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Cardiovascular disease is defined as medical conditions affecting the cardiovascular system, including heart, blood vessels(arteries and veins).
Beside cancer, heart disease kills more than 2,000 Americans everyday. Approximately 60 million Americans have heart disease.
There are many causes of heart diseases. Most of heart diseases are caused by high blood pressure contributes to hardening of the arteries. High levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) build up in the arteries as a result of uncontrolled diet with high levels of saturated fat and trans fat. All these add to the formation of atherosclerosis lesions and eventually arterial blockage or anything that serves to damage the inner lining of blood vessels and impedes the transportation of oxygen and nutrition to the heart can be defined as a risk of heart disease.
Ischemic heart disease
Ischemic heart disease is defined as a condition of reduced blood supply of the heart muscle, as a result of coronary artery disease caused by plague building up in the arteries.
In Tranditional Chinese medicine perspective
According to the A Practical English-Chinese Library of Traditional Chinese Medicine by Dr. Enqin Zhang(Engin CAN),[graduated from Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in 1982 with post-graduate dip., Master of Medicine and later also got his MD and Professorship in Alternative Medicine /TCM from 4 international and Chinese universities and institutes. He was the chief editor& author of book “Research in Classical Formulae of TCM”, published by Yellow River Press in 1987 as well as TCM series ‘A Practical English-Chinese Library of TCM](117)
Precordial pain as a result of obstruction in the heart vessels is the most prominent feature of coronary heart disease due to obstructs the yang qi, and /or by blood stasis,caused by either qi deficiency or due to qi stagnation of that lead to phlegm accumulation in the chest .
Dr. Enqin Zhang differentiated coronary heart disease as follow(118)
1.. Obstruction of yang qi in the chest due to accumulation of phlegm
a. Primary manifestations: A feeling of oppression over the chest or chest pain radiating to the back, accompanied by shortness of breath, white, thick, greasy coating of the tongue and smooth pulse. (This condition is of the cold phlegm type; when the tongue coating turns yellow and greasy, it becomes a phlegm-heat type.)
b. Principle of treatment: Relieve the obstruction of the yang qi in the chest.
c. Formula treatment
Formula for choice: Trichosanthes, Chinese Chive, and White Liquor Decoction; in this prescription, trichosanthes fruit eliminates phlegm and reverse the adverse ascending of the qi; Chinese chive warms and activates the yang qi in the chest and relieves pain; and white liquor acts as a guide drug.
2. Blood stasis caused by qi deficiency
a. Primary manifestations: Fatigue, shortness of breath, palpitations accompanied by localized pain, dark purplish tongue with thin coating and uneven pulse. (In cases with cold extremities, intolerance of cold, pale and tender tongue and slow pulse, the blood stasis is due to yang deficiency; in cases with profuse sweating, deadly cold limbs, listlessness and fading pulse or even coma, the yang is exhausted and shock ensues. Some patients experience yin and qi deficiencies together, manifested by a hot sensation in the palms and soles, dry mouth, desire for cold drinks, reddened tongue with little or no coating and thin, rapid pulse.)
b. Principle of treatment: Invigorate the qi and promote blood circulation.
c. Formula treatment
Principle of treatment: Invigorate the qi and promote blood circulation.
Formula of choice: Yang-Invigorating and Recuperation Decoction; in this recipe, astragalus root (huang qi) invigorates the qi to promote blood circulation and strengthens the effect of the other ingredients in removing blood stasis. Other ingredients are tangkuei (dang gui), red peony root (chi shao), earth worm (di long), ligusticum root (chuan xiong), peach kernel (tao ren), carthamus flower (hong hua).
In cases with yang deficiency, add cuscuta seed (tu si zi), prepared lateral root of aconite (fu zi), and psoralea seed (bu gu zhi) to warm and replenish the yang qi.
If there is collapse, use Ginseng and Aconite Decoction combining with Aconite Decoction (including prepared lateral root of aconite, poria, ginseng, ovate atractylodes rhizome, white peony root); in these prescriptions, prepared lateral root of aconite and ginseng recuperate the depleted yang and replenish the qi. In cases of qi and yin deficiencies, add scrophularia root (xuan shen), ophiopogon root (mai dong), schisandra berry (wu wei zi), and fresh rehmannia root (sheng di ) to the above prescriptions.
3. Blood stasis caused by qi stagnation
a. Primary manifestations: A fullness sensation or pain in the chest, dark purplish tongue with thin coating, but no symptoms of qi deficiency, such as shortness of breath and fatigue.
b. Principle of treatment: Activate qi and remove blood stasis.
c. Formula of choice: Blood House Stasis-Expelling Decoction; in this recipe, bitter orange (zhi ke) and bupleurum root (chai hu) activate the stagnated qi; platycodon root (jie geng) acts as a guide drug; and the other ingredients promote blood circulation and remove blood stasis, including tangkuei (dang gui), fresh rehmannia root (sheng di huang), peach kernel (tao ren), carthamus flower (hong hua), red peony root (chi shao), licorice root (gan cao), ligusticum root (chuan xiong), achyranthes root (niu xi).
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