Mary Xiumei Wu November 1, Atherosclerosis, hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke are a group of cardiovascular diseases that have similar pathogenesis.
They are generally dry, rough, thickened, or hardened clusters of skin bumps or plaques, and rather than showing the fiery-red inflammation of psoriasis, eczema, and other forms of dermatitis, these tend more toward brown, purplish, or grayish hues.
Already, this grabs the attention of the TCM dermatologist, who focuses closely on such clues in order to match them with the most appropriate herbs. It is a condition with a huge stress component, and one where the scratching itself is largely responsible for the condition.
It may start innocuously enough with a couple of small red bumps, but the hallmark of the illness makes itself known quite quickly — the itch that the patient feels is entirely out of proportion to the way the skin looks.
And so they keep scratching and scratching, and in fairly short order, the skin thickens and coarsens, turns darker, and the skin creases visible within the lesion become more pronounced.
The lichen may remain localized to a single spot, or spread to a few other areas that are easily reached and scratched. This last clue really shows us how much the scratching keeps lichen simplex alive. Lesions do not develop, for instance, on the upper back, where no one but a yogi could reach them.
The nape of the neck, where it is easy to have an absentminded itch, or the shins, especially in people who sit at a desk a lot and can easily access them, are favourite places. Lastly, lichen simplex lesions tend to develop on one side, according to whether the patient is right or left-handed.
For this reason, aside from the herbal treatment, it is extremely important for the patient to become conscious of how quickly their hand goes for the lesions, even when they are mildly itchy, and to cover up the spots for harder access. This will go a long way toward shortening the treatment.
Mindfulness meditation can be directly beneficial in bringing awareness to this automatic stress response. Anything thick and plaque-like needs to be broken up by these herbs, which are also used for accumulations such as certain masses and fibroids.
Common herbs include prepared rhemannia root, dong gui root, and peach pit. Minerals such as pearl shell, oyster shell, and fossilized bone powder, all rich in calcium, are used to calm the mind if anxiety and sleeplessness are extreme. Occasionally, soothing creams or acupuncture at the site of the lesions are also used, in order to calm the hyper-irritable itch response of the local nerve endings.
With all of these protocols in place, we can expect the great majority of cases to be completely cured, although it may take up to a month to see any change, and several more months to finish the treatment, according to the severity of each case.
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Chinese medicine is one of the very few effective treatments for this maddening — and much more severe — variant of lichen simplex, and one that showcases the use of animal substances in Chinese herbalism.
None of the animals used in this context are endangered. In fact, we use the skin that living cicadas and snakes naturally slough off.
These are very powerful medicines for intractable itch when plant medicines alone are insufficient. This is not superstition or witchcraft — science has shown that many animals, and often their skins, secretions, or venom, contain powerful and complex medicinal compounds.
Toads, leeches, earthworms, bee venom, and silkworms continue to be studied in the East and West for this purpose.To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure [email protected] is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account.
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