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Flex (GT)

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CLINICAL APPLICATIONS

 

  • [     Gout
  • [     Gouty arthritis

 

WESTERN THERAPEUTIC ACTIONS

 

  • [     Decrease the absorption and increase the elimination of uric acid and other unwanted substances
  • [     Analgesic effect to relieve pain
  • [     Anti-inflammatory effect to reduce swelling and inflammation
  • [     Antipyretic effect to relieve burning sensations and reduce inflammation

 

CHINESE THERAPEUTIC ACTIONS

 

  • [     Strengthens the Spleen and Stomach
  • [     Drains damp-heat
  • [     Opens the channels and collaterals
  • [     Relieves pain

 

DOSAGE

 

Take 4 capsules three times daily. The herbal therapy should begin immediately upon the notice of the first warning signs. The dosage may be doubled on day one and two of herbal therapy to achieve faster onset of action. If necessary, this formula may be taken at reduced dosages for maintainance and prevention.

 

INGREDIENTS

 


Cang Zhu(Rhizoma Atractylodis)

Che Qian Zi(Semen Plantaginis)

Chi Shao(Radix Paeoniae Rubrae)

He Zi(Fructus Chebulae)

Huang Bai(Cortex Phellodendri)

Ji Xue Teng(Caulis Spatholobi)

Jin Qian Cao(Herba Lysimachiae)

Sheng Di Huang(Radix Rehmanniae)

Shi Gao(Gypsum Fibrosum)

Wu Bei Zi(Galla Chinensis)

Yi Yi Ren(Semen Coicis)

Ze Xie(Rhizoma Alismatis)

Zhi Mu(Radix Anemarrhenae)


 

FORMULA EXPLANATION

 

According to traditional Chinese medicine, gout is generally considered as a bi zheng(painful obstruction syndrome)characterized by damp-heat. The presence of damp-heat begins with inability of Spleen and Stomach to adequately transform and transport food, followed by accumulation of damp-heat blocking the channels and collaterals leading to severe pain. This correlates with the western medicine concept of gout, which starts with improper diet followed by excessive accumulation of uric acid. Therefore, optimal treatment requires use of herbs to strengthen the Spleen and Stomach, drain damp-heat, open the channels and collaterals, and relieve pain.

 

In this formula, Cang Zhu(Rhizoma Atractylodis) and Yi Yi Ren(Semen Coicis)strengthen the Spleen and Stomach to resolve dampness and swelling. Jin Qian Cao(Herba Lysimachiae), Ze Xie(Rhizoma Alismatis)and Che Qian Zi(Semen Plantaginis)drain damp-heat and help expel uric acid from the body through urination. Shi Gao(Gypsum Fibrosum), Zhi Mu(Radix Anemarrhenae), Huang Bai(Cortex Phellodendri)and Sheng Di Huang(Radix Rehmanniae)clear heat and sedate fire. Together they reduce the inflammation and burning sensation. Ji Xue Teng(Caulis Spatholobi)opens the channels and collaterals. Chi Shao(Radix Paeoniae Rubrae)activates blood circulation and relieves pain. Lastly, He Zi(Fructus Chebulae)and Wu Bei Zi(Galla Chinensis) are two astringent herbs that reduce swelling and inflammation.

 

In summary, Flex (GT)is a comprehensive formula that targets both the cause and the symptoms of gout. It incorporates herbs to strengthen the Spleen and Stomach, drain damp-heat, open the channels and collaterals, and relieve pain.

 

SUPPLEMENTARY FORMULAS

 

  • [     For severe pain, combine with Herbal Analgesic.
  • [     For gout in individuals with obesity, use with Herbaliteto reduce body weight.
  • [     For gout in individuals with diabetes, use with Equilibriumto control blood glucose levels.
  • [     For gout in individuals with hyperlipidemia, use with Cholismato reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • [     For gout in individuals with obesity and high cholesterol, add Cholisma (ES).
  • [     For gout with kidney stones, add Dissolve (KS).
  • [     With hypertension, add Gastrodia Complexor Gentiana Complex.

 

NUTRITION

 

  • [     Hai Zao(Sargassum)and Kun Bu(Thallus Laminariae seu Eckloniae)are helpful, as they contain protein and vital minerals to reduce uric acid levels in the blood.
  • [     Adequate amounts of vitamin C and bioflavonoids (3,000 to 5,000 mg daily) should be taken, as they help to reduce uric acid levels in the blood.
  • [     Essential fatty acids are beneficial for gout, as they are needed to repair tissues and healing of joint disorders.
  • [     Since gout attack is caused by excessive deposit of uric acid in the joints, increased intake of food rich in uric acid will increase the risk of gout attacks. Purine-rich food should be avoided, including meat, soup (bone broth), gravies, meat extracts, seafood (anchovies, fish roes, herring, sardine, mussels), shellfish, internal organ meats (liver and kidneys), beer and other alcoholic beverages, spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, and cauliflower.
  • [     Patients with gout should increase their intake of cherries, blueberries and strawberries, all of which are excellent in neutralizing uric acid.
  • [     It is important to always consume an adequate amount of distilled water, and avoid tap water whenever possible. This will help flush out the uric acid crystals.
  • [     After an attack of gout, it is recommended to eat only raw fruits and vegetables for about 1 to 2 weeks.

 

CAUTIONS

 

  • [     This formula should not be used in cases of deficiency and cold.
  • [     Heat packs should not be used in patients with gout, as it is a condition characterized by heat.

 

ACUPUNCTURE POINTS

 

Traditional Points:

  • [     Needle ah shipoints using the sedating technique (counter-clock wise).

 

Balance Method by Dr. Richard Tan:

  • [     Use Dr. Tan’s Balance Method accordingly as determined by where the pain is (use mirror or image system). If the pain is in the toes, needle around the thumb. If the pain is in the knees, needle the elbow. Needle theah shipoints.
  • [     For additional information on the Balance Method, please refer to Dr. Tan's Strategy of Twelve Magical Pointsby Dr. Richard Tan.

Auricular Acupuncture Dr. by Li-Chun Huang:

  • [     Points selection: Corresponding Points (to the area of pain), San Jiao, Endocrine, Kidney, Liver, Spleen, and Coronary Vascular Subcortex. Bleed Ear Apex.
  • [     For additional information on the location and explanation of these points, please refer to Auricular Treatment Formula and Prescriptionsby Dr. Li-Chun Huang.

 

MODERN RESEARCH

 

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling (inflammation) in some joints. Gout usually affects the large toe, but it can affect other joints in the leg (knee, ankle, and foot) and sometimes also joints in the arm (hand, wrist, and elbow). Gout is caused in part by excessive intake of food rich in uric acid, or decreased excretion of uric acid through the kidneys. As uric acid deposits in the joints, it causes severe pain known as gout.

 

Flex (GT)is a comprehensive formula that treats various aspects of gout. It incorporates herbs that decrease the absorption and increase the elimination of uric acid and other unwanted substances. Furthermore, it contains herbs with analgesic effect to relieve pain, anti-inflammatory effect to reduce swelling and inflammation, and antipyretic effect to relieve burning sensations and reduce inflammation.

 

Jin Qian Cao(Herba Lysimachiae)and Ze Xie(Rhizoma Alismatis)have a remarkable diuretic effect that flush out unwanted substances from the body. Jin Qian Cao(Herba Lysimachiae) is one of the most effective herbs to dissolve and flush out gallstones, kidney stones, and bladder stones.[1],[2]Ze Xie(Rhizoma Alismatis)is effective in eliminating excessive amount of electrolytes, cholesterols, and triglycerides from the blood.[3],[4]

 

He Zi(Fructus Chebulae)andWu Bei Zi(Galla Chinensis)are astringent herbs with binding effects that help decrease the absorption of fatty foods and uric acids.[5]

 

Shi Gao(Gypsum Fibrosum),Zhi Mu(Radix Anemarrhenae),andSheng Di Huang(Radix Rehmanniae)have excellent antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effects to reduce swelling and inflammation.[6],[7],[8]Use ofShi Gao(Gypsum Fibrosum)was associated with over 80% rate of effectiveness for treatingosteoarthrosis deformans endemica;[9]use of Zhi Mu(Radix Anemarrhenae)was linked with 71.4% rate of effectiveness for treating acute rheumatism;[10]and use of Sheng Di Huang(Radix Rehmanniae)had good results in treating rheumatoid arthritis.[11]

 

Lastly,Yi Yi Ren(Semen Coicis)hasanalgesic and antipyretic properties, and it helps to relieve pain and reduce the burning sensations.[12]

 

In summary, Flex (GT)is a formula specifically designed to treat gout by decreasing plasma levels of uric acid, reducing swelling and inflammation, and relieving pain.

 

PHARMACEUTICAL DRUGS & CHINESE MEDICINE: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

 

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling (inflammation) in some joints. Gout is caused in part by excessive intake of food rich in uric acid, or decreased excretion of uric acid through the kidneys. As uric acid deposits in the joints, they cause severe pain known as gout.

 

Western Medical Approach: acute gout may be treated with colchicine, but use of this drug is not recommended as it may cause severe bone marrow suppression and possibly death. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAID), such as Indocin (Indomethacin), Motrin (Ibuprofen), and Naprosyn (Naproxen)are very frequently used to treat mild to moderate pain characterized by inflammation and swelling. However, they may cause such serious side effects as gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer, gastrointestinal bleeding, tinnitus, blurred vision, dizziness and headache. In short, drug treatment of gout is limited and less than satisfactory.

 

Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach:Treatment of gout must focus on treating the symptom and the cause. In this formula, many herbs with strong analgesic effect treat pain. Furthermore, many herbs with draining effect flush out excess uric acid. Though herbs are not as potent as the drugs, they offer both short- and long-term improvement for treatment of gout.

 

Summation: It is important to remember that optimal treatment lies not in use of drugs or herbs, but in commitment to make diet and lifestyle changes. Long-term success can be accomplished only if changes are made to decrease intake and increase elimination of uric acid.

 



[1]Zhong Yi Za Zhi(Journal of Chinese Medicine), 1958; 11:749

[2]Guang Xi Zhong Yi Yao(Guangxi Chinese Medicine and Herbology), 1990; 13(6):40

[3]Sheng Yao Xue Za Zhi(Journal of Raw Herbology), 1982; 36(2):150

[4]Zhong Hua Yi Xue Za Zhi(Chinese Journal of Medicine), 1976; 11:693

[5]Chen, J. The Herbal Safety Course, National Alliance Conference, 2002

[6]Zhong Yao Xue(Chinese Herbology), 1998, 115:119

[7]Zhong Hua Wai Ke Za Zhi(Chinese Journal of External Medicine), 1960; 4:366

[8]Zhong Yao Yao Li Yu Ying Yong(Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Herbs), 1983: 400

[9]Shan Xi Yi Yao(Shanxi Medicine and Herbology), 1973; 4:17

[10]Ji Lin Zhong Yi Yao(Jilin Chinese Medicine and Herbology), 1992; (1):16

[11]Tian Jing Yi Xue Za Zhi(Journal of Tianjing Medicine and Herbology), 1966; 3:209

[12]Zhong Yao Xue(Chinese Herbology), 1998; 337-339