Chinese Herbal and Acupuncture Treatment Protocols for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - Formulas, Protocols, TCM Diagnoses

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - Basics

Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the membrane surrounding the joints, causing pain, inflammation and stiffness in the joints. Other symptoms include fever, fatigue and a general sense of ill feeling. Unlike other forms of arthritis, RA affects joints in a symmetrical manner—meaning that if one wrist is affected by the disease, the other wrist will also be affected. RA commonly causes inflammation in the wrist and finger joints, however, it can also affect the neck, knees, ankles, elbows, feet, shoulders and hips. Rheumatoid arthritis can range in severity from mild to extreme, and is often chronic. Some people with RA experience peaks in the severity of their symptoms (called "flares"), while others' are constant.
Below you will find alternative and natural treatment options including those from a Chinese Medicine perspective for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - Diagnostic Patterns

The Chinese Medicine treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (ra) generally involves arriving at the appropriate TCM diagnosis or pattern. This pattern within the individual is what treatment is based on not the general condition (see treating the cause and not the symptoms).

The following patterns may represent the underlying contributing factors for the development of rheumatoid arthritis (ra):

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - Formulas From Our Store

The following herbal formulas are potentially useful in the process of treating rheumatoid arthritis (ra). For a complete list from our store with more details see our rheumatoid arthritis (ra) formula section.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - Questions

Need treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis (ra) and not finding the information you need?

Using our forums our staff and our community may offer guidance with regards to the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (ra).

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - Related Chinese Herbs

The following (2) chinese herbs may be useful for rheumatoid arthritis (ra). In most cases, however, treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine is done with herbal formulas based on the TCM patterns listed above instead of selecting herbs by function alone. When available, relevant formulas will appear below and/or in the store listings above.

The following (5) Formulas TCM Herbal Formulas May Be Useful For Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Du Huo Ji Sheng Wan

Si Miao Wan

  • Four Marvels Powder
    • Damp-Heat Bi-Syndromes in Chinese Medicine terms - arthritis with hot swollen joints. With the right underlying diagnosis both osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis would respond.
    • Gout.
    • Weakness and/or atrophy in the lower body with swelling.
    • Leukorrhea and other heat related discharge.
  • Expel Dampness
  • Clear Damp-Heat
  • Cautions
  • Pregnancy
    • Avoid in pregnancy.
    • Avoid in deficiency cases.
    • Generally not suitable for arthritis with cold/deficient signs.

Tong Qiao Huo Xue Wan

  • Unblock the Orifices and Invigorate the Blood Decoction
    • Blood stagnation particularly in the head - migraines and/or headaches with other sensory factors - auras, sound sensitivity, etc.
    • Dizziness, tinnitus, hair loss - with underlying blood stagnation signs.
    • Stroke, seizure disorder, post concussion headaches.
    • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Invigorate the Blood
  • Invigorate the Blood and Dispel Blood Stasis
  • Cautions
  • Pregnancy
    • Avoid during pregnancy.
    • Avoid with heavy menstrual bleeding.
    • Use only under direction if you are taking blood thinners.
    • Generally not for long term use.

Xi Guan Jie Bi Tong Wan

  • Knee Joint Pain Relief
    • Arthritis from damp heat in Chinese Medicine terms.
    • Knee issues with kidney and liver systems involvement.
    • Lower body pain and/or inflammation - hips, knees, ankles, toes.
    • Connective tissue disorders.
  • Expel Dampness
  • Dispel Wind-Dampness

Xian Fang Huo Ming Yin Wan

  • Immortals Formula For Sustaining Life
    • Generally for short-term use with early stage heat toxins - sores, carbuncles, boils, styes, acne.  Swollen and painful skin lesions with other heat signs (chills/fever). 
    • Breast abscesses, mastitis.
    • Uses for rheumatoid arthritis and/or psoriasis with the right underlying diagnosis.
    • Internal abscesses from blood stasis.
  • Clear Heat
  • Clear Heat and Relieve Toxicity
  • Cautions
    • Generally not for long-term use.
    • Use with caution with spleen qi deficiency.
    • Avoid with yin fire.

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