Wan (Six-Ingredient Pill with Rehmannia) has been shown to increase blood perfusion to the kidneys, improve kidney functions, and reduced protein and uric acid in the urine.[13] Clinically, it has been used effectively to treat 6 patients with edema and proteinuria due to nephrotic syndrome,[14] 12 patients with chronic renal failure,[15] and 30 patients with nephrotic syndrome.[16]

        Nourish contains many herbs with hepatoprotective effects to treat liver disorders. Gou Qi Zi (Fructus Lycii) has marked hepatoprotective effects against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity through the antioxidative activity and expressional regulation of cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1).[17] Another study reiterates the hepatoprotective effect by showing that Gou Qi Zi (Fructus Lycii) protects liver cells against oxidative stress cell damage by hydrogen peroxide via scavenging reactive oxygen species and enhancing antioxidant enzyme activity.[18] Ze Xie (Rhizoma Alismatis) exerts a hepatoprotective effect in subjects with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease induced by high-fat diet. Therapeutic benefits of the herb included a decrease of serum and liver lipids, a reduction of fasting serum glucose, and an improvement of insulin resistance.[19] Berberine, a compound present in Huang Bo (Cortex Phellodendri Chinensis), has a marked effect to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of proinflammatory cytokines in HepG2 cells, including interleukin-1beta and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α).[20] As a formula, Liu Wei Di Huang Wan (Six-Ingredient Pill with Rehmannia) illustrates a hepatoprotective effect to protect the liver against damage induced by substances such as carbon tetrachloride, thioacetamide, and prednisolone.[21] Clinically, Liu Wei Di Huang Wan (Six-Ingredient Pill with Rehmannia) has been used effectively to treat 65 patients with chronic hepatitis.[22]

        Nourish incorporates several herbs with marked influence on the pancreas, production of insulin, and treatment of diabetes mellitus. Fu Ling (Poria) has an antihyperglycemic effect. Administration of Fu Ling (Poria) is effective to reduce postprandial blood glucose levels via enhanced insulin sensitivity in subjects with streptozocin-induced diabetes.[23] Gou Qi Zi (Fructus Lycii) illustrates an antidiabetic benefit in subjects with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. It lowers fasting plasma insulin levels, ameliorates insulin resistance and significantly increases the insulin sensitive index.[24] Shan Yao (Rhizoma Dioscoreae) also has an antidiabetic effect to lower blood glucose levels. It controls the normally sharp increase of blood glucose following intraperitoneal injection of glucose.[25] The extract of Shan Zhu Yu (Fructus Corni) has been shown to promote the proliferation of islets and increase postprandial secretion of insulin to accelerate glucose transport in subjects with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.[26] Lastly, Zhi Mu (Rhizoma Anemarrhenae) exerts antidiabetic and hypoglycemic effects to lower blood glucose levels through increased insulin secretion and decreased insulin resistance.[27],[28] Clinically, herbs in this formula have been used successfully to treat adult-onset diabetes,[29],[30] and non-insulin dependant diabetes,[31],[32] and diabetes with complications.[33]

        Finally, Nourish is also beneficial for many other chronic and consumptive disorders. Gou Qi Zi (Fructus Lycii) has demonstrated a protective effect on the skin. The glycoconjugates of Gou Qi Zi (Fructus Lycii) show interesting antiapoptotic and antioxidant properties to promote the survival of human dermal fibroblasts.[34] The herbs in this formula are beneficial in geriatric patients to treat various complaints of dryness, such as a dry mouth, dry nose, and constipation.[35] Spontaneous perspiration also responds well to the herbs in this formula.[36] Finally, this formula may be used to treat frequent urination associated with declining bladder functions.[37]

        In summary, Nourish is an excellent formula to revive and restore the normal functions of eyes, ears, skin, liver, kidneys, bladder, pancreas, and other internal organs and endocrine glands.

 

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

As life expectancy continues to increase, women are expected to spend more and more of their life in post-menopausal years. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure a smooth transition during the menopausal years. Western medicine used to consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as the standard treatment for menopause and its related conditions. However, there is no longer a consensus as to when or how to use these drugs. While these drugs may alleviate hot flashes, they significantly increase risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and have a number of significant side effects. For most physicians and patients, the risks are simply far greater than the potential benefits. The bottom line is – synthetic hormone can never replace endogenous hormone. Therefore, no matter when or how they are prescribed, the potential for adverse reactions is always present.

        TCM offers a gentle yet effective way to address menopause and its related conditions. Chinese herbs have demonstrated via numerous in vivo and in vitro studies to have a marked effect to alleviate hot flashes, vasomotor instability, loss of bone mass, and other conditions associated with menopause. Most importantly, they are much gentler and safer on the body. In conclusion, menopause is simply a transition in the journey of life. It is not a disease, and therefore, should not be treated with synthetic drugs that pose significantly higher risks of cancer and other side effects. Herbs should be considered the primary option, and not the secondary alternative, as they are safe and natural, and more than sufficient to address almost all cases of menopause.

 



[1] Park MK, Kwon HY, Ahn WS, Bae S, Rhyu MR, Lee Y. Estrogen activities and the cellular effects of natural progesterone from wild yam extract in mcf-7 human breast cancer cells. Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(1):159-67.

[2] Wu WH, Liu LY, Chung CJ, Jou HJ, Wang TA. Estrogenic effect of yam ingestion in healthy postmenopausal women. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Aug;24(4):235-43.

[3] Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi (Journal of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine) 1986;6:336.

[4] Shi Zhen Guo Yao Yan Jiu (Research of Shizhen Herbs) 1998;1:11.

[5] Xin Zhong Yi (New Chinese Medicine), 1988; 2:20.

[6] Si Chuan Zhong Yi (Sichuan Chinese Medicine) 1995;5:30.

[7] Hu Bei Zhong Yi Za Zhi (Hubei Journal of Chinese Medicine) 1996;2:24.

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