Osteoporosis needs no introduction. In Chinese medicine, doctors take a different approach to its causes and how to bring about some relief. Here are five pieces of natural health advice for those who have been diagnosed with this bone-weakened state.
1. Qi Bao Mei Ran Dan; an Herbal Powerhouse
The name of this remedy may sound weird, but it consists of powerful plants found growing wild in Asian hillsides and wetlands. The ingredients in this herbal formula, in English, include Lycium fruit, astragalus, dang gui, both white and red peony, and fleece-flower root. There is good evidence behind this one, too. In one study of 76 patients with osteoporosis, 57 people were improved, 12 people were “significantly” improved, and just seven didn’t respond.
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2. Herb Combo: Gu Shu Ling
Chinese researchers tried out this formula on 60 older adults with osteoporosis. The herbs included were astragalus, epimedium, pubescent angelica root, Leonarus, and more (undisclosed). Each person took three capsules a day totaling about three grams of raw herbs. Of them, 21 people had significant improvement, 36 had improvement, and only three didn’t respond.
3. Herbs to Reinforce the Kidney
This 16-ingredient remedy is said to stimulate the kidney, which the Chinese believe is central to treating osteoporosis. Some of its ingredients include Ligustrum, Cuscuta, Achranthes, dang gui, Dipsacus, and licorice. In a study of 37 osteoporosis patients, 20 people were significantly improved, 13 improved, and just four did not respond. To obtain this formula, you’ll need to visit a Chinese medicine practitioner.
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4. 14-Herb Combination
Another multi-herb remedy here; this one consisting of Salvia, astragalus, and prepared Rehmannia, among others. In a study, 38 people were tested after 10 days and even asked to stop taking calcium and vitamin-D supplements to see if this treatment could work all by itself. And it did: 30 of 38 people had significant improvement; 14 saw improvement; and four had no response.
5. Massage Plus Herbs
A group of researchers tried to see if acupressure, cupping, and herbs could treat 60 patients. The therapist pressed each acupoint for between 10 and 20 seconds, followed by cupping for about five minutes. “Cupping” means that a cup is put on the skin and, by fiddling with pressure inside of it, a suction effect occurs and the skin and muscle are drawn into the cup. Both methods were used once every four days or so.
At the same time, the participants took a remedy of huang qi, citrus, licorice, cinnamon twig, and seven other herbs—mixed with rice wine. What else: a soaked towel (warm water) was put to the lower back for 30 minutes, two or three times a day. After treatment, every patient had relief from back pain and all could live independently again. Using an X-ray, researchers found the patients’ bone density improved across the board.