Ulcerative Colitis is a serious disease involving inflammation of the colon and lower intestines that requires immediate medical attention. According to the Mayo Clinic there are no known cures of ulcerative colitis, but there are a number of pharmaceutical therapies that aim to reduce inflammation and provide relief from some of the symptoms like diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Recently, many people suffering from ulcerative colitis have turned to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for alternative treatments or even cures for this disorder.
TCM is a multifaceted healing modality that includes bodywork therapy, like acupuncture, as well as the extensive use of herbal combinations and dietary recommendations. TCM developed over many centuries in ancient China and is based on a philosophy that includes the idea that disease is caused by blockages and malfunctions of energy channels in the body. This has not been verified by science, although some of protocols have been studied in clinical trials with some positive results.
Chinese treatments of ulcerative colitis include both dietary and herbal therapies. According to acupuncture.com, probiotics, evening primrose oil and psyllium husks may be beneficial to those suffering from ulcerative colitis. According to Subhuti Dharmananda, PhD, the director of the Institute for Traditional Medicine in Portland, Oregon, the Chinese herbal formula Jianpiling is a proven treatment for ulcerative colitis.
In a study conducted by Chinese researchers Chen ZS, Zhang ZQ, and Nie ZW at the Military Hospital in Harbin, China and published in the journal Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi in August 1990, Jianpiling was tested on rats with ulcerative colitis. Jianpiling was found to have anti-diarrhoea, anti-infection and tissue repairing properties as well as the ability to lower antibody levels associated with ulcerative colitis.
Jianpiling is made from the herbs Astragalus, Codonopsis, Atractylodes, Angelica, roasted Ginger, Licorice, Peony, Saussurea, Mume, Catechu and Corydalis. According to Dharmananda, this combination is used traditionally as a remedy for spleen complaints, which are responsible for most intestinal disorders, including ulcerative colitis.
The theory behind the Chinese dietary and herbal treatment for ulcerative colitis is that spleen chi is necessary to maintain the health of the intestines, according to Dharmananda. He also recommends the simple combination of ginseng and astragalus to treat ulcerative colitis.