Ingredients, Functions, Indications, Warnings
Temperance ANX for insomnia due to alcohol withdrawal syndrome is based on Wen Dan Tang (Warm Gall Bladder Decoction). This formula first appeared in the text "Golden Mirror of the Medical Tradition" published in the year 1742. This formula cools heat and dries damp.
One common outcome of excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption is the appearance of "damp heat" in the body. While not everybody manifests this particular issue, most do. The dampness causes swelling in your face and probably other areas of your body. The heat causes the anxiety, panic, restlessness, irritability, etc. It also makes your gall bladder warm. Fortunately, there's a formula for warm gall bladders called Wen Dan Tang.
Not everybody who drinks too much will generate damp heat, in which case this formula may not work as well. If you'd like a formula that addresses your specific cause of anxiety, you can look into a Beyond Well Being Custom Formula just for you.
At the bottom of this page are a few paragraphs on how long this formula should take to work for you. Please see: "prognosis".
Calms Heart, clears mind.
To understand why Zhu Ru works, we'll first have to look at Alcohol's effect on the body. In short, it generates what TCM calls "damp-heat". Dampness is like saying that the humidity in your body is too high, while heat is more obvious in its meaning. It makes you feel warm and/or makes your face turn red.
The Heart stores the spirit according to TCM theory and is very sensitive to the heat that alcohol generates. This aggravates the Heart which causes the spirit to feel irritable or easily excited. Other symptoms of heat in the Heart include emotional volatility, moodiness, bad dreams, insomnia, rapid heart rate or palpitations, agitation, fever, a state of confusion and with phlegm (which is explained below) visual hallucinations. Zhu Ru addresses all of that.
These symptoms that are more profound such as hallucinations comes from a mixture of heat and phlegm in the Heart. Remember how alcohol causes damp and heat? If dampness goes unchecked, it turns into phlegm. Phlegm can get into the Heart and really muddy up your thinking. Zhu Ru is really for "phlegm heat" in the Heart which means it addresses both the symptoms of heat and phlegm in the Heart.
Note: Symptoms such as a state of confusion and visual hallucinations, fever, convulsions and "black outs" are considered a severe form of acute alcohol withdrawal and medical intervention is indicated which means, go see your doctor!
Dries clamminess, stops nausea.
Ban Xia focuses on the dampness left behind by alcohol which causes problems such as nausea, vomiting, and clammy skin. Ban Xia is among the most useful herbs available to dry damp and remove nausea.
Lightens fatigue, calms anxiety.
This herb stimulates the efficiency of the digestion to give you more energy. It also excretes dampness (through the urine) which will address fatigue that makes your body feel heavy. This herb also "calms the spirit" to address feeling jumpy, nervous or anxious.
Note to physicians: Because fu shen has a mild diuretic effect, the potential interaction with diuretic drugs exists which may lead to increased elimination of water and/or electrolytes. Use caution in patients taking any of the following drugs: chlorothiazide, hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide (Lasix), bumetanide (Bumex), and torsemide (Demadex). Source: Chen J. Recognition & Prevention of herb-drug interactions, Medical Acupuncture, Fall/Winter 1998/1999; volume 10/number 2;9-13
Reduces nausea, stimulates appetite.
Don't think of this herb so much as making you eat more, but if you're not eating anything, this herb will bring back your normal appetite. This may be related to the fact that Chen Pi also eliminates nausea.
Opens chest, reduces depression.
This herb dries damp in the chest which will eliminate the sense that you can't take a deep breath or a feeling of pressure in your chest. This herb's ability to dry this damp and/or phlegm in the chest along with its ability to move Qi makes it effective for many kinds of depression too, especially when accompanied by these particular physical sensations. "Moving Qi" is a concept unique to TCM and suggests either neurological or hormonal regulation.
Note to physicians: Because Zhi Shi has a mild diuretic effect, the potential interaction with diuretic drugs exists which may lead to increased elimination of water and/or electrolytes. Use caution in patients taking any of the following drugs: chlorothiazide, hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide (Lasix), bumetanide (Bumex), and torsemide (Demadex). Source: Liao Ning Zhong Yi Za Zhi (Liaoning Journal of Chinese Medicine), 1984; 10:32
Note: a crushing sensation in the chest may also indicate heart disease. Need more information? Check out the American Heart Association's page on the topic.
Harmonizes ingredients, reduces side-effects.
Gan Cao is commonly used in Chinese herbal formulas. It has a calming action on all of the herbs which mutes harsh medicinal properties that may give rise to side effects. Isn't it nice that we have an herb that makes all the other herbs safer?
Note to physicians: Gan Cao should be used with caution with cardiac glycosides, such as digoxin (Lanoxin), as potassium loss may increase the toxicity of the drug. Source: Wichtl, M. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals, 1994
Note to physicians: Gan Cao speeds the metabolism of drugs such as chloral hydrate, urethane, cocaine, picrotoxin, caffeine, pilocarpine, nicotine, and barbiturates, and treats overdose of these agents. Source: Zhong Yao Tong Bao (Journal of Chinese Herbology), 1986; 11(10):55
Note to physicians: Because many of the above listed side effects arise from sodium retention and potassium loss (through urine) one may limit the likelihood of these reactions with a potassium supplement that is readily available at your local grocery store called Musaceae Musa. If there is any history of hypertension (high blood pressure) this herb would be best avoided or taken only if you have the resources to monitor your blood pressure. The quantity found in Beyond Well Being formulas is really quite small, but there's nothing wrong with a little vigilance.
Note to physicians: Gan cao may alter the therapeutic effects of systemic corticosteroids such as cortisone, prednisone (Orasone), dexamethasone (Decadron), hydrocortisone (Cortef), methylprednisolone (Medrol). Source: Lancet 2000 Jan 8; 355(9198):134-8
Pacifies Spirit, nourishes calm.
Zhu Ru calms by clearing heat from the Heart, Ye Jiao Teng addresses the other cause of anxiety and nervousness. By "nourishing Blood" neurotransmitters may be regulated into functioning at a level more conducive to sanity. Thus, this herb effectively treats insomnia, irritability, and dream disturbed or fitful sleep.
Eliminates confusion, clears mind
This herb dries up the phlegm that has congealed in the Heart. This isn't real phlegm in the heart, its just the way that TCM describes things. Stick with me. Alcohol produces dampness. Dampness plus time equals phlegm. Phlegm that gets into the Heart causes hallucinations, confusion, unclear thinking, memory problems, etc. When the phlegm is removed from the Heart, thinking becomes more clear and confusion abates.
Note: Symptoms such as a state of confusion and visual hallucinations, fever, convulsions and "black outs" are considered a severe form of acute alcohol withdrawal. Medical intervention is indicated which means, go see your doctor!
Calms restlessness, eliminates irritability.
This is another pivotal herb in the treatment of the long term effects of alcohol. It calms restlessness and eliminates irritability by clearing heat from the Heart.
Slows heart-rate, eliminates palpitations.
This herb enters the Heart to eliminate phlegm which effectively treats both the physical heart (rapid heart rate or "tachycardia" and heart palpitations), as well as the TCM Heart's emotional components such as anxiety, irritability, restlessness, forgetfulness, and moodiness.
Note to physicians: Because Yuan Zhi has a mild diuretic effect, the potential interaction with diuretic drugs exists which may lead to increased elimination of water and/or electrolytes. Use caution in patients taking any of the following drugs: chlorothiazide, hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide (Lasix), bumetanide (Bumex), and torsemide (Demadex). Source: Chen, J. Recognition & Prevention of herb-drug interactions, Fall/Winter 1998/1999; volume 10/number 2; 9-13
Calms dreams, eliminates insomnia.
Hu Po is amber which is petrified tree sap. It is famous for calming the spirit during our sleep periods. During alcohol withdrawal, one's sleeping may be fitful, superficial, or interrupted by constant stirrings. TCM calls this "dream disturbed sleep". Hu Po treats that.
Note to physicians: Hu Po could potentiate the sedative effect of barbiturates including drugs such as antihistamines, narcotic analgesics, barbiturates, benzodiazepines and many others. Source: Zhong Yao Xue (Chinese Herbology), 1998; 670-671
Eliminates insomnia, absorbs sweat.
Suan Zao Ren is another one of those herbs that "nourishes Blood" to address insomnia, restlessness, and heart palpitations. Suan Zao Ren is famous for deep restful sleep. While its sedative effect is no where near as strong as a cold tablet, it is believed to have the ability to stimulate the production of those neurotransmitters in the brain that reduce fidgeting, restlessness, and insomnia. Suan Zao Ren's secondary function is to absorb inappropriate sweating.
Note to physicians: Suan Zao Ren could potentiate the sedative effect of barbiturates including drugs such as antihistamines, narcotic analgesics, barbiturates, benzodiazepines and many others. Source: Chang Yong Zhong Yao Xian Dai Yan Jiu Yu Lin Chuan (Recent Study & Clinical Application of Common Traditional Chinese Medicine), 1995; 489:491