What Traditional Chinese Medicine Has To Say About Hernias

Hole In Stomach

And other types of hernias


Hole in Stomach, Healthy Living Magazine, Health

Some 5,000,000 Americans suffer from hernias—a medical condition in which a tissue protrudes through part of an organ. Take, for example, abdominal hernias. If a part of the abdominal wall is weak, organs may penetrate through the weak spot, creating an even larger rupture. In other cases, such as herniated discs, the spinal disc that forms a cushion between the vertebrae becomes squeezed outside its compartment and protrudes, sending searing pain down the lower back and legs. There are many different types of hernias. Some, such as the inguinal occur in the groin area almost exclusively among men, while femoral ruptures are common for women. Around 750,000 people seek treatment every year for hernias including surgical operations.

However, there may be help for hernia sufferers from Traditional Chinese Medicine. “Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medication can effectively and noninvasively treat both direct and indirect inguinal hernias,” Vanessa King, a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, says.

According to TCM the three main causes of inguinal hernia include: stagnation of qi—energy flow through the body—in the liver channel; coldness in the liver channel; or deficiency of the spleen.

In TCM, building qi (the body’s vital energy) can help to overcome early hernias and other abdominal-inguinal support weaknesses. That is because disease is described as the blockage or deficiency of qi, so the energy of the body is an important part of a person’s makeup. Herbs are used in combination to increase energy, promote health and inspire longevity. There are hundreds of herbs and formulas to build qi. Many have been used for more than 2,000 years and are still in our diet today.

Imagine the power of a Chinese herbs mix which has actions of:

• analgesia
• anti-inflammation
• immunomodulation
• phagocytosis or macrophage enhancement
• blood circulation improvement
• nerve protection
• and collagen synthesis enhancement

At the Institute of Basic Medicine, Guizhou University, in China, researchers looked at how TCM can help sufferers of lumbar disk herniation. They say that basic formulas and decoctions known as Duhuo Jisheng, Buyang Huanwu, Shentong Zhuyu, Taohong Siwu, Yanghe and Tongdu Huoxue provide “better clinical effects,” and that with medicinal herbs “low-back pain, sciatica and low limb numbness disappeared or [was] alleviated” and the patients were able to “restore normal low limb sensation, muscle strength and daily activity.”

“Healthy digestion and elimination is vital to maintaining good energy,” says Linda Madero, OMD. However, she adds that, “Digestive disorders can encompass a range of qi dysfunctions; symptoms overlap and are different for each individual; therefore, herbal prescriptions are considered an ‘art’ in TCM. The formula prescribed must be balanced to be effective and not produce side effects in the body.”

For example, hernias have found their herbal match in a TCM formula called Hawthornia. The 11 ingredients in this traditional herbal mixture are hawthorn, fennel, citrus seed, litchi seed, Chinaberry fruit, peach kernel, corydalis tuber, three-nerved spicebush, nutgrass flatsedge, kelp and oriental water plantain. With a special process, these natural herbs are combined to produce the synergistic effect associated with TCM formulas, to improve qi and strengthen the lower abdominal support muscles and tendons so that the organs, including intestines, will be uplifted to their original positions. Thus, they won’t fall into any opening in the body wall and the symptoms of hernias are relieved. This herbal remedy has been safely used in China for hundreds of years with no side effects.