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Chinese Herbs for Stroke Recovery: Understanding How It Works

jars of colorful chinese herbs for stroke recovery

Chinese herbs are growing in popularity as a natural remedy for stroke recovery, but to what extent?

There are studies that show Chinese herbs improving outcomes after stroke. However, there are important contraindications to consider, as certain herbs may induce a stroke in certain people.

You’re about to learn who should be cautious when looking for Chinese herbs for stroke recovery (hint: everyone). You’ll also learn how other modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine can provide benefits with less risk.

Which Chinese Herbs for Stroke Recovery Are Used?

There are some Chinese herbs that have been shown to improve recovery from stroke.

Specifically, Buchang Naoxinton has been proven to help improve outcomes in patients after ischemic stroke and carotid atherosclerosis during initial treatment.

This is likely caused by the blood thinning effect of the Chinese herb, similar to the effect of aspirin, which is often used for emergency stroke treatment.

But remember, not all strokes are caused by blood clots. There’s another type of stroke called a hemorrhagic stroke which is caused by a burst artery in the brain.

Important warning: Blood-thinning Chinese herbs like Buchang Naoxinton could be disastrous or fatal for someone with a history of hemorrhagic stroke, high blood pressure, or other medical complications.

This is why Chinese herbs should be taken seriously. Anyone considering taking herbal supplements should consult with their doctor and a qualified Chinese herbalist.

Is There a Pill for Stroke Recovery?

illustration of brain with sparks all over to signify neuroplasticity

Most stroke patients seeking treatment through Chinese herbs are looking to heal the after effects of stroke, like impaired mobility.

Unfortunately, if you’re trying to improve movement after stroke, then Chinese herbs probably won’t help. (There’s an upside to this, so stick with us.)

While Chinese herbs are well-known for their health-boosting benefits, they cannot offer much help in the neurorehab department.

Stroke rehabilitation occurs through rewiring the brain through massed practice. It’s about reconnecting mind to muscle through repetition.

Unfortunately there is no Chinese herb that can do that. You must put in the hard work.

If you want to improve mobility after stroke, for example, only physical therapy can help. Your brain must be stimulated by the repetition of moving your muscles.

Since Chinese herbs cannot help with neuroplasticity, is there a place for Traditional Chinese Medicine in stroke recovery?

Here’s the good news:

Boosting Overall Recovery with TCM

While there is no short cut for recovery from stroke, Traditional Chinese Medicine certainly might help your overall efforts.

Specifically, it’s possible that the addition of Chinese herbs may help your recovery from stroke if there are underlying conditions that are making recovery more difficult.

For example, if your body is in a heightened state of inflammation, then managing the inflammation with Chinese herbs may have a positive effect on your recovery overall.

This is just a small example too. TCM is complex and a trained herbalist can find the right herbs for you.

If you’re interested in other natural remedies for stroke, another TCM practice called acupuncture can also help.

Acupuncture vs. Chinese Herbs for Stroke Recovery

peaceful-looking woman lying down while an acupuncturist inserts needles into her back

Acupuncture is an alternative health treatment that involves inserting thin needles into specific “acupoints” on the body.

Studies have shown that acupuncture helps improve mobility after stroke, especially when it’s combined with traditional physical therapy.

The needles used during acupuncture help stimulate your brain, especially when electrical stimulation is added to the treatment.

Unlike Chinese herbs, acupuncture has plenty of supporting clinical evidence for boosting recovery from stroke. If your budget is limited, we recommend putting your investment there instead.

However, other studies have shown that a combination of Chinese herbs and acupuncture can have a profound effect.

Understanding TCM for Stroke Survivors

If you’re interested in pursuing natural remedies for stroke recovery, Chinese herbs make the cut. However, it’s important to seek out a qualified herbalist who understand how different herbs impact different health ailments.

While some Chinese herbs, like Buchang Naoxinton, can help improve outcomes from ischemic stroke, it should be avoided altogether for hemorrhagic stroke.

Acupuncture, another TCM practice, provides a safer alternative to Chinese herbs, especially when combined with electrical stimulation. Combining the two treatments could lead to even better results.

As long as stroke patients remain cautious yet optimistic when pursuing alternative remedies, it could help boost recovery.

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See how Susan is recovering from post-stroke paralysis

“I had a stroke five years ago causing paralysis on my left side which remains today.

I recently began using FitMi.

At first it was difficult for me to be successful with a few of the exercises but the more I use it, the better my scores become.

I have recently had some movement in my left arm that I did not have before.

I don’t know if I can directly relate this to the use of the FitMi but I am not having occupational therapy so I conclude that it must be benefiting me.

The therapy modality motivates me to use it daily and challenges me to compete against my earlier scores.

I heartily recommend it!-Susan, stroke survivor

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