New research published by the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine demonstrated the efficacy of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for the treatment of recurrent pregnancy losses. A team of acupuncturists combined Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapies in a clinical study of a 42 year old female in Bellevue, Washington suffering from chronic, recurrent pregnancy losses. The outcome of the study suggests that a combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine enhances fertility and prevents miscarriages. The clinical study tracked the progress of the patient from six months prior to conception to the successful delivery of a healthy boy at full term using Traditional Chinese Medicine as the therapeutic modality to achieve a positive clinical outcome. As a result of these findings, the researchers suggest more research to confirm the level of effectiveness of the procedures.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, chronic miscarriages may be due to a variety of differential diagnoses including: kidney deficiency, Qi and blood deficiency, heat in the blood, trauma and disorders of the Dai, Chong and Ren channels. While there is overlap with biomedical diagnoses, there are many differential diagnostics in the TCM system not found in conventional biomedicine. Several herbal formulas throughout history have been indicated in the TCM system for the protection of the fetus to full term. Shou Tai Wan (Fetus Protecting Pill) is a classic TCM formula for the treatment of kidney deficiency. Tai Yuan Yin (Decoction for Fetus and Essence) is indicated for the treatment of Qi and blood deficiency. Bao Yin Jian (Yin Protecting Decoction) is a classic herbal formula for the treatment of heat in the blood. Si Wu Tang, perhaps one of the most common herbal formulas in TCM, is indicated for the treatment of trauma affecting a fetus. The aforementioned herbal formulas are indicated for a threatened abortion and also for colporrhagia, hemorrhaging from the vagina, during pregnancy. Bu Shen Gu Chong Tang (Kidney Reinforcing and Chong Channel Consolidating Decoction) is also a common herbal formula for the treatment of women suffering from chronic miscarriages.
Given the positive outcome of this recent study on the benefits of acupuncture and herbal medicine in protecting pregnancies, today’s spotlight is on Bao Yin Jian. This herbal formula is comprised of Sheng Di Huang, Shu Di Huang, Bai Shao, Shan Yao, Xu Duan, Huang Qin, Huang Bai and Gan Cao. The Traditional Chinese Medicine function of the formula is to nourish Yin, cool the blood, clear heat and calm the fetus. Indications for use of this formula are bright red colored bleeding during pregnancy, red cheeks and lips, a feeling of excessive heat in the palms & soles, concentrated urination, dry mouth, dry throat and scanty urination. The tongue is usually red with a dry, yellow coating and the pulse is typically slippery and rapid.
Hullender Rubin, Lee, Dara Cantor, and Benjamin L. Marx. “Recurrent Pregnancy Loss and Traditional Chinese Medicine.” Medical Acupuncture (2013).
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