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Chinese Medicine, A Healthy Way to Treat Colitis

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An inflammation of the lining of the large intestine (colon) is known as colitis. Factors that can lead to this inflammation include use of antibiotics, or viral or bacterial infection among other causes. A more severe and chronic ulceration and inflammation of the colon is ulcerative colitis. It’s cause is unknown and has been associated with a high chance of colon cancer. Its cause is unknown.

While surgery and drugs are conventional modes of treatment for an inflamed colon, various safer andfalternative treatments are also available. Whatever treatment one chooses, self-treatment for this condition is not recommended.

Herbal Medicine for Colitis

Different kinds of herbs have the ability to relieve colitis and ulcerative colitis symptoms. Certain types of herbs known as demulcents can soothe the mucous lining of the colon and set off the creation of more mucus to reduce symptoms and lessen irritation. Two of the most commonly used demulcetns are marshmallow root and slippery elm bark.

A popular naturopathic herbal remedy is Robert’s Formula. It is usually prescribed for intestinal inflammation and irritation. It is made up of various herbs such as cabbage powder, goldenseal, echinacea, comfrey, marshmallow root, and slippery elm.

Nutritional Therapy for Colitis

To reduce ulcerative colitis (UC), or even cure the condition, nutritional therapists believe that the way to do it is to change the diet of the patient. One of the largest contributors to the development of colon inflammation is food sensitivities or allergies. Dairy products, corn, and wheat are known allergens. Sticking to an elimination diet can identify the foods aggravate the symptoms.

The colon does not optimally function once the colon is inflamed. This may result in to nutritional deficiencies and an upset in the normal bacterial composition of the intestines. Probiotics is a treatment that can help reestablish the healthy levels of the natural bacteria in the intestines. Lactobacillus acidophilus and other beneficial flora can be taken in liquid, capsule, or powder form. Note: if the patient is lactose intolerant, Lactobacillus acidophilus should not be given.

Nutritional inadequacy is another severe problem in both types of colitis is. Nutritional deficiency can arise for several reasons:

• Mucosal irregularities which lead to poor absorption of nutrients
• Certain Western pharmaceutical drugs (such as corticosteroids) can disrupt nutrient metabolism
• Nutrient loss can be due to chronic diarrhea

To avoid stomach pain and diarrhea, colitis and UC sufferers may eat less than needed. To address this, they can take supplements by injection or orally and eating more frequent but smaller meals. A health practitioner can use elimination diet to identify the foods that the patient is sensitive or allergic to. An elimination diet might work like this:

The foods commonly eaten by the patient are eliminated from the diet for two to three weeks. The diet instead can of foods such as spinach, peaches, apricots, olive oil, apples, cherries, cranberries, iceberg lettuce, lamb and rice. These foods typically are not known allergens.

The food challenges can commence if symptoms have disappeared or abated by the end of this period; more foods should be taken out from the diet If the symptoms still prevail.

Every two dats, commonly eaten foods are reintroduced,any appearance of symptoms should be noted.

Other Colitis Treatments

Ayurvedic Medicine — Ayurvedic healers can treat both UC and colitis with dietary changes, mediatation, and herbal therapy.

Aromatherapy –Colitis relief can be gained with massages and essential oils (such as peppermint and patchouli).

Colon Therapy, Fasting, and Detoxification – Juice or water fasts can give the inflamed lining of the colon time to heal. Before food allergy tests start, fasting can be used to cleanse the body.

Homeopathy – Extremely effective, homeopathy is a very effective colitis treatment, however, it is important to have a complete evaluation by a professional before the treatment begins.

Chiropractic Medicine –The spine can be readjusted by a chiropractor, any spine misalignment impact the functionof the digestive tract.

Traditional Chinese Medicine — Treatment can include yoga, breathing exercises, herbal enemas, herbal treatments, moxibustion, and acupuncture.

Harmony Wellness Center
110 N Orlando Ave
Maitland, FL 32751
(407) 234-6454

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Written by Valerie

December 26th, 2016 at 8:15 pm

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Chinese Herbs and Acupuncture are Excellent Modes of Treatment for Acute and Chronic Colitis

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The inflammation of the colon is referred to as colitis. There can be a lot of different factors that can lead to this condition. : IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), food poisoning, Crohn’s Disease and other inflammatory disorders, and chronic or acute inflammation. Mucus, gas, diarrhea, bloody stools, stomach pain, and abdominal bloating are some of the symptoms of colitis.

Steroids are the usual prescribed treatment for a worsening case of colitis. These drugs were only meant to temporarily relieve some of the symptoms of this condition and not to cure it completely. These medications must be taken for long periods of time, and if they are discontinued the symptoms will recur. If strong corticosteroids are used for an extended period of time, it may lead to severe side effects. Some colitis sufferers who have been taking steroids for decades or several years can actually make their condition even worse. The heart may weaken and may even develop cardiovascular or cardiac problems such as a heart attack. Long term intake of steroids can also give rise to joint problems such as arthritis and osteoporosis. Besides these consequences and side effects, these steroids were not developed to really cure the colitis.

Colitis Treatment with Chinese Medicine

Based on the theory of Chinese medicine, colitis is the result of a dysfunction of the spleen and stomach systems of the body. Therefore, the objective of Chinese medicine treatment for colitis is to focus on improving and normalizing the energy channels of the stomach and stomach. This kind of treatment is a natural way of stopping or, at least, lessening the symptoms of diarrhea, mucus, and bleeding. It can also serve to boost the immune system of the body as well as improve the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients.

A treatment protocol based on tens of centuries of medical experimentation and practice, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a type of treatment that is unique for each patient. This implies that a practitioner of TCM needs to gain a detailed understanding of the situation of the patient. A wide range of factors affect the way colitis is addressed. There will be patients who after eating fatty foods, or when angered stressed or stressed may suffer from painful diarrhea and/or dry mouth. The pulse and the tongue must also be examined in order to determine whether the condition is due to a yang or yin deficiency. Although treatment protocols may differ between patients, the basic remains the same, which is to enhance the functions of the stomach and spleen systems.

Case Histories

A 52-year old male came into my clinic and when I examined him, he presented with symptoms of colitis. He reported having frequent bowel movements (20 or more) a day that is usually accompanied by bleeding and plenty of mucus. When he consulted with his doctor, his doctor could not find anything wrong with his health. The patient allowed his condition to continue until his suffering became more and more intolerable that he decided to try acupuncture. I treated him with regular treatments for a couple of weeks. Along with acupuncture, I gave him a two week’s prescription of a brew of Chinese herbal formulas which he was required to drink every day. I recommended a change in his diet. He was to avoid eating inflammatory foods. After three weeks, his follow up visit showed zero signs of any colitis symptoms. He has not returned ever since.

Another case was about a 40 year old female who had been suffering symptoms of colitis for nine months. She had been suffering from substantial loss of blood every day due to her daily rectal bleeding that was accompanied by mucus in the stool. One of her relatives recommended acupuncture. She came to my office and after diagnosing her condition, I performed acupuncture treatments for a month. After, completing her treatment plan, her symptoms totally vanished. I inserted needles into specific meridians that were meant to help restore balance in her body.

Case Analyses

The first case is a sample of acute colitis. I diagnosed my patient with damp-heat syndrome that inhibited the functions of the spleen and abdominal systems in his body. The disruption of vital energy in those systems was evident.

The second case was a classic type of chronic colitis. My patient’s colitis came about due to a deficiency of her stomach and spleen systems. Acupuncture was still able to improve her condition by relieving the colitis symptoms even if her condition was chronic.

It is the responsibility of the acupuncturist to maintain or bring back balance to the human body in order to preserve the overall health of the patient. Using Traditional Chinese medicine modes of treatment such as acupuncture can enhance and normalize or regulate the internal systems of the body. TCM practitioners are trained to identify, target, and treat both the external manifestations of the condition and the underlying cause of the problem. This is the reason why Chinese medicine is an excellent way of treating colitis. It is important for the patient to seek treatment the soonest time possible in order to receive the best outcomes for a 100% recovery.

Another important component in the treatment of colitis is the dietary aspect of the treatment. Patients should at least, minimize or totally avoid foods that tend to produce mucus in the body. These include greasy/spicy deep fried foods, raw/cold foods, and dairy products (ice cream, cheese, milk, etc.). Foods recommended for eating include cooked, bland, and easily digested foods.

Amy-SuiQun Lui, L.Ac.
Asian Health Center
27059 Grand Army of the Republic Hwy
Cleveland, OH 44143
Tel: (440) 833-0983

Written by Valerie

April 10th, 2016 at 7:25 pm

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Acupuncture for Colitis

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Nutrition and Supplementation

Your body is unique and so your nutritional requirements can differ from others and also can be based on certain factors.  In this regard, you need to talk to a health care provider who is trained in the holistic healing arts to determine what you need. He/she can do a thorough nutritional evaluation of you including an extensive digestive stool examination.

Natural and wholesome foods are the most ideal foods for every person. A diet consisting of complex carbohydrates can furnish the body with sufficient fiber. This diet can include fresh fruits to prevent constipation. Raw juices and vegetables generate and maintain good health. Other items in your diet should also include whole grains and legumes.  It’s good to take in barley, lentils and brown rice for your further fiber requirements. Leafy green vegetables should also be included in your diet as they are rich in magnesium that helps regulate bowel movements. You can get protein from certain kinds of vegetables as well as from meats such as lamb, turkey, chicken, and broiled and baked fish. When eating dairy products, remember to get the ones low in fat since they’re much easier to digest compared to high-fat milk. Try not to take in food and drinks containing, caffeine, carbonated beverages, sugar, and red meat as they all have the tendency to inflame and irritate the colon.
Try to add spices in your food since they help improve the digestion process. Horseradish and cayenne also enhance digestion. Dill and basil on the other hand help to relieve a painful stomach.

When preparing your food, eating raw food is preferable in order to absorb a lot more nutrients. If you want your food cooked, try steaming instead of boiling them. At all times avoid foods cooked in the microwave oven or foods that have been irradiated.  Always drink lots of liquids, preferably a minimum of 8 glasses each day.

Some of the daily supplement recommendations that can treat and/or prevent the onset of colitis include:

About 50 – 100 mg of vitamin B complex – Vitamin B complex is needed for good digestion and for the easy breakdown of carbohydrates, protein and fats

Twice a day intake of 500 mg of L-glutamine – You can take this supplement on an empty stomach to maintain good absorption of nutrients in the intestines. You can take it with juice or water as well as with 100 mg of vit C and 50 mg of vitamin B6

Free-form amino acid complex – This supplement are to be taken two times a day before eating or on an empty stomach or as directed. This type of amino acid supplies the body with protein requirements.

Prodophilus formula – Should be used as indicated on the label. It stabilizes the intestinal bacteria
Proteolytic enzymes – This is also taken as pointed out on the label. These enzymes are essential for good efficient digestion of proteins.


This therapy uses essential oils of rosemary, neroli, lavender, roman chamomile and black pepper to treat colitis symptoms.

Somatic and Bodywork Therapies

Mild hand therapies can greatly relieve constipation, spasms and inflammation. They include massage, reflexology, cranio-sacral therapy as well as energy work, manual deep tissue techniques and movement re-education.


Alternating hot and cold compresses (contrast therapy) or a warm hip bath with water to the waist daily can substantially help lessen the discomfort. When colitis attacks are felt, you can try applying a moist and hot compress on your stomach.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture – Acupuncture treatment for colitis addresses colitis symptoms such as weight loss, stomach pain, gas, fever and diarrhea as well as their cause which may be autoimmune dysfunction, food allergies or stress.

Certain acupoints in the body are treated with ultra-thin acupuncture needles. The acupoints are determined based on the patient’s symptoms and complaints. Usually the stomach and bladder meridians are affected making them the prime focus of treatment as well as acupoints associated with the colon.

Acupressure – Certain acupoints related to the Spleen (Spleen 6) and Stomach (stomach 36 ad 40) as well as certain acupoints located on the back and front of the ear all applied with hand pressure to treat colitis symptoms. If the patient has diarrhea, Conception vessel 6 and Stomach 25 may be included in the treatment. Through acupressure, colitis symptoms such as bloating, stomach cramps, and fever can be easily treated.

Chinese Herbal Therapy

This component of TCM believes that irritable bowel syndrome and colitis are the result of anxiety and sadness that can cause blockages in the meridians causing chi stagnation. To strengthen the blood, kidneys and liver, the herbalist can recommend multi symptom preparation such as Cyperus and Inula formula and Bupleurum (ginseng stomachic pills). These herbal remedies are also good in treating poor digestion, hardening loose stool, improving appetite and treating colitis-related gas.

Herbs can also be used to relieve tension and stress, lessen allergic reactions and beef up the immune system.

Yoga and Meditation

Certain yoga poses can lead to the bettering of blood flow especially to the intestines and help lessen the tight nerves and muscles that come with colitis. These poses include:

Half twist
Elevated lotus


Galina Semyonova is a licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist in New York City. She has studied extensively in the fields of biofeedback therapy, SCENAR therapy, Chinese herbal treatments and Chinese and Western nutrition.

Written by Valerie

June 1st, 2014 at 2:14 am

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Acupuncture for Colitis

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Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease (CD) are two forms of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). These two conditions inflame the digestive tract lining of a person and cause serious episodes of stomach pain and/or diarrhea.  CD usually affects a specific part of your digestive system, the small intestine; colitis, on the other hand, typically only inflames your colon which is the inner lining of your large intestine and rectum. Another difference between colitis and Crohn’s disease is that if a person has ulcerative colitis he/she will often experience pain in the lower left abdomen, whereas with CD the person is more likely to feel pain in the lower right abdomen. And since CD occurs in the small intestine (which is higher up in the digestive tract than the large intestine) and colitis your large intestine, bleeding during bowel movements usually occurs more with colitis.

Medicines prescribed for colitis and CD are often the same and doctors usually recommend surgery for either one. Happily, you can avail of some relief with acupuncture while you’re provided with all the conventional treatment your doctor can provide. Acupuncture is a form of treatment of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Acupuncture often is combined with Chinese herbal medicine for the successful treatment of dozens of conditions including the ones that affect the digestive system.

One advantage of using TCM is that you need not undergo a series of expensive tests to know what your ailment is. A duly registered practitioner of TCM is qualified and well-trained diagnose you based on TCM patterns that help determine what kinds of treatment is appropriate for your condition. These treatments, of course, include Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture.  Other types of TCM procedures that can be effective for colitis and CD include Chinese massage (Tui Na), cupping and ear acupuncture. When correctly utilized, all these TCM procedures diagnose and treat you based on very old TCM diagnostic fundamentals.

A patient with IBD will be surprised to know that the diagnosis of his/her doctor will not be particularly important to a practitioner of TCM. TCM does not follow empirical science and the scientific method used by Western medicine, but observes and follows patterns and theories that have been used for many millennia, long before Western science was invented. In resolving your illness, your TCM practitioner will ask you a series of questions regarding your symptoms. He/she will also feel your pulse which is a sensitive and complicated way of knowing the energy patterns of your organs. Your pulse and symptoms can help the practitioner determine the correct plan of treatment for you. Usually IBD patients possess a pattern in the intestines known as Damp-Heat.

Dampness has properties that are considered stubborn, sticky and heavy. Dampness slows down the energy flowing in your body. Heat often helps accelerate the flow of energy, but when it is combined with Dampness, Heat can cause pain and impede energy flow. The accumulation of Damp-Heat in the intestines causes stomach pain as well as diarrhea with mucus and blood in your stools. Dampness is represented in the mucus and the burning sensation and blood represents Heat.

For patients suffering from either colitis or CD, herbal formulas and certain acupuncture points will be used and treated respectively to help in the relief of discomfort and pain as well as aid in the restoration of the proper functioning of their digestive system.  One good thing about acupuncture and other TCM modalities save for herbs is that it can work with any drug therapy you may already be on, allowing you to continue with any treatment you are already receiving.


Kine Fischler is a licensed acupuncture physician and the clinical director of Willow Tree Wellness Clinic in Portland, OR.

Written by Valerie

May 25th, 2014 at 7:40 am

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Colitis Treatments and Drugs

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The main aim of ulcerative colitis treatment is to normalize the function of the patient’s immune system. In spite not having a real cure for ulcerative colitis and its corresponding flare ups, treatments abound that can control this condition including its symptoms to enable you to lead a relatively normal and much happier life.

IBD diseases like ulcerative colitis have treatments that entail the use of medicines, surgical procedures and alternative treatments use. Surgical procedures are usually done to repair or take out the diseased parts of the patient’s GI tract.


Drugs to treat ulcerative colitis can contain the inflammation of the colon which then enables the affected parts to heal. Abdominal pain, bleeding and diarrhea symptoms can be lessened and regulated with potent medicines. Besides suppressing and controlling symptoms (inducing remission), medicines are also useful to mitigate the number of colitis flare ups (maintaining remission). Extending these treatments over a certain time period can lead to the substantial reduction of symptom flare ups.

There are around five types of medications utilized for the treatment of ulcerative colitis: these include

Aminosalicylates (5-ASA) – Examples of these drugs include balsalazide, olsalazine, mesalamine and sulfasalazine. They are not particularly sanctioned by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of ulcerative colitis. These drugs, however, can effectively lessen inflammation by protecting the lining of the GI tract. They are effective in resolving mild-to-moderate bouts of colitis as well as become maintenance therapies to block relapses of this condition. Aminosalicylates (5-ASA) are most potent in the colon but may be less effective when treating ulcerative colitis in the small intestine.

Corticosteroids – Methylprednisolone and prednisone are administered rectallly or orally. These medicines inhibit the immune system to aid in the resolution of moderate to severe types of ulcerative colitis. Corticosteroids are notorious for short-term and long-term side effects and are not recommended for maintenance therapy.  A patient who cannot stop taking steroids without suffering symptoms relapse should be prescribed replacement medicines by his doctor for better management of his condition.

Immunomodulators – Immunomodulators lessen the body’s immune system response thus preventing inflammation. They are typically used for patients who were unsuccessfully treated with corticosteroids and aminosalicylates. Immunomodulators can be effective in lessening or removing the patient’s need for corticosteroids. They can also be used as maintenance drugs for patients who are not responsive to other medicines that are allegedly designed for this purpose. The beneficial results of Immunomodulators can take a while (several months) to be seen.

Antibiotics – These drugs are especially helpful in treating infections like abscesses when they occur. Antibiotics can help treat fistulas that may develop around the vagina and the anal canal. Some antibiotic drugs taken for the treatment of GI tract bacterial infection can include ciprofloxacin, ampicillin, metronidazole and others.

Biologic Therapies – Biologic therapies are new techniques that are designed to treat moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis. These treatments target TNF or tumor necrosis factor which is a chemical in the body that causes inflammation. Biologic therapies help the body produce antibodies that stick to TNFs and then causes the destruction of these chemicals that in the process lessens the inflammation.

Surgery – Sadly, about a third of patients given the above aforementioned treatments does not respond satisfactorily to them or have had complications due to these treatments. Surgery may then be their next option under these circumstances. Colitis surgery entails the excision of the colon called a colectomy. Colectomy guarantees that colitis can never occur again in the patient not like Crohn’s disease which after surgery in all likelihood can come back. A certain type of surgery for the patient may depend on factors like his overall health, age and the severity and scope of his disease. One type of surgery entails the extraction of the rectum and the entire colon and at the same the creation of an external stoma (a hole in the stomach where body wastes go to and are emptied into a pouch attached adhesively to the skin) or of an ileostomy.

The development of newer surgical procedures can provide patients with surgical options that are much more convenient and effective.  A new procedure also entails the extraction of the colon, but now without the need for an ileostomy. The surgeon instead creates an internal pouch from the small bowel that is attached to the muscles of the anal sphincter. This helps eliminate the need of wearing an outside ostomy pouch and also helps in bowel integrity.

Alternative Treatments

Curcumin, Tumeric – This is a spicy herb that time and time again has been used with mainstream ulcerative colitis treatments like sulfasalazine or corticosteroids to help better symptoms. It also renders unnecessary the need for using larger doses of mainstream medications thus preventing serious side effects. This statement is true as evidenced from a couple of clinical studies. Additional research may be required before this therapy can be recommended into mainstream medicine.

Acupuncture – This treatment addresses colitis by treating the spleen and liver meridians with acupuncture needles to prevent stress, anxiety and anger from becoming too excessive causing in the process imbalances in the spleen and liver organs that can lead to ulcerative colitis.

The 2006 edition Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterolgy revealed that moxibustion and acupuncture treatment for ulcerative colitis provided positive effects in the health and quality of life of patients.

Aloe vera – The juice of this plant has been reported to possess anti-inflammatory attributes beneficial for individuals suffering from ulcerative colitis. When taken orally, aloe vera can also become a laxative which is good for those with ulcerative colitis.

Fish oil – This ingredient also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can be helpful for patients with ulcerative colitis.

Probiotics – Adding more beneficial bacteria (probiotics) into the GI system of an individual suffering from ulcerative colits can help neutralize the disease.


1245 West Broadway #302
Vancouver, BC V6H 1G7, Canada
(604) 733-2632

Written by Valerie

January 5th, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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