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Blood Deficiency Headaches & the Chinese Remedies

Headache pattern: headaches and dizziness, dull or pricking pain that mostly in the temples, and worse in the afternoon.

Accompanied symptoms: paleness, irritability, a feverish sensation, thirst, palpations, fatigue, menstrual disorders, the tongue is pale and covered by thin-white coating, the pulse is thready and weak.

Analysis: in traditional Chinese medicine, blood is an important component of the body's yin. Blood deficiency leads to a yin-deficient disharmony, and the relative excess of yang can easily generate fire pathogens irritating the upper body. There will be symptoms like headache, dizziness, thirst, and a feverish sensation. Paleness is a usual sign of blood deficiency, which also causes fatigue or general weakness. The heart rules blood, blood deficiency leads to under nourishment of the spirit in the heart and thus has palpations and irritability. Blood deficiency also causes emptiness of thoroughfare vessel and conception vessel, resulting in menstrual disorders.

Therapeutic principle: nourish and replenish blood, and dispel wind

Sample prescription: modified Four-substance Decoction

dang gui angelica root Radix Angelicae Sinensis
bai shao white peony root Radix Paeoniae Alba
chuan xiong Sichuan lovage Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong
shu di processed rhemannia rhizome Rhizoma Rehmanniae Praeparatae
ju hua chrysanthemum Flos Chrysanthemi
man jing zi vitex fruit Fructus Viticis
huang qin baical skullcap root Radix Scutellariae
gan cao liquorice root Radix Glycyrrhizae

In the prescription, the angelica root, peony root and rhemannia rhizome nourish yin and replenish blood; the Sichuan lovage, chrysanthemum and vitex fruit clear heat in the head, refresh the mind, and also dispel wind and relieve pain; the baical skullcap root clears fire in the upper body and the liquorice root acts as a buffer.

Angelica root
White peony root
Fleeceflower root

Some modifications can be made according to the specific symptoms.

When there is no heat signs, remove the baical skullcap root from the prescription.

Apparent palpations and irritability indicate that the heart is affected, extra herbs should be added to nourish the heart and calm its spirit.

suan zao ren sour jujube seed Semen Ziziphi Spinosae
long gu fossil bone Os Draconis
mu li oyster shell (calcined) Concha Ostreae

When qi deficiency also occurs, and presents with breath shortness and severe fatigue, the remedy should also be added in qi herbs:

huang qi astragalus root Radix Astragali
dang shen pilose asiabell root Radix Codonopsis Pilosulae

Apparent dizziness, ear ringing, lumbar soreness and knee weakness indicate that the remedy should nourish both blood and yin. Select herbs like:

he shou wu fleeceflower root Radix Polygoni Mulitflori
gou qi chi Chinese wolfberry Fructus Lycii
e jiao donkey-hide gelatin Colla Corii Asini
nu zhen zi glossy privet fruit Fructus Ligustri Lucidi