Herbal Medicine May Help Reduce Menstrual Pain Says Cochrane Collaboration

PMS Relief

A study involving nearly 3,500 women in several countries suggests natural herbs may be more effective in relieving menstrual cramps than drugs, acupuncture or heat compression.

Australia-based researchers said herbs not only relieved pain, but reduced the recurrence of the condition over three months, according to the Cochrane Library journal. Who writes The Cochrane Library Journal? An international not-for-profit and independent organization, dedicated to up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of health-care readily available worldwide.

Who is Cochrane Collaboration? Watch video

The Cochrane Collaboration produces and disseminates systematic reviews of health-care interventions and promotes the search for evidence in the form of clinical trials and other studies of interventions. The Cochrane Collaboration was founded in 1993. They publish the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews quarterly as part of the Cochrane Library.

Women looking for a natural treatment for menstrual cramps can be confident that Chinese herbs have been reviewed in clinical trials and have been used safely for hundreds of years. The evidence came from 39 trials, involved 3475 women – 36 in China, and one each in Taiwan, Japan and the Netherlands. Participants were given herb formulas to regulate their ‘qi’ (energy) and blood, warm their bodies and boost their kidney and liver functions.

“Chinese herbal medicine gave significant improvements in pain relief when compared to pharmaceutical drugs. It also reduced overall symptoms. The research revealed that Chinese herbal medicine was also better at alleviating pain than acupuncture or heat compression.”

“All available measures of effectiveness confirmed the overall superiority of Chinese herbal medicine to placebo, no treatment, NSAIDs, OCP, (oral contraception pills) acupuncture and heat compression, and, at the same time, there were no indications that Chinese herbs caused any adverse events,” says lead author Xiaoshu Zhu who works at the Center for Complementary Medicine Research at the University of Western Sydney, Australia.

Some of the Chinese herbs include Chinese angelica root (danggui), Szechuan lovage root (chuanxiong), red peony root (chishao), white peony root (baishao), Chinese motherwort (yimucao), fennel fruit (huixiang), nut-grass rhizome (xiangfu), liquorice root (gancao) and cinnamon bark (rougui). In one trial involving 36 women, 53 percent of those who took Chinese herbs reported less pain than usual compared with 26 percent in the placebo group. (No coincidence these herbs are all included in our PMS Relief Herb Pack)

See Full Study here: http://www.mrw.interscience.wiley.com/cochrane/clsysrev/articles/CD005288/frame.html

Hormone Use Increases Breast Cancer Risk

Newly released research sugherbs for menopausegests that the long-term use of any type of hormones (this includes the birth control pill) can increase the risk of breast cancer. Women taking  long-term hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopause symptoms are at an even greater risk. 

Research has already shown that taking birth control pills with combined estrogen and progestin, the most common type, can increase breast cancer risk.

 

The outcome from this new study states any type of hormones (i.e. birth control pills, HRT ) after many years of use, results in cancer.

 

This new study tracked the health of over 100,000 registered nurses and found that use of any kind of hormones for 10 years (or more) raised the chances of developing breast cancer. "There's a continued increase in risk with longer durations of use and there does not appear to be a plateau," said study leader Dr. Wendy Chen of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

 

There are natural and safe answers to menopausal hot flashes, night sweats and other menopause symptoms.Traditional Chinese herbal medicine has been used for generations of women to elliminate the uncomfortable symptoms on menopause such as hot flashes and night sweats. See our Menopause Relief Herb Pack here.

 

 

The hormone picture has been confusing and now doctors say women should use the lowest dose needed for the shortest time possible.

– Estrogen use with progesterone for 10 to 14.9 years had an 88% higher incidence of breast cancer

– Estrogen use with progesterone for 15 to 19.9 years had an increase risk of “more than twofold”

– Estrogen use alone for 10 to 14.9 years had a 22% increased risk of breast cancer

– Estrogen alone for 15 to 19.9 years had a 43% increased risk of breast cancer

"It's hard to be surprised that if you keep taking it, sooner or later it's going to raise risk," said Dr. Robert Clarke of Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

——————————————————————————————-

Reference:

American Association for Cancer Research –    http://www.aacr.org/

See study here:

http://www.abstractsonline.com/Plan/ViewAbstract.aspx?sKey=489622a8-6ba9-4309-b54c-6e00a5886d06&cKey=726a2cb6-a357-418f-8fe2-cc997d8ce387&mKey={2D8C569E-B72C-4E7D-AB3B-070BEC7EB280}

New Menopause Treatment, Not So Fast

Menopause Relief by Pacific Herbs relieves menopause symptomsI’m happy to report that a new menopause treatment will most likely not be approved by the FDA. A panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration overwhelmingly voted against a Depomed drug called Gabapentin to treat hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. Apparently, the benefits were heavily outweighed by the risks involved with this would be prescription menopause treatment.

Drug makers have been experimenting with non-hormonal treatments for menopause ever since they lost considerable market share with HRT drugs once they were proven to increase the risk for breast cancer and heart disease.

The FDA panelists overwhelmingly recommended the FDA reject the use of generically known Gabapentin pointing out that three company studies failed to show a significant reduction in hot flashes over 12 weeks. Patients also experienced side effects including dizziness, fatigue and balance problems. Gabapentin already carries a warning label that it can increase the frequency of suicidal thoughts.  The FDA often follows the advice of panelists although it is not required to do so.

Looking for a safe Menopause Treatment that works fast!   Look no further, Menopause Relief Herb Pack is here.

How To Harmonize Your Health With Licorice Root

Pacific Herbs uses highest quality licorice in its formulasWe have all heard of licorice, but what it is used FOR, is a bit of a mystery. Licorice is used in nearly every Chinese herbal formula (and there are thousands) because it is known to “harmonize the formula”.

Well, what the heck does that mean?  Because licorice root can ameliorate the blood (make it better by kick starting your blood and energy), it facilitates the gastrointestinal tract’s absorption process of the herbs in the formula.  Researchers have been studying this process for years, and although scientists do not completely understand the “how” of why licorice does what it does, it is known that it does work.

Licorice root “harmonizes” herbal formulas by helping your GI tract.  Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) root has been used to treat stomach ulcers, it has antioxidant qualities (the root contains flavonoids), contains amino acids that help build healthy cells and muscles, and treats upper respiratory infections, viral infections and a sore throat. Amazingly, it is classified as an adaptogen, and helps the body deal with stress! What a versatile chinese herb!

It is important to know that it’s better to use the whole herb rather than chemicals isolated from the herb because all the components of the herb together produce the desired effect. Once again, we get back to “harmony”.

All Pacific Herbs products are produced using the gold standard of pharmaceutical grade processing to ensure the most potent formulation, then stored in convenient packets that are air, water and light tight. This unique packaging keeps the all-natural compounds in our Herb Packet vital for an unprecedented 4-year shelf life while offering the convenience of a highly portable, pocket-sized pack that can be taken anywhere. The herbal ingredients are tasty and available in a powder that can be dissolved in your mouth or in hot or cold water.

Additionally, Pacific Herbs products are the most potent on the market, using the highest quality Chinese herbs available that are both safe and effective. Our manufacturing facility has state-of-the-art equipment to cook, dry and package botanicals. All Pacific Herbs Chinese herbal products are extensively tested for pesticides and other contaminants. Pacific Herbs Packets are stamped with a lot number traceable to a Certificate of Analysis (COA) of testing date. Manufacturing is under strict Current Good Manufacturing Process (cGMP) and International Standards Organization (ISO) standards.

 

References: [1] Effect of licorice on the reduction of body fat mass in healthy subjects. Armanini D, De Palo CB, Mattarello MJ, Spinella P, Zaccaria M, Ermolao A, Palermo M, Fiore C, Sartorato P, Francini-Pesenti F, Karbowiak I. J Endocrinol Invest. 2003 Jul;26(7):646-50. [2] Glycyrrhetinic acid, the active principle of licorice, can reduce the thickness of subcutaneous thigh fat through topical application. Armanini D, Nacamulli D, Francini-Pesenti F, Battagin G, Ragazzi E, Fiore C. Steroids. 2005 Jul;70(8):538-42. Epub 2005 Apr 12. [3] The treatment of atopic dermatitis with licorice gel. Saeedi M, Morteza-Semnani K, Ghoreishi MR. J Dermatolog Treat. 2003 Sep;14(3):153-7. [4] The efficacy of licorice root extract in decreasing transaminase activities in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Hajiaghamohammadi AA, Ziaee A, Samimi R. Phytother Res. 2012 Sep;26(9):1381-4. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3728. Epub 2012 Feb 6. Other Sources: Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements, second edition, ed, Paul M. Coates, 2005, Marcel Dekker, New York, pp. 479 – 486.

How To Relieve Menopause Symptoms Whithout HRT (HRT Linked To Breast Cancer)

Breast cancer alternative therapies beyond HRTHow many women do you know that have been diagnosed, are being treated for, have survived, or even lost the battle against breast cancer? The current statistic is that 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer!

Breast cancer is occurring in alarming numbers of American women and nobody, not even the top doctors on the subject i.e. Dr. Susan Love, (who I recently heard at a conference),  have definitive answers regarding the causes. 

During menopause, many women turn to HRT for relief. Evidence linking breast cancer with HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) was recently released. This study, the largest ever done, was called the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI).  It was first released in 2002 and now, more evidence from researchers following these women have found that HRT significantly increases a woman’s risk of being diagnosed with invasive type of breast cancer and cause death. 

The new evidence suggests:

  • high dose HRT increased a woman’s risk more than low-dose HRT, and
  • combination HRT, both estrogen and progesterone carries an increase risk over estrogen only HRT.

After the initial WHI report was released in 2002, HRT use declined and a drop in breast cancer diagnoses was also evident.

“What’s important about this study is that it really provides tremendous clarity regarding the risks of hormone replacement therapy,” says Dr. Freya Schnabel, of New York University’s Langone Medical Center.

“I think from this point onward any woman who’s considering taking hormone replacement therapy will need to genuinely consider these risks,” says Schnabel.

What I believe is most important  for women suffering from menopause symptoms such as  hot flashes, night sweats, irritability etc,  is to realize there are other options beyond HRTNatural herbal remedies for menopause have been proven effective and have been used for generations of women.  Women who chose to see health providers such as Acupuncturists, Homeopaths, Naturepaths and other Complementary Medicine practitioners know there are many other options for natural menopause relief. 

Women really don’t need to suffer with hot flashes, poor sleep and low libido. Natural Menopause Relief does exist and it does work.   If you are suffering with menopause symptoms, learn about other safer options than HRT.

 

 

Natural Weight Loss Herbs- Skinny Boost

This is an informative video about Skinny Boost, the new herbal formula from Pacific Herbs!  It is the number one weight loss herbal formula used in Japan today, and has its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This herbal remedy was first written down in 1070 AD and has been used ever since then. Skinny Boost Herb Pack is a time-tested weight loss remedy that helps improve metabolism, helps with elimination and gives your digestive system a boost so you can process and use what you eat more effectively. Give Skinny Boost a try today. We know you're going to love it. More about Skinny Boost here.

 

Bio- Identical Hormones & Menopause Relief

Soy for menopause or bio-identical homrmones

 

 

The question many women suffering with menopausal hot flashes and night sweats are asking is whether bio-identical hormones such as progesterone cream and phytoestrogen (plant sourced estrogen) are safe and effective AS  the chemical hormones found in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs?

 

Many women today are being told “bio-identical” hormones are identical to those your body makes. Even though progesterone and estrogen bio-identical creams may be closer to what your body produces there are certainly risks in using any hormone therapy.   Some doctors believe the risks are just as great as taking an hormone replacement therapy drug (HRT) others believe the jury is still out because we have no long term data since these products are still very new to the market.  Risks may be tied to the dosage which varies greatly from women to women.

 

Bio-identical hormones made from plant sources may be perfectly safe in low doses, which is the way we would ingest these chemicals found in yams, soy beans and a handful of herbs but at higher doses may be harmful. Nearly every substance found in nature can be safe in minute doses yet toxic at a higher dose. Even water can kill us when taken in to large a dose over a very short time period.  Knowing what dose is right for your body can be tricky depending on blood, urine and saliva testing which may not give an accurate reading of circulating hormones in your blood which changes daily and even hourly.

 

Bio-identical hormones, make no mistake can be just as powerful and dangerous as taking a prescription hormone replacement drug.  Phytoestrogen  used in minute doses the way we find in nature may be completely safe and effective.  Asian women have a long history of eating soy beans nearly everyday of their life from childhood through adulthood and experience very few menopausal symptoms.  The isoflavones in soy are known to act as a hormone balancing chemicals.

 

So, which should you choose, bio-identical hormones or synthetic hormone replacement therapy for your menopausal symptoms?  How about neither!   There is a third option that women in Asia have used for centuries and the Western world is just beginning to see on store shelves.  Traditional Chinese herbs are another option for menopause symptom relief.   You can learn more about it here.

 

Midol For Period Cramps – Now On FDA Watch List For Serious Side Effects

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has added all acetaminophen containing products to its quarterly list of products to monitor because of serious risks or new safety information. The side effects include liver disease or liver complications and skin rashes according to the FDA website. (www.FDA.gov)

 

The quote below is direct from the FDA website:

"What you may not realize is that more than 600 medications, both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC), contain the active ingredient acetaminophen to help relieve pain and reduce fever. Taken carefully and correctly, these medicines can be safe and effective. But taking too much acetaminophen can lead to severe liver damage."

 

If you are taking a OTC pain reliever like Midol, Tylenol, Premsyn PMS (a brand name of acetaminophen) for menstrual cramps for several days every month then consider other options for your pain. Period pain is often times one of the main reasons young women take OTC pain relievers and they often not understanding the risks.  Doubling up on acetaminophen by taking a cold and flu product or drinking alcohol while taking this OTC pain killer can cause serious liver damage.

 

If you have unrelenting menstrual cramps and period pain each and every month. Run, don't walk to this link and the book, "Stop Your Bitching…naturally!  A Step By Step Guide to Balance Your Hormones and End PMS & Menstrual Cramps".  You'll have all the answers you need to get off the liver damaging pain killers like acetaminophen.

 

 

Is China Ripping Off American Ginseng?

GinPacific Herbs Highest quality Siberian ginseng seng is one of the most popular Chinese herbs in the world and if you live in China, it is one of the most popular ways to promote health and virility.  

 

But why does most of the American ginseng get exported to China and Korea? 

 

Asian cultures have been using ginseng for thousands of years and place a high value on the American grown variety. Amazing, but true, China has been importing American ginseng for nearly 100 years since it was first discovered in the Northern mid-western region. In fact, Wisconsin's most valuable export has nothing to do with the dairy industry, or corn or wheat.  It's all about the ginseng production every year.

 

Wisconsin  is producing 95 percent of America's ginseng. U.S. demand for ginseng is still very low and the best price can be fetched in Asia. 

 

Good to know we have at least one export that China wants from us. Wisconsin governor Walker is in China this week and a deal with Tong Ren Tong, the oldest continually operated Chinese herb store in China has just been signed to export Wisconsin grown ginseng.  Maybe one day soon Americans will learn the value of this incredibly powerful herb.

 

We carry American Ginseng in our store here!

 

Chinese Herbs Reduce Hot Flashes Says American Menopause Society

HT Hormone Therapy Risks

The American Menopause Society recently published the results of a study on the use of Chinese herbs as a menopause treatment.  It's always nice to see a clinical trial like this published in English (many are in Mandarin only)  and this study was completed in a manner consistent with top notch clinical protocol.  The study was double-blind, randomized and controlled…..ahhhh the gold standard for clinical research.

 

Chinese Herbal Formulas Can Reduce Menopausal Hot Flashes Safely and Effectively

The women in the study were experiencing menopausal hot flashes and were between the ages of 40 to 50 years old.  The participants drank either a concentrated extract of herbal granules twice daily for 12 weeks or a placebo, fake herbal tea.  The women who drank the Chinese herb remedy found their hot flashes dropped by 62%.  Most importantly, the dosage of herbs was discussed in this trial and the participants used 15 grams of concentrated extracts in a sachet each day.  (See Menopause Relief Herb Packet herbal granules here)
 
 
It is important to note the herbs were dried into granules and no pills or capsules were used in this trial. Pills and capsules always contain fillers. It is also very difficult to take 15 grams (15,000 milligrams) of herbal concentrate when taking pills or capsules because it requires a high number of pills to be swallowed.  In this case it would be 15-20 pills per dose.
 
 
THE TREND CONTINUED

Even three months after the study ended, the participants said their hot flashes did not increase after the study ended and they stopped using the menopause herbal remedy. This study shows, compared with Hormone Replacement therapy, Chinese herbs are a safe and viable alternative for menopause symptoms. 

 

Although previous studies have found that Chinese herbs can help reduce hot flashes, those studies were not of the same quality methodology as this study, according to the researchers at Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society.

 

SOURCE: Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society, online February 25, 2013.

Herbal Medicine Honors For Dr. Guo

My favorite nonprofit organization has just announced the recipient for a very special award and I wanted to share the news because it has everything to do with Chinese herbs, one of my favorite topics to write about.

 

ABC also know as American Botanical Council in Austin Texas just announced its “Excellence in Botanical Research Award” recipient for 2013 will be,  Professor De-an Guo, PhD, of Shanghai, China.
Dr. Guo’s research has centered on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) quality control, biochemistry, and metabolism; his phytochemical investigations of traditional Chinese herbal medicines have resulted in the identification of 100 new chemical entities. In addition to his professorship, Dr. Guo serves as director of the State Engineering Laboratory for TCM Standardization Technology and as director of the Shanghai Research Center for TCM Modernization at the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He earned his doctorate in pharmacognosy from Beijing Medical University’s School of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1990, and conducted his postdoctoral studies in the department of chemistry and biochemistry at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
Among his many accomplishments, including more than 430 published scientific papers to date, Dr. Guo acted as the vice-editor-in-chief of the 2005 edition of the Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China and editor-in-chief of the 2010 edition. At present, he sits on the editorial boards of several highly respected international scientific journals, including Planta Medica and Phytomedicine. Dr. Guo is an expert committee member of the United States Pharmacopeia and a member of the ABC Advisory Board.
“Professor Guo is not only an established scientist, he has provided leadership in the modernization of TCM,” said past recipient of ABC’s Farnsworth Award, Professor Ikhlas Khan, PhD, a research professor of pharmacognosy and associate director of the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi. “He is a deserving recipient and I am proud to call him my friend.”

 

All I can say is WOW!   Dr. Guo is more than deserving and a life time of research in the field of Chinese herbs and Traditional Chinese Medicine is nothing short of inspiring.  Congradulations Dr. Guo.
ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal said; “He is clearly one of the leading figures in scientific medicinal plant research in China, a country with a vast spectrum of traditionally used medicinal plants that are undergoing modern scientific research and validation.”

Chinese Medicine From A Western Medicine Viewpoint

How a Harvard-trained doctor began to appreciate Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM.

by Leana Wen, M.D.

As a child growing up in China, I was always aware of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is what we refer to as Eastern medicine, in contrast to the Western medicine we know from U.S. hospitals. I never understood much about TCM, only that it somehow involves herbs and that many Chinese people used it. The more I progressed in my medical training in major U.S. academic centers, the more distanced I felt from TCM. Why should I learn about something that lacks evidence, when there’s so much to know about for which there is good research?

 

Last fall, I went to China on a research trip. While my study is primarily on its Western medical system, I was so fascinated by what I learned of Eastern medicine that I spent many free evenings observing TCM practitioners. There is so much I didn’t know. As a discipline, TCM is far too complex for me to understand in my short observation, but there are some very important “lessons from the East” that are applicable to our Western medical practice:

 

#1. Listen—really listen. The first TCM practitioner I shadowed explained to me that to practice TCM is to “listen with your whole body”. Pay attention and use every sense you have, he said. I watched this doctor as he diagnosed a woman with new-onset cervical cancer and severe anemia the moment she walked into his exam room, and within two minutes, without blood tests or CTs, sent her to be admitted to a (Western) medical service. I’ve seen expert clinicians make remarkable diagnoses, but this was something else!

 

“How could you know what you had and that she needed to be admitted?” I asked.

“I smelled the cervical cancer,” he said. “I looked and saw the anemia. I heard her speak and I knew she could not care for herself at home.” (I followed her records in the hospital; he was right on all accounts.)

#2. Focus on the  diagnosis. I watched another TCM doctor patiently explain to a young woman with long-standing abdominal pain why painkillers were not the answer.

“Why should we treat you for something if we don’t know what it is?” he said. “Let’s find out the diagnosis first.” What an important lesson for us—to always begin the diagnosis.

 

#3. Treat the whole person. “A big difference between our two practices,” said one TCM doctor, “Is that Western medicine treats people as organs. Eastern medicine treats people as a whole.” Indeed, I watched her inquire about family, diet, and life stressors. She counseled on issues of family planning, food safety, and managing debt. She even helped patients who needed advice on caring for the their elderly parents and choosing schools for their child. This is truly “whole person” care!

 

#4. Health is not just about disease, but also about wellness. There is a term in Chinese that does not have its exact equivalent in English. The closest translation is probably “tune-up to remain in balance”, but it doesn’t do the term justice, because it refers to maintaining and promoting wellness. Many choose to see a TCM doctor not because they are ill, but because they want to be well. They believe TCM helps them keep in balance. It’s an important lesson for doctors and patients alike to address wellness and prevention.

#5. Medicine is a life-long practice. Western medicine revers the newest as the best; in contrast, patients revere old TCM doctors for their knowledge and experience. Practicing doctors do not rest on their laurels.

“This is a practice that has taken thousands of years to develop,” I was told. “That’s why you must keep learning throughout your life, and even then you will only learn just a small fraction.” Western medicine should be no different: not only are there new medical advances all the time, doctors need to continually improve their skills in the art of medicine.

 

#6. Evidence is in the eyes of the beholder. Evidence-based medicine was my mantra in Western medical training, so I was highly skeptical of the anecdotes I heard. But then I met so many patients who said that they were able to get relief from Eastern remedies while Western treatments failed them. Could there be a placebo effect? Sure. Is research important? Of course. But research is done on populations, and our treatment is of individuals. It has taken me a while to accept that I may not always be able to explain why—but that the care should be for the individual patient, not a population of patients.

“In a way, there is more evidence for our type of medicine than for yours,” a TCM teacher told me. “We have four thousand years of experience—that must count for something!”

 

There is so much I have not covered about TCM. Its practices vary regionally, and no doubt, there are more and less capable practitioners (as there are in Western medicine). More research into TCM methods will be important. However, regardless of whether we Western doctors want to prescribe TCM treatments, we should recognize there is much to learn from Eastern medicine, including what it means to be a physician to really care for our patients. Upon my return from China, I, for one, have a new found appreciation for Eastern medical practice a renewed understanding of holistic medical care.