Neuropathy: Burn Me, Stab Me, Shoot Me
We touched on our search for some relief from peripheral neuropathy in our August blog post, QUARTERLY NEUROLOGY FOLLOW-UP. You’ll find an explanation of the type of neuropathic pain connected with Superficial Siderosis in MANAGING NEUROPATHIC PAIN. Sharp jolting stabs of burning pain across one or both feet was making it impossible to sleep.
A short trial run of the prescription medication Lyrica was discontinued due to some very off-putting side effects. We were trying to avoid the opiate road for as long as possible, so in August we turned to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
A tincture made from boiled rhizomes of the Corydalis Yanhusuo plant has been used to treat pain since the eighth century by TCM practitioners. Modern day researchers have identified twenty alkaloids, including tetrahydropalmatine (THP), which acts as a sedative and analgesic, as well as dl-Tetrahydropalmatine, Corydaline, Protopine, Tetrahydrocortisone, Bulbocapnine, Leonticine, Corybulbine-3 and Tetrahydro Columbamine.
Corydalis has been used as an analgesic and antispasmodic to reduce pain. THP acts on the central nervous system to decrease nerve pain, and researchers noted that the herb was effective in reducing nerve pain in Seventy-eight percent of the patients tested. TCM practitioners use Corydalis to treat anxiety, restless leg syndrome, as a sedative, counteract insomnia and is one of the ingredients in some TCM herbal preparations for Parkinson’s disease.
The best thing about Corydalis is the fact even though it is related to the poppy family it doesn’t cause any dependence problems nor will you experience a drug tolerance build-up as is so often the case with prescription opioids.
Wading Through The Sales Pitch
When you Google Corydalis you will find hundreds of online companies hawking it in so many forms it will make your head spin. You can purchase it in the natural dried root form, pills or capsules. We chose an herbal blend produced at a cGMP-certified facility and imported under U.S. FDA guidelines.
Yan Hu Suo Zhi Tong Pian (Corydalis Relaxe™) 40 grams in 200 mg 5:1 strength. One tablet is equal to 1 gram of raw herb. The tablets are a blend containing:
|Rhizoma Corydalis yanhusuo|
Radix Angelicae Dahuricae
Rhizoma Cyperi Rotundi
Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong
|(Yan Hu Suo)|
The tabs are pretty small which is a good thing considering Gary takes five tablets three times a day. A bottle of 200 pills cost $10.99 and lasts about 13 days.
Is It Worth It?
15 tablets a day. I know you’re asking, is it worth it?. The answer after three months is YES YES YES! It took awhile to kick in. I imagine like most natural remedies it takes time for the herbs to build up in your system. The first month it was kind of like uh, are we wasting our money? He kept taking them since we had bought them. The second month, hmmm? One day in October it just hit out of nowhere that the burning, stabbing, shooting pain had disappeared. A slow, gradual lessening that crept up and said surprise! Have good nights sleep. Enjoy putting your feet on the floor in the mornings again.
We combine the 15 tablets a day regimen with one 600 mg of Alpha Lipoic Acid per the recommendation of our neurologist. This treatment has been so successful our hematologist took down the information and protocol to pass on to some of his oncology patients who suffer from Chemo induced neuropathy. We’ve been purchasing ours from www.activeherb.com, but I believe this blend is available from other vendors too.
We can’t promise everyone will have the same results, but for now, we are thankful it’s working.