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Acupuncture and Chinese herbs for opioid withdrawal

November 13, 2018

 

 

 

It's just a matter of time until hospitals and detox centers in the US start using Chinese herbal medicine to help opioid withdrawal.

 

More than a dozen of the best hospitals in American are already using some kind of alternative medicine: https://www.unifiedpractice.com/top-u-s-hospitals-embrace-chinese-herbal-medicine/

 

Hospitals such as Lincoln in the Bronx have used auricular acupuncture for decades to help heroin addicts detox, and several large hospitals int he US now have herbal dispensaries including Columbia Presbyterian.

 

And there's huge potential for the role of TCM herbal formulas in detox. Since 2006, the Chinese government has approved 10 herbal formulas for the treatment of opioid withdrawal. Many of these formulas deal with digestive disturbances and stress. It impresses me that decreasing someone's suffering and increasing their ability to digest, sleep, and stay calm and their sense of wellbeing would be incredibly useful.

 

There have been published research article calling attention to the use of Chinese herbs like the one below, and these studies are finding their way to popular outlets like LiveStrong and Reddit. "Traditional Chinese and Indian medicine in the treatment of opioid-dependence: a review" 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4075718/

 

Chinese herbal formulas all use multiple herbs to balance and harmonize the actions of all the ingredients, and effect multiple body systems and therefore have multiple indications. For example one of the prescriptions, Ban Xia Hou Po Tang treats chest constriction, acute nausea and vomiting, pain in the hands and feet, abdominal fullness and pain, and stress.

 

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