top of page

Herbal Medicine for Psychological Disturbances

A combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine is highly effective in ameliorating manic depression, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome, palpitations, irritability, vertigo, restlessness, seizures, mania, depression and general anxiety. A synergistic effect exists between the treatment modalities wherein the acupuncture treatment exerts an immediate action on the channels thereby allowing for a more rapid absorption and effective action for the herbal medicines. Acupuncture and herbal medicine also serve as complementary adjunct therapies to conventional pharmaceutical approaches and therapies. In these cases, acupuncture and herbal medicine help to prevent toxic reactions to medications and other unwanted side-effects.

The blog posting entitled Panic Attacks and Acupuncture covered a variety of acupuncture points used for the treatment of mental and emotional issues. Today, I want to take at look herbal formulas less commonly used in the clinic. Common use finds many Shen calming and orifice opening herbal formulas that resolve a variety of conditions. Favorites include Chai Hu Long Gu Mu Li Tang, Suan Zao Ren Tang, Tian Wan Bu Xin Dan, Zhen Zhu Mu Wan, Yang Xin Tang, An Shen Tang and Gan Mai Dai Zao Tang. Hardly exhaustive, clinical favorites include many more formulas such as Shui Dan An, An Shen Bu Xin Wan, Jiao Tai Wan and others.

Let’s take a look at formulas that are a little less common. An Shen Yuan Zhi Wan is used in cases of Heart and Gallbladder Qi deficiency. Indications include insomnia, dream disturbed sleep, palpitations and timidity. This Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herbal formula functions to tonify Qi and sedate Shen. Effectively, An Shen Yuan Zhi Wan soothes mental processes and quells emotional disturbances. An Shen Yuan Zhi Wan contains: Fu Ling, Fu Shen, Ren Shen, Yuan Zhi, Shi Chang Pu and Long Chi. Yuan Zhi Wan contains the same ingredients as An Shen Yuan Zhi Wan and is prepared with different dosages and preparation techniques. Ding Zhi Wan is similiar except that Zhu Sha supplants Long Chi.

When ordering herbs it may be more difficult to find Long Chi than the more common Long Gu. For psychological disturbances, Long Chi has a significantly stronger function to sedate Shen and is preferable. Long Chi is fossilized animal teeth whereas Long Gu is fossilized animal bone. Long Gu is preferable when its astringent properties are needed for the treatment of conditions such as hyperhidrosis (both spontaneous and night sweating), vaginal discharge, spermatorrhea, chronic diarrhea, epistaxis and uterine bleeding.