Chinese blood tonics - time of administration may be important
by Paul Bergner
Medical Herbalism: 04-30-94 6(1):12
Researchers at Guang’anmen Hospital in Beijing administered a traditional Chinese herbal tonic formula to sixty-two patients receiving chemotherapy treatments over a six week period for a variety of carcinomas. Patients were divided into two matched groups. One group received the formula just before breakfast and lunch; the second group received it before lunch and dinner. The group receiving the formula earlier in the day had a statistically lower incidence of leukopenia (lowered white blood cell count), 4 of 31 cases (12.9%), than the group receiving the formula later in the day, 15/31 cases (48.4%) — (P 0.01). The chemotherapy completion rate in the early group was 96.8%. In the later group it was 74.2% — (p < 0.05).
The traditional Chinese formula, Yi Qi Sheng Xue Decoction, had the following recipe:
Radix Astralagi sea Hedysari 60 g
Radix Angelicae sinensis 12 g
Colla Corii Asini 12 g
Caulus Spatholobi 30 g
Folium Pyrrosiae 30 g
Fructus Ziziphi jujubae 12 g
Fructus Hordei germinatus (fresh) 20 g
Pericarpium citri Reticulatae 6 g
Radix Glycyrrhizae 5g
Up to three other non-tonic herbs were added to the formula of some patients, as needed, to modify nausea and vomiting or abdominal distension.
The formula consists of traditional Chinese Energy (qi)and Blood (xue) tonics. For example, astragalus and angelica are used in combination in traditional Chinese formulas to tonify and invigorate the xue after severe bleeding and for consumptive fatigue. Pyrrosia is used in combination with ziziphus for leukopenia. The authors note that as long ago as the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234 AD) it was recommended that qi and xue tonic combinations be given in the morning and before noon. They further point out that modem research demonstrates that the bone marrow cells, which generate blood, have their highest rate of proliferation from morning to noon. This trial not only demonstrates the blood-strengthening properties of traditional tonic formula, it verifies the traditional observation about the best time to administer them.
Yonghao L, Guiqing Y. “A comparative
clinical study on prevention and treatment with selected
chronomedication of leukopenia induced by chemotherapy.” Journal of
Traditional Chinese Medicine 1993;13(4):257-261