The following case study in interesting in that a basic TCM herbal formula was used to resolve to a long standing health condition. It is important for students and clinicians alike to remember that basic TCM formulas work and basic TCM statements of fact can shed light on pathways to healing particularly when clinicians are navigating difficult and chronic cases.
The patient was a 36-year-old Caucasian female suffering from chronic hives. She had suffered from this condition on and off for 12 years. The hives appeared as pale red raised hives, which were itchy and dry. The patient had no other significant symptom presentations besides fatigue and stress due to chronic condition. She had done extensive elimination diets over the years and did not discover food sensitivities / allergies. All blood work was in the "normal" range and prescribed allopathic anti-histamines provided no relief.
The hives appeared all over her body in no significant pattern. The patient's tongue was pale with teethmarks and thin wet coating. Her pulse was soggy. She visited various allopathic physicians over the years and was routinely prescribed antihistamines with no benefits. The presenting pattern was qi and Blood Vacuity with Wind Invasion. The TCM statement of fact "when treating Wind, first treat the Blood" guided my treatment protocol and my choice of the formula Shi Quan Da Bu Tang.
Shi Quan Da Bu Tang is one of the most basic TCM formulas and contains the following medicinals: Huang Qi, Ren Shen, Bai Zhu, Fu Ling, Shu Di Huang, Bai Shao, Dang Gui, Chuan Xiong, Rou Gui, Zhi Gan Cao. The patient was not open to using a tea so a tablet formula was used dosed at three tablets three times daily. I also had the patient take capsules of Huang Qi dosed at 500mg TID along with two tablespoons of Blackstrap molasses daily. This is a variation of Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang used to build the blood via targeting the qi mechanism. Blackstrap molasses is an excellent blood tonic and when combined with Huang Qi can quickly and effectively boost the qi and nourish the Blood.
After two weeks on this protocol, the hives had subsided slightly and the patient experienced a dramatic improvement in energy. After four weeks on protocol, the patient was experiencing a dramatic reduction in itching and the hives continued to slightly reduce and fatigue was no longer an issue. After six weeks on protocol, hives had reduced by 50 percent. Patient was very motivated to continue protocol due to positive outcomes so we continued protocol but increased dose of Shi Quan Da Bu Tang to four tabs, TID.
After eight weeks on increased dosage of Shi Quan Da Bu Tang the patient experienced a complete reduction in hives. At this point we eliminated the Huang Qi capsules and blackstrap molasses and had her contintue on Shi Quan Da Bu Tang dosed at three tabs, BID. The dramatic response to herbal protocol was substantial and is indicative to the efficacy of basic TCM medicinals in treating chronic recalcitrant conditions.
After 12 weeks on herbal protocol, the patient's hives had completely subsided and fatigue had completely resolved. This is a simple and short case study however it shows how basic TCM formulas can dramatically shift chronic cases which were not responding to standard allopathic protocols. It is important for clinicians to remember that even the most basic TCM formulas administered in simple tablet form can provide life changing results when the pattern differentiation is targeted in an effective manner.
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