Congestive Heart Failure and Ting Li Zi
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a common cardiovascular condition, affecting more than 6 million Americans, and it is the leading cause of hospitalizations among people older than 65. CHF is frequently a progressive condition that limits the patient’s lifespan, but treatment can help with symptoms or slow down disease progression. One treatment option is Ting Li Zi, a Chinese herb that has fluid-clearing properties in the body.
What are the Signs and Risk Factors of Congestive Heart Failure?
Congestive heart failure can be caused by a number of factors, including behavioral choices. Some of the most common risk factors include:
- Age – people 65 and older are at an increased risk of congestive heart failure
- Using alcohol, tobacco or some types of recreational drugs
- A sedentary lifestyle
- A diet rich in fats and salt
- Having an existing cardiovascular condition, such as hypertension, coronary heart disease or a history of heart attacks
When congestive heart failure does emerge, it may present with the following symptoms:
- Chest pain and a dry, hacking cough
- Shortness of breath when lying down or during exertion
- A bloated or hard stomach
- Loss of appetite and nausea
- Heart palpitations
- Edema (swelling) in the legs or ankles
As congestive heart failure cannot be reversed, treatment is focused on arresting current symptoms and managing new ones.
How Can Chinese Herbs like Ting Li Zi Help with Congestive Heart Failure?
Chinese medicine practitioners use Ting Li Zi in their herbal formulations that target fluid buildup in the body. As congestive heart failure may result in fluid backup in the lungs, Ting Li Zi is a good match for the condition. A cold herb, Ting Li Zi must be carefully administered to patients by a licensed practitioner. When administered, Ting Li Zi targets the bladder and lungs during a process practitioners term “descending” the lung qi. From a Chinese medicine perspective, fluid buildup due to CHF can be the result of lung weakness or poorly regulated qi (life energy). Specifically, the lungs themselves may have difficulty clearing fluid, but Ting Li Zi is effective at draining phlegm-like fluids from the body while also promoting better circulation and reducing the impact of edema. As fluid buildup is a primary cause behind congestive heart failure’s symptoms, Ting Li Zi represents a promising adjunct treatment for the condition.