Stroke and Dan Nan Xing
According to the CDC, there are almost 800,000 stroke cases every year in the U.S., resulting in approximately 140,000 deaths. In fact, stroke is one of the nation’s biggest killers and leaves many survivors with permanent injury or impairment.
Stroke prevention is especially important for older patients and those with cardiovascular risk factors. Both western and Chinese medicine can provide options in this regard, including the use of health-supporting herbal therapies.
How Western and Chinese Medicine Explain Stroke
Western physicians conceptualize stroke as a heart attack, but for the brain. In other words, blood supply to the brain is briefly cut off, depriving the organ of oxygen and potentially causing tissue death.
Chinese medicine practitioners have a different perspective on the condition. According to practitioners, stroke is the result of pathogenic phlegm or wind, introduced by the environment or due to another health condition. In Chinese medicine, disease-causing phenomenon are frequently referred to as if they were weather patterns. This is meant to describe the nature in which the disease emerges. Like wind, wind-caused disease emerges suddenly and intensely, may radiate through the body, and may be caused by excessive heat or cold.
For Houston practitioners, resolving excessive wind is the goal of treatment.
How Chinese Medicine Can Be Used to Prevent Stroke and Treat Symptoms
Eliminating phlegm buildup and trapped wind are the goals, and Chinese medicine can facilitate this with the use of certain herbs. One such herb is Dan Nan Xing (Pulvis Arisaema). Dan Nan Xing is a cool, bitter herb that targets the liver, lung and spleen. It’s also considered an ideal botanical for preventing stroke, as it mitigates several common causes of the condition. For example, Dan Nan Xing can clear heat and dissolve phlegm, making it easier for the body to pass it. The herb is also effective at calming wind and reducing the intensity of wind-related sensations, which can minimize convulsions and risks related to stroke.