Sleeping Beauty’s Awakening, or women in the 21st century
These days almost every woman encounters various hormonal disorders, either gynaecological, menstrual or thyroid disorders and the like. Stressful lifestyle, chemized and fast food and, above all, synthetic hormones in any form (hormonal contraception, corticoid sprays, etc.) – all that disturbs the hormonal balance. Each imbalance is, according to TCM as well, a precondition for various problems and diseases. At present there are not many herbs that are able to act in an efficient and balanced way without any side effects to restore hormonal balance – both in women and men! One of such few herbs is SUI HUA MU JING. This makes this herb substantially different from the artificial, chemical hormones that are absolutely foreign to the body.
Woman as a bearer of life
According to TCM, all hormones are produced by the Kidney essence JING SHEN and are deposited in the path of Liver GAN, from where they are distributed by blood XUE throughout the body to the places of destination – this is what the teachings as well as learned masters of the traditional Chinese medicine say. This simple principle must be always kept in mind even for all hormonal disorders. From time immemorial, each woman has been predestined to be a bearer of life and is also naturally designed for that. According to the Chinese medicine, YIN prevails in women. YIN means all liquid parts of JIN YE (saliva, lymph, intercellular fluid, etc.) including blood as such. Blood XUE is produced by the path of Spleen PI, is kept in the path of Liver GAN, and its circulation is controlled by the path of Heart XIN. All that is “subscribed” (or even better: all that is supervised) by the path of Kidneys SHEN, or rather its essence JING, which is superior to all the beneficial processes in the organism, provides missing energy from its reserves, and manages and controls the right steps and operation of the organism. It follows from the description stated above which elements participate in hormonal disorders – the path of Kidneys SHEN, Liver GAN, Spleen PI and Heart XIN and blood XUE.
Hormones as fish in water
According to TCM, blood deficiency XUE XU in women has e.g. the following signs: pale matt skin without gloss, friable nails or nails without gloss, cold limbs, palpitation, sleeplessness, blurred vision, low pressure, dry lips, dry skin, dry vagina, hair loss, dull headache, vertigo, worsened memory and concentration, depression, exhaustion, fatigue, tingly sensation and insensitivity in limbs, irregular, missed or painful menstruation, clots in the menstruation blood, light menstruation, infertility, etc.
Just for illustration, we can visualize blood XUE as water in a brook and hormones as fish in the water. From the view of the Western medicine, blood deficiency XUE XU means deficiency both in terms of quantity as a shortage of iron, red blood cells, blood pigment, etc., and in terms of quality – the blood viscosity is higher and the blood is “thicker”, flows more slowly, stagnates and blocks itself (e.g. Leiden mutation, thromboses and embolism in women). Deficiency of water in the brook (in our case blood deficiency XUE XU) does not make it possible even for fish (in our case hormones) to survive in it, let alone reproduce. Synthetic hormones can be visualized as artificially raised fry we put in the brook which has little water, so in the end the artificially raised fish die soon anyway. The waste blocks the brook, clogs the streambed, decomposes, decays (“fish rots from the head down”) and literally poisons the nature (in our case our organism) by toxic mud…
It is neither a very positive nor promising statement, but, regrettably, those are plain facts. So how to restore the natural order of our body? The herbal mixture Sleeping Beauty’s Awakening (050) offers a certain solution, especially for all women from 15 to 55 years of age.
Blood XUE is weakened by:
- Irregular meals – skipping healthy and warm breakfast, eating in a hurry and stress, irregular eating, eating late in the evening, inappropriate choice and quality of meals…
- Irregular and insufficient sleep (three-shift work…)
- Excessive intellectual activity without a rest
- Excessive ruminating, thinking, dwelling on past events…
- Negative emotions, such as fear, envy, hatred…
- Excessive physical activity without a rest
- Excessive sport strain (long running, etc.) and excessive sweating
- Excessive menstruation, childbirths, miscarriages and breastfeeding
- Taking any hormonal contraception (tablets, injections, intrauterine devices, Postinor…)
- Taking corticoids, thyroid gland hormones, antibiotics, analgesics and antidepressants
- Excessive watching TV, PC, mobile phones (more than 2 hours a day …)
- The foods that bring Dampness and Cold to the organism, such as raw vegetables and raw fruits, cold drinks, carbonated drinks, (water, soft drinks, tonic waters, Champaign wine, etc.), black coffee, sweets, one-sided nutrition (vegetarian, macrobiotic diet…)
Blood XUE is strengthened by:
- Regularity, system and order (meal, sleep, work…)
- Mental balance (or at least effort to achieve mental balance)
- Not overstretching physical strengths
- Regular rest
- The foods that strengthen blood XUE and Kidney essence, such as red meats (beef, lamb, game, tuna), beef soup (preferably from the oxtail), any liver (including liver dumplings) and kidneys, hen soup including the meat (but not chicken or cock soup!), guinea fowl (e.g. in red wine), squab, quail, any eggs, particularly the yolk, beetroot (never raw! but always cooked, e.g. borscht is ideal), mussels (blue mussels), shrimps, warm breakfast (either soup or buckwheat, rice or millet porridge), spelt coffee, Beverage of Chinese Sages (900), Beverage from True Ginseng (822), sorghum, chickpea (falafel, hummus), black and red lentils, black beans, non-carbonated warm fluids (“without bubbles”)
As the title suggests, the monthly should occur regularly once per month. If it does not, TCM may gently (re)set the quality and maintain it in the long term by means of herbs. Physiological menstruation occurs between the 13th and the 50th year of life. Trouble-free menstruation lasts 3 to 5 days, no more than 7 days and is painless. The blood stream is uninterrupted. The menstruation blood is bright red at the beginning and gets slightly darker in the course of the bleeding. It does not contain any clots. In no case it is watery or mucoid. After the bleeding ends, there is not any further dripping or spotting. This is how optimal menstruation should look like.
As usual in TCM, the menstrual cycle can be described and visualized as a process naturally occurring in the nature. Let us imagine a reservoir which is supplied with water by a river. The wall strength is adequate to the size of the reservoir (uterus). It is being continually filled up to the optimum level and afterwards, once a month, the sluice gate has to be lifted to discharge some water from the reservoir, otherwise the dam could burst or the water could overflow and cause flood (Qi stagnation QI ZHI). What is also harmful is the opposite condition when the spring (Kidney essence SHEN JING) does not provide sufficient water quantity (blood deficiency XUE XU) so the reservoir dries out (blood deficiency with the subsequent blockade YU XUE XU). It also dries out in excessive heat (heat in blood RE XUE). Water should also be liquid, otherwise it would freeze in the reservoir (cold HAN in the uterus). If there are contaminants in the water, they may plug the discharge holes (blood blockade YU XUE). All that indicates necessity of absolute harmony of all the participants – abundant source of quality water, appropriate capacity of the reservoir, good climatic conditions, timely lifting of the sluice gate, sufficient strength of the dam wall… All that can be set in the best way by means of a single herbal mixture, namely Sleeping Beauty’s Awakening (code 050), which acts on all 4 phases of the menstrual cycle, namely by strengthening the Kidney essence SHEN JING, nourishing the blood XUE and making it circulate, as well as making the stagnating Liver Qi GAN QI ZHI circulate.
A lot of red blood that does not get darker – heat RE
Dark blood – heat RE, cold HAN, Qi stagnation QI ZHI or blood blockade YU XUE
Clotted blood – any stagnation of Qi QI ZHI, blood YU XUE, cold HAN or heat RE
Light blood – deficiency XU or dampness SHI
Smelly menstruation – damp heat SHI/RE
Early menstruation – heat RE
Delayed menstruation – cold HAN
Too heavy menstruation – excess SHI and/or heat RE
Too light menstruation – deficiency XU and/or cold HAN
Interrupted menstruation – blood blockade YU XUE
Blood dripping off even after menstruation (even after 7 days) – Qi deficiency QI XU
Stages of the menstruation cycle
- The menstrual (bleeding) phase usually lasts approximately 3-5 days during which the necrotic uterine mucosa is getting separated and discharged through vagina from the body in the form of bleeding. Sometimes, menstruation is said to be “the weeping of the uterus because of the unfertilized egg”. The effect of hormones: There is also a decline in the level of the hormones oestrogen a progesterone that are responsible for the growth of the uterine mucosa and corpus luteum. According to TCM, the blocked blood YU XUE begins to circulate due to making the stagnating Liver Qi GAN QI ZHI and Liver blood GAN YU XUE circulate.
- The post-menstrual (follicular) phase usually lasts 7 days during which follicles (eggs) begin to grow in the ovaries. Only one follicle becomes mature at a time, and the growth of the others stops. Simultaneously with the growth of follicles, uterine mucosa (lining) grows too. The effect of hormones: The growth of follicles is secured by the hormone secreted by the hypophysis (pituitary gland), which is called FSH – follicle-stimulating hormone. The covers of eggs in follicles produce the female hormones oestrogens. Oestrogens secure the growth of the uterine mucosa. According to TCM, in this phase, weakened blood XUE XU and weakened Yin YIN XU and YANG XU, just like conception paths CHONG MAI and REN MAI are in deficiency.
- The middle (ovulation) phase usually lasts 7 days. As soon as the dominant follicle becomes mature, it bursts out and releases a mature egg, starting the ovulation. The egg travels in the uterine tube where it waits for fertilization. At the same time, the phlegm in the area of the cervix undergoes changes and becomes able to let sperm go to the uterus and continue to the uterine tube to connect with the egg. The effect of hormones: Luteinizing hormone LH secreted by the hypophysis causes maturing the egg and is also responsible for the development of the corpus luteum that produces progesterone. Due to progesterone, the created uterine lining is maintained for several days without disintegration. According to TCM, in this phase, blood XUE and Yin YIN gradually fill the conception paths CHONG MAI and REN MAI.
- The pre-menstrual (luteal) phase usually lasts 7-9 days. After the ovulation the rest of the follicle turns into the corpus luteum, which maintains, due to progesterone secretion, the uterine lining as a whole for several days until the time when the fertilized egg implants there. If the egg is not fertilized, the corpus luteum decays, the progesterone level drops, and the uterine lining disintegrates. The menstrual bleeding process begins and the whole cycle repeats. According to TCM, in this phase, Yang Qi YANG SHI raises, and Liver Qi GAN QI ZHI begins to circulate so that Liver blood GAN YU XUE could also be released in the menses.
The fertile river of life
As usual in TCM, the menstrual cycle can be described and visualized as a process naturally occurring in the nature. Let us visualize a water spring (Kidney essence SHEN JING) that fills a reservoir on a continuous basis. The strength of the wall is adequate to the size of the reservoir (uterus), and the sluice gate is set to be automatically lifted (menstrual bleeding) when the optimal level is reached (due to Kidney essence SHEN JING and its feedback) and automatically closed after discharging the required amount (end of menstrual bleeding). This mechanism is controlled, just like the water source, by means of the feedback (Kidney essence SHEN JING, which is pituitary gland – hypophysis in this case). The feedback works as follows: after the water quantity in the reservoir has been decreased (after menstrual bleeding), the spring strengthens the discharge and after a certain time when the reservoir is almost filled up (before menstrual bleeding), the spring discharge slackens, and the spring “has a rest” (and the Kidney essence SHEN JING regenerates). As you can see, Kidney essence SHEN JING and blood XUE play important roles in this natural process. Kidney essence SHEN JING secures sufficient water (blood XUE) from the source which regularly fills the reservoir, and lifts the sluice gate timely when the optimal level is reached, so that the water does not overflow and does not cause floods (Qi stagnation QI ZHI – e.g. ovary cysts, breast cysts or pre-menstrual syndrome). Similarly, it also closes the sluice gate (end of menstruation) at the right time, otherwise water would be still discharged (spotting, long menstruation or endometriosis) below the critical level, and the reservoir would gradually dry out (complete stop of menstruation). What is also harmful is the opposite condition when the spring (Kidney essence SHEN JING) does not provide sufficient water (blood deficiency XUE XU) so the reservoir dries out (blood deficiency with the subsequent blockade YU XUE XU – e.g. missed menstruation). It also dries out in the event of excessive internal heat (heat in blood RE XUE) which speeds up premature lifting the sluice gate (early bleeding). Water should also be liquid, otherwise it would freeze in the reservoir (internal cold HAN in the uterus – e.g. delayed or painful menstruation). If there are contaminants in the water, they may clog the discharge holes (blood blockade YU XUE – e.g. painful menstruation with clots). Hormonal contraception acts as an “artificial keeper of the dam” which either fails to drain the reservoir in time when it has been filled up (blood blockade YU XUE from hormonal intrauterine devices or hormonal injections that prevent menstruation) or discharges some water from it regularly, although the reservoir has not been sufficiently filled yet (this weakens blood XUE XU), but this also gradually exhausts the spring which does not have time to regenerate, so it dries out in the end (this weakens the Kidney essence SHEN JING XU). It is evident that the pituitary gland (hypophysis) influences not only the hormones of the ovaries and uterus but also, due to the feedback, the hormones of the thyroid gland. Therefore any menstrual imbalance will, sooner or later, be also reflected in a hormonal imbalance of the thyroid gland. This fact also explains the rise in thyroid gland diseases suffered by women these days not only due to the taken hormonal contraception… All that indicates necessity of absolute harmony of all the participants – abundant source of quality water, appropriate capacity of the reservoir, timely lifting and closing of the sluice gate, sufficient strength of the dam wall… All that can be set in the best way by means of a single herbal mixture, namely Sleeping Beauty’s Awakening (050), which acts on all 4 phases of the menstrual cycle, namely by strengthening the Kidney essence SHEN JING, nourishing the blood XUE and making it circulate, as well as making the stagnating Liver Qi GAN QI ZHI circulate. This herbal mixture is also one of the most efficient ones in TCM that is used for the regulation of a hormonal imbalance in women from 15 to 55 years of age.
|1. Menstrual phase||2. Post-menstrual phase||3. Middle phase||4. Pre-menstrual phase|
|3–5 days||7 days||7 days||7–9 days|
|Bleeding||Growth of eggs||Release of a mature egg||Disintegration of the uterine mucosa|
|To make blocked blood
YU XUE circulate
|To strengthen deficient blood XUE
and deficient Kidney Yin
SHEN YIN XU
|To strengthen deficient
SHEN JING XU
|To make stagnating Qi circulate, deficient Kidney Yang SHEN YANG XU|
|The sluice gate is in the optimal lower level (due to Kidney essence SHEN JING), water (blood XUE) is discharged plentifully, and the water spring regenerates (Kidney essence SHEN JING).||The sluice gate is in the optimal upper level, and the spring has the maximum discharge now (replenishes blood XUE) in order to fill the reservoir.||The reservoir is being gradually filled with water, fish reproduce in it successfully (due to Kidney essence SHEN JING), and the spring discharge gradually declines.||The reservoir is already full, the water pressure on the reservoir dam increases (Qi stagnation QI ZHI –
e.g. pre-menstrual syndrome), and the spring discharges minimum water.