Acupuncture Combined with Curcumin Protects the Liver
Vol 16 Issue 25
Recent clinical trials have demonstrated that Acupuncture, combined with supplements of the herb curcumin, provides “significant protection against hepatic fibrosis.”
What is hepatic fibrosis? Hepatic means ‘of the liver’; fibrosis refers to excessive thickening of the connective tissue. And it’s more common than you might think.
Liver fibrosis starts with an attempt to heal acute or chronic liver injury. It is sometimes referred to as “exuberant wound healing” – an abnormal response to injury that results in heightened inflammation and excessive proliferation of connective tissue. The result of this exuberant response is scarring, sometimes severe, that can seriously compromise liver function.
Many people associate liver damage with alcohol and cirrhosis. But it is also caused by any type of ingested toxin, including drugs.
In fact, more than 900 drugs have been implicated in liver damage, according to the book Current diagnosis & treatment in gastroenterology, and it is the most common reason why drugs are taken off the market. Also, drug-induced liver injury is responsible for 5% of all hospital admissions and 50% of all acute liver failures.
Since the liver is responsible for filtering all of our ingested food and liquid, and for removing toxins so the nutrients supplied to the body are pure and capable of providing nourishment, it is vital that we keep our liver in good shape.
Fortunately, a new study has found that Acupuncture and curcumin can help us do that.
The study was conducted at Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine in Nanjing, China. The researchers discovered that when Acupuncture and curcumin are combined, they have a synergistic affect. In other words, Acunpuncture on its own helps, as does curcumin, but combined, they create a total effect that is more significant than each individual effect put together.
The specific Acupuncture points treated in the study were Liv3 (Taichong, Great Rushing), Liv14 (Qimen, Cycle Gate), UB18 (Ganshu, Liver Shu) and St36 (Zusanli, Leg Three Miles).
Curcumin, the other element of the treatment, is a major component of the herbal spice called turmeric, and a member of the ginger family of herbs. It has been used for generations in traditional Chinese medicine for ‘invigorating’ the blood.
To determine whether this treatment is appropriate for you, consult with your acupuncturist. If your liver is a problem, fixing it could make a significant difference in your health.
Source: BMJ Acupuncture in Medicine, http://aim.bmj.com/content/early/2012/02/23/acupmed-2011-010116.abstract; Continuing Education Online, March 2012, http://www.healthcmi.com/index.php/acupuncturist-news-online/503-acupuncturechinesemedicinetliver; Book: Friedman, Scott E.; Grendell, James H.; McQuaid, Kenneth R. (2003). Current diagnosis & treatment in gastroenterology. New York: Lang Medical Books/McGraw-Hill.