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Aging

Related Health Condition


Aging
Introduction
Aging is a sign of degeneration in an organism's structure,
metabolism, and physiological function. It is a physiological
phenomenon of the human body that occurs naturally as it
enters the middle age. Clinically, aging is often associated with
symptoms such as slow thinking, dried skin, slowed
movements, decreased memory capacity, forgetfulness, and
unstable moods, etc. In traditional Chinese medicine, aging is
considered a deficiency syndrome, and more specifically, a
kidney deficiency syndrome.
Etiology/Pathogenesis
Aging is affected by many factors. Hereditary factors, diet,
workplace-related stress, and the surrounding environment all
play a role in the aging process. These adverse factors can
cause disturbance to the functions of visceral organs, lead to qi
and blood irregularities, and upset the balance between yin and
yang. Long-term exposure to these factors can weaken the
kidney-qi, which in turn leads to upset balances. Meanwhile,
traditional Chinese medicine considers the kidney as where life
springs from, and as one grows older, the kidney-qi becomes
gradually impaired, and the functions of visceral organs begin
to decline. Hence, the organism's aging process.(1)
Primary Treatments with Chinese Medicinal Herbs
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan
Ingredients: Shu Di Huang (Processed Rehmannia), Shan Zhu
Yu (Cornus), Shan Yao (Dioscorea), Ze Xie (Alisma), Fu Ling
(Hoelen), Mu Dan Pi (Moutan)
Clinical Application:
Diabetes: A study treated 53 cases of diabetes with a variation
of this formula (one dose daily; treated for 20 days), and
reported that the treatment was significantly effective in 46
cases, effective in 5 cases, and with no response in 2 cases.(2)
Another study treated 65 cases of noninsulin-dependent
diabetes with a variation of this formula. Of the 65 cases, 16
had a blood sugar content of 7.7-8.33mmol/L, 34 of 8.3413.88mmol/L, and 15 greater than 13.88mmol/L. The patients
were treated with one dose daily (water decoction taken orally
five times a day), and the results were as follows: the
treatment was significantly effective in 30 cases, effective in 28
cases, and with no response in 7 cases.(3)
Nephritis: A study reported of resolving 16 cases of nephritis
with this a treatment based on this formula (with two additional
ingredients, Ye Mu Cao and Ban Bian Lian, added to the
formula). Of the 16 cases, 10 were of chronic and 4 of acute
nephritis, with the remaining 2 of latent nephritis.(4)
Kidney and ureter stone: Of 32 cases of urinary system stones
treated with a variation of this formula (one dose daily in water

decoction), one study reported, 30 cases passed the stone(s),


with only 2 cases with no response.(5)
Hyperthyroidism: A study treated 31 cases of hyperthyroidism
with a variation of this formula. Of the 31 cases, 28 manifested
a diffue goiter, 15 cases a vascular murmur, 13 an exorbitism,
29 a significant weight loss, 28 an abnormal heart rate (higher
than normal), and all cases had a higher-than-normal iodine
uptake rate. After a treatment of between 15 and 20 doses,
most cases experienced a significant improvement in the
symptoms, with the iodine uptake rate significantly lowered and
returned to normal, and the vascular murmur significantly
decreased or disappeared.(6)
Tumor and cancer: One study reported of treating 102 cases of
various malignant tumors with this formula. Since day one of
their concurrent chemotherapy, all cases started taking the
formula orally, three times daily, each time 10ml. A treatment
for 20 consecutive days was found to have enhanced the effect
of, and lessened the side effects of, the concurrent
chemotherapy.(7) Another study reported of using a variation
of this formula to treat 48 cases of thyroid adenocarcinoma
with satisfactory results. Arrived at by adding with Mu Li, Xia
Ku Cao, and Bei Mu (Zhe) to the basic formula, the variation
was administered to patients in a water decoction one dose
daily (taken twice as first and second decoctions) for one to two
months. The results are as follows: 26 cases significantly
improved, 21 cases improved, and one case with no response,
tallying an overall effective rate of 98%.(8)
Other Treatments with Chinese Medicinal Herbs
Tong Bu I
Zhou, et al. randomly divided up a group of 56 aged patients to
study the effects of aging with a formula called Tong Bu I (the
ingredients of the formula include Ren Shen Ye, Rou Cong
Rong, He Shou Wu, Zhi Shi, processed Da Huang, etc.). The
results showed that the formula can improve various aging
symptoms, regulate the immune and the endocrine systems,
cleanse free radicals, and regulate E. coli. Compared with Tong
Bu II (Ren Sheng Ye, Rou Cong Rong, He Shou Wu, etc.), the
difference in effectiveness was significant (P<0.05, P<0.01).(9)
Ling Zhi of Fu Zhe
Chen, et al. studied the anti-aging effect of Ling Zhi of Fu Zhe.
They randomly divided a group of aged outpatients into a
treatment group (Ling Zhi of Fu Zhe group) and a comparison
group (regular Ling Zhi group). The results showed that both
treatments were effective in treating the clinical symptoms of
aging, e.g., they both increased the percentages of Tlymphocyte subgroups CD3, CD4, increased the activity of NK
cells, and raised the SOD level. Overall, though, the treatment
group had results superior to those of the comparison group.
(10)
Huang Qi
Zhao, et al. studied Huang Qi injection's effect on the serum
SOD readings of aged patients. The results showed that the
treatment significantly raised the patients' SOD levels.(11)

Yu Ping Feng San


Zhang studied the effect of a modification of Yu Ping Feng San
on aged patients' immunity, and found that a two-month
treatment could significantly improve the patient's cold
symptoms and weariness, and increase their lymphocyte
transformation rate.(12)
Cong Nao Tang
Yang, et al. treated 44 Alzheimer's disease patients with Cong
Nao Tang (modifications made to suit individual patients). The
formula consisted of Huang Jin, Bai He, Gui Ban, Han Lian Cao,
Wu Wei Zi, Lian Zi, He Shou Wu, Shi Chang Pu, Ci Shi, and
Sheng Qu. The results indicated that the treatment was
significantly effective in improving the readings of these
indicators: HDS, TC, TG, T (male), and E2 (female) (P<0.010.05).(13)
Hong Jin Tian Jiao Nang
Hu, et al. used Hong Jin Tian Jiao Nang to treat 160 cases of
old-age deficiency syndromes (of both qi and blood deficiencies,
or both spleen and kidney deficiencies). Results: the treatment
was significantly effective in 54% of the cases, and effective in
87% of the cases. Compared with the control group, both
numbers were significantly different (P<0.01, P<0.05,
respectively).(14)
Bu Shen Yan Shou Jiao Nang
Wang, et al. studied the effect of Bu Shen Yan Shou Jiao Nang
on aging symptoms. They selected 40 patients aged 60 or older
who were suffering from kidney and qi deficiencies. Half the
patients were treated with the formula, and the other half
served as a control group. The results showed that the
treatment significantly decreased the aging symptoms
(P<0.01).(15)
Wei Er Ye
Wu, et al. used Wei Er Ye (made from Xi Yang Shen, Dong
Chong Xia Cao, Huang Qi, etc.) to treat 50 cases of old-age
deficiency syndromes. Results: 48 cases significantly improved,
29 cases improved, and 3 cases with no response. The total
effective rate was 96.25%. The treatment effected significant
differences in both SOD (increased, P<0.001) and LPO
(decreased, P<0.001) readings, while both T and E2 readings
showed a slight tendency to rise.(16)
Liu Wei Di Huang Tang
Bai, et al. used Liu Wei Di Huang Tang to treat 32 cases of liver
and kidney-yin deficiencies. The herbal formula consisted of
Shou Di, Shan Yu Rou, Shan Yao, Fu Ling, Ze Xie, and Mu Dan
Pi. One unit of treatment called for administering one dose of
the formula daily for 10 days. The results: 15 cases
significantly improved, 15 cases improved, and 2 cases with no
response. The effective rate was 93.8%.(17)
Other Treatments
Qiu, et al. studied Shou Wu Jian Shen Cha's effect on regulating
lipid metabolism and counteracting aging. The tea formula was
made from tea leaves, He Shou Wu, Ju Hua, Sang Shen, etc.,
and administered twice daily for four weeks. They reported that
the treatment notably improved the patients' aging symptoms
like weariness and weakness, and that it significantly increased

the HDL-C and SOD levels, and significantly decreased


APOB100 and the APOB100/APOA-I ratio.(18)
Acupuncture & Acupressure
Treatment with Acupuncture
Wei, et al. studied the effect of acupuncture on regulating
sexual hormones. Shenshu (B23) and Taixi (K3) were selected
as the main acupoints for treatment, while other points were
included when appropriate in accordance with TCM's
differentiation theory. In manipulating the needles, the liftingthrusting-twirling method was used. One unit of treatment
consisted of 20 daily sessions. Results: the treatment was
effective in increasing the testosterone level in the male
patients, and the estrogen-2 level in females patients, with the
effect being more pronounced on patients of kidney-yang
deficiency (as compared to on patients of kidney-yin
deficiency).(19)
Treatment with Moxibustion
Xiong, et al. studied the effect of moxibustion on red blood cell
immune adherence activity in patients with kidney deficiency.
They used the moxa-cone method at the following points:
Feishu (B13), Pishu (B20), Shenshu (B23), Zusanli (S36),
Dazhui (D14), Guangyuan (Ren4). One unit of treatment called
for five moxa-cones on each point every other day for a total of
15 cones. The results showed that the treatment made a
significant difference (P<0.01).(20)
Pan studied the effect of scar-producing moxibustion on aging
by applying moxa cones directly to Zusanli (S36) and Juegu
(GB39) on 50 patients. After the treatment, the aging
symptoms were noticeably lessened (P<0.01). The symptoms
that showed the biggest improvement included sourness,
weakness in the waist and knees, limbs' aversion to coldness,
weariness, and night urination.(21)
Zhao, et al. used cake-separated moxibustion to delay aging in
223 cases. They used the herbs Huang Qi, Dang Gui, Bu Gu
Zhi, Xian Lin Pi, Da Huang, Dan Sheng, etc. to make an herbal
cake with a thickness of 0.8 millimeters. Two groups of
acupuncture points were used. One group consisted of
Shanzhong (Ren17), Zhongwan (Ren 12), Shenque (Ren 8),
Guangyuan (Ren 4), and Zusanli (S36). The second group
consisted of Dazhui (D14), Shenshu (B 23), Pishu (B20). The
two groups of points were alternated in receiving the
treatment, which was administered every other day, one moxacone per point. One unit of treatment consisted of 24 treatment
sessions. The results showed that the treatment effected
significant increases (P<0.05 or P<0.01) in: NK (to
31.67(0.32%, which, although close to the result from the
comparison group (34.91(6.21%), was significantly higher at
the pre-treatment level), T-lymphocyte subgroups CD4 and
CD3, and (-EP content.(22)
Zhan, et al. studied the effect of moxibustion on the general
health of 40 aged people who lived in apartments
independently. They treated Shenque (Ren 8) and Zusanli
(S36) each for 10 minutes every other day for two consecutive

months, and found that the treatment significantly increased


the patients' serum EGF level (measured on empty stomach)
(P<0.01).(23)