What is the Chinese herb Corydalis? Can multiple sclerosis symptoms of pain be effectively treated using the herbal supplement corydalis? Can herbs help relieve pain, fatigue, and What results can one expect to achieve? Find out more by reading the insights of Dr. Kevin Lance Jones, OMD, LAc., and his patient June’s journey with herbal treatment of the pain, weakness and discomfort associated with multiple sclerosis.
INTRODUCING JUNE, AND HER JOURNEY WITH MS
I been treating an MS patient with the Corydalis herb that has had a tremendous result.
The young woman we will call “June” has some of the more common MS symptoms. The most troublesome for her are the painful low back spasms (muscle contractions like a “Charlie horse”), near constant numbness in her feet, tingling sensations in her feet and hands and difficulty walking.
Now, let’s get back to “June.” She sent me a previous email and said:
“I have to say though; up until now I have been VERY pleased with the results. My pain level stays around 0- 2 which is a significant improvement over the usual 7-10 DAILY. I can’t thank you enough.”
Let’s read “June’s” own (unedited) words about her condition in another recent email:
“I cannot emphasize enough how this constant state of pain affected all aspects of my life, most importantly my social relationships and mood. I called it my “Black Cloud”.
“I would go to bed in pain and wake up in pain. My sleep or lack of is a constant issue and if I would get two hours of uninterrupted sleep, it was a good night. I was so exhausted all the time and chose to isolate myself from others, as the pain made me very irritable and ultimately depressed. I was not my normal positive, outgoing, happy go lucky, life of the party self. I was bitter, angry and tired… tired of being in pain and honestly tired of just existing.
“I have been on numerous medications over the years since my Spinal Fusion surgery in 2006. I have taken just about every narcotic pain medication, muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory and insomnia medication available on this planet, never finding much relief.
“I do believe I had built up a tolerance to these, and stopped taking them all a few years ago. I have went through countless months of physical therapy, water therapy, massage therapy, hot and cold therapy and acupuncture treatments, that did not help.
“Prior to taking the Corydalis, I would say my biggest symptom was a constant burning sensation in my low back that radiated down my right buttock into the back of my upper thigh. The pain was aggravated by cold or rainy weather, or simply over doing it with household chores.
I have a near constant numbness in my feet, especially my right foot, tingling sensations in feet and hands.At times I cannot feel my foot hit the surface, but more like a “pressure”, and often I have to physically look down to make sure of my footing. Steps and curbs are VERY scary, especially when I’m having a “spell” of continuous numbness.
“Since moving back to Wisconsin from Texas in April, my pain has been progressively getting worse, and I attributed this to the colder rainy climate we were experiencing at the time. I resorted to getting back on the Gabapentin/Neurontin as I felt that “black cloud” starting to gain momentum. My prescription calls for 3,600 mg daily. If you are familiar with this medication, that is the highest dosage recommended. I choose to only take 300 mg daily and was taking that when I received the Corydalis.
“I took the first dose of Corydalis at night before bed, I have to say that I was skeptical at first. I was asleep before the “dramatic conclusion” of my favorite television show. It is important to note that it typically takes me several hours to fall asleep. My restless legs and back pain make it near impossible to get comfortable. I believe I slept soundly for at least 4 hours. My pain level when I awoke was still there, but didn’t seem as bad as normal,a dull burning sensation 5/10. I took 1 teaspoon that morning and again that afternoon and evening. Throughout the day I noticed a marked improvement and literally felt the best I had felt in months. I also must say that by day 3, I noticed an improved sense of wellbeing/mood, and that my pain level was consistently a 2-3 unlike the norm of 7-10. I could not believe this!
“I am unsure how long it was before I noticed that the usual 1 teaspoon/TID [three times per day] was not as effective and so I did increase this to 1 1/2 teaspoons/TID. My pain is significantly improved and again, I notice I sleep better and feel an overall sense of wellbeing. I would liken it to the effects of an antidepressant without the nasty side effects.
“Just to test things, I have not taken the Corydalis for the past 2 days. I slept a total of 3 hours last night and my back is on fire once again, 6/10. I also seem more agitated. So I went back to the 1 teaspoon TID.
“I have not had any bad side effects from the Corydalis what so ever. It is hard to hide the taste and I dread the dose first thing in the morning as I gag it down. Other than that, I am extremely pleased with the results and would highly recommend this to anyone suffering from chronic pain. It has truly made a difference in many aspects of my life. I just hope and pray it continues to work!”
WHAT DOES RESEARCH TELL US?
June talks about her pain level as 7/10 and 2/10. This is a pain measurement called the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) that runs from zero out of ten (0/10) and up to 10 out of 10 (10/10) which represents excruciating, debilitating pain. TID refers to the medical word for taking medications three times per day (“June” is a nurse.).
Working with Chinese scientists, Olivier Civelli and his UC Irvine colleagues isolated a compound called dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB) from the roots of the Corydalis yanhusuo plant. In tests on rodents, DHCB proved to diminish both inflammatory pain, which is associated with tissue damage and the infiltration of immune cells, and injury-induced neuropathic pain, which is caused by damage to the nervous system.
The findings were published in the Jan. 20, 2014 issue of Current Biology. This is important because there are no current adequate treatments for neuropathic (nerve disorder) pain. WebMD reports people commenting on Corydalis rated it as 4.22 on a scale of 5. In my opinion this number could increase under the proper supervision and guidance of a trained and experienced acupuncturist.
Corydalis can treat acute pain, inflammatory pain and chronic pain.
If you are suffering with any of these pain types you can give us a call and receive Corydalis for your pain. This herb seems to work where other medications do not work. Aspirin and Ibuprofen are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and have side effects from stomach problems and ulcers to kidney failure.
Experts say Corydalis can be used to treat chronic pain without carrying the same risk of addiction that many western prescription pain medications have. The important issue here is that Corydalis is effective in treating headaches, menstrual pain and low back pain that is both due to muscle spasms and nerve damage without opiate medications like Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and morphine which are highly addictive.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society says the following regarding Acupuncture treatment of MS: “Acupuncture may provide relief for some MS-related symptoms, including pain, spasticity, numbness and tingling, bladder problems, and depression.
This article is written by Dr. Kevin Lance Jones, OMD, LAc, health education writer, for the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. Dr. Kevin Lance Jones has over 34 years of experience and combines his unique background in western and eastern medicine. Chinese Medicine involves a complete program of acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutritional counseling, and lifestyle modification. He believes in a complementary Eastern-Western Medicine approach to treatment and cooperate with the patient’s physicians to best manifest the patient’s needs. All photos used in this article are by www.pixabay.com unless otherwise noted. To find out more about our Health Educators, or to apply as a Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance writer or volunteer, visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com
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