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Chinese Materia Medica(2)

1. Herbs for Relieving Exterior Syndromes (Pungent and Warm)

1) ephedra

2) cinnamon twig

3) schizonepeta

4) ledebouriella root

5) perilla leaf

6) fresh ginger

7) notopterygium root

8) dahurian angelica root

9) chinese lovage root

10) spring onion

11) magnolia flower

2. Herbs for Relieving Exterior Syndromes (Pungent and Cool)

(to be continued)


Tragedy of "Chronic Fatigue"

Herbal Medicine Cures Chronic Fatigue
Chapter 1

Naomi, a 28-year-old woman working for a bank in Tokyo, has been unable to get rid of fatigue for nearly a year. Moreover, the degree of her fatigue has intensified since about half a year ago. She spends her days off in bed, unable to enjoy them. Sometimes she is not even sure whether she is awake or asleep. She spiritlessly waits for Monday mornings to come, unable to care about anything at all.

She summoned up her strength and went to the hospital several times on Saturdays, but the hospitals did not take her symptoms seriously, dismissing them as a small degree of fatigue, or at least so she felt. Nothing wrong was ever found in her blood tests or urinalysis, and after the tests the doctors always told her “There is nothing wrong with you. You will get better if you stay stress free.”

At those times, she thought, "Yes, that would be the obvious cure, but HOW can I avoid stress?" In her mind, she argued with her doctors, "Isn’t it unusual not to be able to get rid of fatigue for over a year?" But she couldn't say this outloud. She always ended up going home feeling like a loser, like the doctors and the nurses had given her the cold shoulder, as if to say, “So what if you feel fatigued?”

Even she herself thought somewhere in her mind that fatigue is something that should disappear after a good night’s sleep. This made her feel more ashamed of the fact that she couldn't get rid of the fatigue herself. But however positive she tried to be, her fatigue did not go away. She asked herself, “Oh, am I a hopeless woman?”

Western Medicine Cannot Cure Chronic Fatigue

When fatigue lasts for over half a year, it is called chronic fatigue. It is considered chronic fatigue even if the degree of fatigue does not hinder the patient’s daily routine. It has nothing to do with whether other symptoms are spotted or whether the patient has an illness.

In Naomi’s case, she felt strong fatigue, lost her appetite, felt chills in her hands and feet, and could not sleep. Moreover, she also found herself unable to concentrate on her job. As a result, she became less efficient and made many mistakes.

The doctors, however, found nothing wrong with her: no liver dysfunction and no anemia. Her symptoms did not correspond to that of chronic fatigue syndrome either, a syndrome much talked about a while ago.

To be diagnosed with the syndrome, the patient's symptoms must match the criteria set by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and the Center for the Prevention of Epidemics of the United States. These conditions include being unable to go to work or school for several days a month for over half a year, and the doctors being unable to diagnose the patient with any specific illness.

Naomi’s case was clearly that of chronic fatigue. A possible cause might be the stress she experienced at the bank she worked for due to the fact that the bank was losing money and she did not get along with her co-workers.


  • Chronic fatigue is when one feels fatigue for over six months.
  • Chronic fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome are different.

Regrettably, it is not possible to cure chronic fatigue with western medicine. The same goes for chronic fatigue syndrome. There is no specific cure for these symptoms at this point and the best way possible to deal with them is to take vitamins.

Taking vitamins has worked well in a few cases. For example, a patient who took a large dose of Vitamin C (4g) per day, which helps remove active oxygen from the body, was given more strength. Another patient, who took Vitamin B12, which helps reduce fatigue through attainment of sound sleep, was cured of a sleep disorder. However, only a few people are completely cured through these methods.

Chronic Fatigue is Clearly Increasing

The number of people suffering from chronic fatigue, like Naomi, is increasing each year. In a national survey conducted in 1985, 66.4 % of the people surveyed admitted to having fatigue. Out of these, 71.7 % answered that the fatigue disappears after a night of sound sleep. However, in an epidemiological survey of 4,000 people conducted in 1998 by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (currently the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare), 60% of the people admitted to having fatigue, of which more than half (35.8%) answered they had been suffering from it for over six months.

Chronic fatigue is increasing not only in Japan, but also in the United States. According to a national survey, 24% of the U.S. population answered they have felt fatigue for over two consecutive weeks. Out of these, 60% answered they could not figure out the cause. In addition, 2.2 % of the population answered they were suffering from fatigue so severely it had been affecting their daily lives for over six months.

Fatigue is thought to be a warning bell the body lets out when it needs rest, but its cause and mechanism are yet to be solved. The discovery of specific western remedies has therefore been delayed. However, western medicine is not the only medicine: There are many traditional medicines in the world which have achieved great medical results. Traditional medicine is a treatment which makes use of natural ingredients to cure illnesses.

Traditional medicine can cure chronic fatigue.It is a kind of medicine that has developed with the evolution of the human race, a cure which examines the human body as a whole, not just individual organs or parts of the body like western medicine. In other words, while western medicine examines particular diseases, symptoms, and individual parts of the body, traditional medicine examines the human body as a whole.

Let me introduce to you how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can cure chronic fatigue. TCM was systematized a long time ago, mixing Indian Medicine, Tibetan Medicine, and Arabic Medicine among others.

Today, more and more doctors who practice western medicine are taking notice of TCM as a cure that exceeds the limits of western medicine.

- Preview of the next chapter -

Chinese herbs cured Naomi’s chronic fatigue! The next chapter will explain how it was done.