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Acute Leukemia and Traditional Chinese medicine
Causes of this disease:
This disease results from body deficiencies. Due to the lack of correct ‘qi’, the invasion of epidemic poison from the exterior into the interior, damaging Yin and Yin of the body. When the damages reach the marrow, the interior heat steams up, hurting the blood and meridian systems. In some cases, the everlasting poison consumes ‘qi’ and blood, and consequently ‘qi’ cannot contain the blood, and the spleens cannot control the blood. The overflow of blood manifests itself in the upper part as nose bleeding, tooth bleeding, coughing blood, or vomiting blood, while in the lower part it is manifest as blood in the urine, and uterine bleeding in women. Leukemia is a disease characterized as deficiency in the correct ‘qi’, excess in the pathogens, and moreover the mixture of the two. The deficiency in Jinqi is the interior factor whereas the epidemic poison is the extraneous factor. The whole process of this disease is complicated in that the correct ‘qi’ fights with the epidemic poison, with the presence of both deficiency and excess.
Classification of acute leukemia in TCM
There are four major categories in acute leukemia.
1. Deficiency in both Qi and Yin
Headache, weakness, paleness, low fever, warm palms and soles, self sweating, sweating during sleep, light colored tongue, thready and rapid pulse, or surging and rapid pulse. The principles of treatment constitute that of tonifying ‘qi’ and blood replenishes the Yin while eliminating pathogens. Commonly used herbs are: Astragalus membranaceus, Codonopsis pilosula, etc.
2. Excessive heat-poison
Fever, light bleeding, bone pains, swelling of liver and spleens, yellow tongue coating, rapid pulse or thready, slippery and rapid pulse. The principles of treatment are to clear the heat and alleviate the poison while restoring body resistance.
3. Heat-poison entering blood
Light or medium fever, gum, nose and skin bleedings, even the presence of bloody bubbles in the tongue body, or the swelling of lymph nodes, liver and spleens, thin and yellow tongue coating, rapid pulse. The principles of treatment are to clear the heat, alleviate the poison, to cool the blood, and stop bleeding while restoring body resistance.
4. Stagnant blood and phlegm mass
Characterized by the swelling of liver and spleens and lymph nodes, together with anemia, bleeding, low fever, stagnant blood speckles on the tongue body, rapid pulse. The treatment principle is to eliminate the stagnant blood, activate the blood, and dissolve the phlegm mass. The commonly used herbs are: Dongui, Paeonia lactiflora Pall, etc.
Chronic Leukemia and Traditional Herbal Medicine
In traditional Herbal Medicine, this disease is divided into three categories:
1. A deficiency in both ‘qi’ and blood - yellow complexion, weak and quiet, palpitation, self-sweating, cold in the four limbs, poor appetite, loose bowel, light colored lips and tongue, swelling of the tongue, tongue coating thin and white, pulse deep and weak or thready and rapid. The treatment principles consist in replenishing ‘qi’ and tonifying blood, and strengthening the spleens while driving away poison. The commonly used herbs are: Codonopsis pilousula (franch.) Nannf., Rehmannia glutinosa (Gaertn.) Libosch, etc.
2. Concentration of stagnated blood - swelling of the spleens as well as the liver, painful fullness in the chest, poor appetite, purple or dotted tongue body, pulse hesitant, wiry and slippery. The treatment principles include activating blood and dissolving stagnation plus expelling the poison. The commonly used herbs are cores of Prunus persica (L.) Bastch, Cathamus tinctorius L., etc.
3. Liver fire and phlegm heat - swelling of the spleens as well as the liver and the lymph nodes, high fever can not be alleviated by sweat, bleeding not so serious, head ache, joint pains, stitching pains in the chest bones, bitter in the mouth, dry throat, dried bowels, yellow urine, red tongue body, thick and greasy yellow tongue coating, wiry and slippery pulse. Purifying the liver and purging the fire, plus eliminating the phlegm and removing the sludge are the treatment principles. Commonly used herbs are: Donguai, aloe vera L.