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Chinese Herbs for Stroke Recovery and Prevention

A stroke is a serious medical event with some potentially serious consequences. But did you know that taking quick, restorative action after a stroke can help reduce the lingering effects of stroke? Or that there are ways you can reduce your risk of stroke – including taking Chinese herbal medicine?

While modern medicine has made incredible advances in treating stroke, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers complementary approaches that might enhance recovery and possibly prevent a stroke in the future.

Read on to explore how these natural TCM remedies could help.

What is a Stroke?

Along with heart attacks, strokes (or “brain attacks”) are one of the most common cardiovascular diseases.

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or cut off. This disruption prevents the brain tissue from receiving the oxygen and nutrients it needs to survive, causing cells to die in just a few minutes.

There are two main types of stroke:

  1. Ischemic Stroke: This type accounts for about 87% of all strokes and occurs when a blood clot blocks or narrows an artery leading to the brain and reduces blood flow.
  2. Hemorrhagic Stroke: This occurs when an artery in the brain bursts, leading to bleeding (hemorrhage) in or around the brain.

Common symptoms of stroke include sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body. Confusion, trouble speaking, trouble seeing in one or both eyes, difficulty walking, dizziness, or a sudden severe headache with no known cause are also common early signs.

After a stroke has happened, there can be lingering (and often devastating) issues, including paralysis, speech difficulties, and emotional disturbances. The post-stroke symptoms that arise depend on the part of the brain affected and the speed of treatment.

Here’s the good news: recognizing the symptoms early on can greatly enhance the effectiveness of the initial treatment and your overall recovery process.

Are Strokes Preventable?

While not all strokes can be prevented due to factors like genetics and age, lifestyle does play a role in your risk level. How likely you are to have a stroke is linked to how healthy your cardiovascular system is.

Issues like unmanaged high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes are significant risk factors. But, these are all factors that can be managed through diet, exercise, medication, and holistic supplements (especially Chinese herbs).

When it comes to treating a stroke, “the sooner the better.” Getting immediate medical care is essential. Then, as soon as the person has stabilized (ideally within 1 week to 2 months after a stroke), starting rehabilitation through physical therapy, acupuncture, and Chinese medicine is the key to a successful recovery.

Chinese Medicine and Stroke Recovery

In TCM, health issues like strokes are seen as imbalances in the body. Post-stroke conditions such as paralysis or speech difficulties are often viewed as blockages of Qi (vital energy) and blood. To restore balance and enhance recovery, TCM uses a holistic approach to address the root cause and restore balance and function.

This is not all done through one single magic pill or formula, but through understanding and treating the underlying patterns specific to each individual.

Herbal Solutions

Chinese herbs have been used to support stroke recovery for centuries. For example, herbs like Buchang Naoxintong have been proven to improve outcomes after an ischemic stroke by enhancing blood circulation.

When using herbs post-stroke, caution is essential—herbs that thin the blood to enhance circulation are not always the best choice for those with hemorrhagic stroke or high blood pressure.

That’s why we recommend consulting with a qualified TCM practitioner and herbalist who can recommend safe and appropriate herbal formulas based on your unique health profile and recovery needs.

Acupuncture for Stroke

Beyond herbs, acupuncture is another therapy of TCM that has a successful track record for improving stroke rehabilitation. Thin needles are inserted into specific body points to stimulate the nervous system, which can potentially enhance neuroplasticity, nerve regeneration, muscle reactivation, and recovery of motor function and mobility. It’s often used in conjunction with conventional rehabilitation therapies.

Chinese Herbal Formulas for Stroke Recovery 

Recovering from a stroke is a personal journey. If you’ve suffered a stroke, you will have a unique set of circumstances and considerations to determine the best overall recovery plan for you. Speak with a TCM practitioner to discover the best formula or formula plan for your rehabilitation.

That said, there are some helpful Chinese herbal formulas that can help you manage or eliminate certain post-stroke symptoms.

Tian Ma Gou Teng Tang

Best for: Managing post-stroke headaches and paralysis

Tian Ma Gou Teng is a modern Chinese herbal tincture designed for imbalances relating to circulation in the upper body, which can be particularly helpful for stroke recovery. This remedy helps soothe symptoms commonly experienced after a stroke, like partial paralysis, muscle spasms, and facial twitching. It works by cooling the body’s internal heat, calming nerve activity, and supporting vital organ health.

Vine Essence Pills

Best for: Fatigue, weakness, and overall recovery

This tonic formula is designed to promote the health of muscles, tendons, bones, and joints, which can be crucial for individuals experiencing stiffness and aches post-stroke. It contains potent, adaptogenic Chinese herbs like Ren Shen (ginseng), Dang Gui (Angelica root), and Gan Cao (Licorice root) which enhances the overall health of the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, immune, and nervous systems. Since post-stroke recovery often involves dealing with fatigue, low energy, and poor circulation, Vine Essence Pills help by boosting energy levels and improving blood flow.

Wood Lock (Wo Tong Yick) Medicated Oil

Best for: Nerve and muscle stimulation (topical)

This topical solution is great for stimulating nerves and muscles that may be weak or unresponsive after a stroke. Wood Lock oil helps to awaken the sensory pathways and stimulate muscle activity, which can help improve your physical therapy outcomes and reverse paralysis and mobility issues post-stroke. Massaging it into the skin also promotes blood flow and eases muscle stiffness to support well-being and your healing process.

Chinese Herbal Formulas for Stroke Prevention & Cardiovascular Health

Prevention is the best medicine. And prevention is also where Chinese medicine shines.

Most TCM formulas are designed to help keep the body functioning normally so as to prevent serious health conditions (like stroke) from happening in the first place.

Consider adding these heart-healthy Chinese herbs for well-being into your self-care routine.

Cholesterol Support Tablets by Lao Wei

Best for: Cardiovascular wellness and managing cholesterol

Excess cholesterol in the bloodstream can lead to the buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. These deposits make the arteries stiff and narrow, increasing the risk of clots that can travel to the brain and cause a stroke. By keeping cholesterol levels in check, Cholesterol Support Tablets help maintain clear and flexible arteries, supporting overall cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of stroke.

Jiao Gu Lan (Gynostemma) Liquid Extract

Best for: Cardiovascular wellness and longevity

Jiao Gu Lan is a versatile herbal extract that may help prevent strokes by promoting overall cardiovascular health. This powerful herb supports normal heart function and helps manage cholesterol levels by lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and raising HDL (good cholesterol). By controlling blood pressure and aiding in blood sugar regulation, Jiao Gu Lan ensures that blood vessels remain healthy and less prone to the atherosclerosis process—where arteries can become narrowed and stiff, potentially leading to clot formation and strokes. It also provides powerful antioxidant and anti-aging properties that help combat environmental stress to keep your body youthful and resilient.

Dogbane Combo

Best for: Cardiovascular wellness and blood pressure management

Dogbane tablets are a simple and natural way to lower high blood pressure. They work by  increasing nitric oxide production, which enhances vasodilation—the widening of blood vessels. This process helps prevent the narrowing and stiffening of arteries and reduce the risk of clots that could lead to strokes. It also has diuretic and cardiotonic properties that support overall cardiovascular health, while its antioxidant and antidepressant potentials contribute to a healthier, less stressed system.

Bu Nao Wan

Best for: Healthy brain function and support

Bu Nao Wan is a supplement specifically designed to bolster brain health and prevent conditions like stroke. This potent formula is designed to enhance mental alertness, sharpen focus, and improve memory, especially when fatigue sets in. It also plays a key role in calming restlessness and combating insomnia. By supporting vital organs such as the heart and kidneys—both crucial for maintaining optimal blood flow and preventing blood clots—Bu Nao Wan helps ensure that your brain is nourished and protected.

Protect Your Brain and Cardiovascular System with Chinese Herbs

A stroke is a scary experience that can leave you with either mild symptoms or debilitating challenges. No matter the outcome, getting quick and holistic support is the best thing you can do to improve your chances of a full recovery and healthy future.

With these Chinese herbs for stroke recovery and prevention and other cardiovascular supplements, you can take a powerful yet simple step towards improving your overall brain and heart function.

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