While most of us know that Acupuncture & East Asian Medicine effectively treats conditions such as neck pain, lower back pain, and migraines, it is actually a highly evolved and fairly complete system of medicine that applies to a wider than imagined range of symptoms.
By addressing underlying imbalances that allow conditions to persist, acupuncture and Chinese herbs help the body regain balance and heal itself. Besides resolving the ailments mentioned, acupuncture and herbs can also remedy skin conditions as a stand-alone treatment or in tandem with conventional Western medicine.
K, a new client, recently arrived in my office with a large periungual wart on her finger. Half of it was under her fingernail. Tricky.
For more than two years, she had suffered through a variety of Western treatments. A daily application of apple cider vinegar achieved nothing. Neither did a dermatologist’s regular scraping of the wart with a specialized razor blade. Having it frozen with liquid nitrogen proved fruitless. Taking DPCP (diphenylcyclopropenone) and SADBE (squaric acid dibutyl ester) compromised her immune system and triggered horrible rashes over her entire body. K also endured four excruciating Laser Genesis sessions. As a result of these treatments, she developed several infections/abscesses. Most of them required oral and topical antibiotics, one of which entered her lymph, sending her to the ER.
Otherwise fairly healthy, though a little energy deficient and stressed from raising three young children and working part-time, K also had neck and shoulder pain from carrying kids for seven years.
Using herbs and acupuncture for warts:
I knew that it might take a while for my treatments to work. K agreed to a course of herbs and 12 acupuncture sessions.
Acupuncture would regulate her immune system—referred to in Oriental medicine as her ‘defensive qi’—and improve her blood and energy circulation. To help K nourish her blood and regulate her liver, I prescribed herbs to take internally. Because I also attended to her neck and shoulder pain, K’s health insurance covered the acupuncture treatments.
Half of K’s wart was under the fingernail, so I hit the books and developed a custom herbal formula for direct application. I went to Chinatown in Oakland to buy raw herbs. When I ground up my mixture of them and added cider vinegar, there was an exciting explosion of bubbles. Although my formula smelled and looked potent, alas, after three weeks the wart had not changed.
We switched gears and applied a single herb, Ya Dan Zi or Fructus Brucea. Usually prescribed for malaria or dysentery, it is considered toxic and should not be used internally.
Twice daily, K ground a single seed of Ya Dan Zi, mixed it with a drop of water, placed it on her wart, and covered it with a bandage. After doing this for a week, she reported a clear discharge and pain where the wart was. We switched from mixing the herb with water to mixing it with antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
The next week, K’s wart was significantly smaller. A month later, it was gone.
K is ecstatic. Even though the type of wart she had typically disappears on its own after three years, she believes that herbs and acupuncture for warts really made the difference for her. Her insurance company must be delighted, too. It paid over $10,000 for ineffective “solutions” and their side effects before the problem was solved by acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.