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IBS due to Toxic Heat
This is basically an infection. Western medicine likes to throw antibiotics at anything like this and rightly so. They work, but what they also do is reek havoc on your digestive system as they kill off friendly bacteria in your guts that help you digest your food. Too much antibiotic therapy and you're left with no infection, and no digestion either. That ain't cool.
Chinese herbal formulas have both antibiotic and antiviral actions. There are even many herbs that we have that kill off infections even though they have no discernible anti-biotic action. Go figure.
The toxic heat type tongue is, by definition more red than the usual pink. This image isn't really the best illustration of the tongue associated with toxic heat, but it comes close. Notice the red spots on the left side of the tongue? Those represent heat poking through the pre-existing dampness.
In your typical formula for Toxic Heat in the intestines we not only include herbs that are cold in nature which is something like an antibiotic, but we add a few herbs to protect the rest of the digestion at the same time. Chinese herbs don't often work as quickly as antibiotic therapies, but they're much more safe. I think that this is an important distinction. If you're in a hurry, say you're bleeding profusely and the diarrhea is causing problems with your body fluids, then get in there with the Western medicine and do what you gotta do. However, if you can hang in there and let the herbs do their job, then we most certainly have some safe alternatives for you.
If you're unsure as to which is more appropriate I suggest you just ask around. Get your MD's opinion on how crucial it is that the problem be taken care of immediately. Depending on the MD, they may or may not have anything favorable to say about Chinese herbal therapy. That is to be expected. But that isn't really the information you need anyway. What you need to know is how long you have to make a decision. If you're losing a great deal of blood or body fluids through diarrhea and these symptoms are posing their own health risk, then the antibiotic therapies should be utilized. If you are not anemic or dehydrated and you've got time for the slower but safer herbal therapies, then you have a choice between the two.
Another question that you might consider running by your MD is whether or not there is any possibility of the bleeding in your large intestine coming from a tumor. Cancers that are discovered early on have a much better cure rate than those that are ignored for a long time. Chinese medicine can work for cancers too, but it is perhaps better to discuss these options in concert with your MD to determine how much time you have to consider the slower process of treatment with Chinese herbs for this particular issue.
If you've come to this page with a chief complaint of bloody stools, ask your practitioner about Huai Hua San (Sophora Japonica Flower Powder.) It really isn't a powder, that's the old way of making it, nowadays it is available in a wide variety of forms such as capsules.
The bottom line is that Chinese herbal medicine has many answers for the wide variety of complaints that fall under the category of infection. Just be sure and get help that is appropriate to the problem. If it's an acute life threatening thing, go to the ER. If not, come to TCM.
All of the formulas mentioned in this article are widely available at Chinese medicine pharmacies, though the so-called patent medicines that you'll find there aren't always as strong as they could be. These formulas come in a variety of different forms and strengths and your friendly neighborhood herbalist can assist you in obtaining them as is appropriate.
You can purchase any of the formulas mentioned in this article by simply clicking on their names. Another option is to obtain this formula modified for your unique situation from Beyond Well Being.