Monday, 2 December 2013

Trigeminal neuralgia - Treatments in Herbal medicine perspective

Trigeminal neuralgia is defined as a condition of episodes of intense facial pain as a result of the affect of trigeminal nerve, containing 3 branches. The first (upper) branch includes the eye, eyebrow, and forehead. The second (middle) branch corresponds to the upper lip, upper teeth, upper gum, cheek, lower eyelid, and side of the nose. The third (lower) branch involves the lower lip, lower teeth, lower gum, and one side of the tongue. It also includes a narrow area that extends from the lower jaw in front of the ear to the side of the head(1). The pain is nearly always unilateral, and it may occur repeatedly throughout the day(2).
Treatment in herbal medicine perspective 
The aim of herbal treatment is to relieve pain or discomfort and support the function of the peripheral nerves.
1. Corydalis yanhusuo
In the study to evaluate the analgesic effect of Corydalis yanhusuo on trigeminal neuropathic a rat mode suggested that the analgesic effect of Yanhusuo involves the participation of CB1 receptors, suggesting that Yanhusuo may offer a useful therapeutic approach for trigeminal neuropathic pain(41).

2. Uyakujunkisan (UJS)
There is a report of a 65-year-old female who developed right-sided trigeminal neuralgia that was partially responsive to carbamazepine (CZ). The pain gradually increased in intensity and at 72 years of age she presented for herbal medicine therapy. Cranial MRI demonstrated vascular compression of the right trigeminal nerve at the cerebellopontine angle by the anterior inferior cerebellar artery. Although microvascular decompression was considered, UJS was prescribed after informed consent. After 3 weeks of treatment with UJS, dramatic improvement of symptoms permitted a decrease in CZ dose(42).

3. Saiko-Keishi-To (TJ-10)
In the study to verify the effectiveness of TJ-10, Wistar rats with chronic neuralgia of the mandibular nerve were prepared and TJ-10 was administered to them for 4 weeks following the manifestation of pain in the mandibular region. The result reveals that the rise in the pain threshold in the mandibular region is more significant in the rats administered TJ-10 than in those in the control group. However, in the tail flick test, no significant change was observed in the pain threshold. These findings suggest that TJ-10 is effective for controlling the manifestation of pain in ligatured nerves, by local effect, not by general analgesic effect(43).

4. Herbal formula containing Ganoderma lucidum, WTMCGEPP 
Administration of hot water extracts of a herbal formula containing Ganoderma lucidum, WTMCGEPP (Wisteria floribunda 0.38, Trapa natans 0.38, Miristica agrans 0.38, Coix lachryma-jobi 0.75, cultivated Ganoderma lucidum 0.75, Elfuinga applanata 0.38, tissue cultured Panax ginseng 0.3, and Punica granatum 0.38: numerals designate dry weight gram/dose), decreased herpes zoster pain for five Japanese patients suffering from shingles. Pain relief started within a few days of intake and was almost complete within 10 days. Two acute herpes zoster with manifestations including trigeminal nerve ophthalmia (both 74 years old), lower body zoster (70 years old), herpes zoster oticus (17 years old), and leg herpes (28 years old), responded quickly to treatment and no patient developed post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) after more than one year of follow-up(44)

5. Etc. 
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