Pharmacopuncture, a method of Oriental Medicine used in Korea.

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What is Pharmacopuncture?

Korea is a country where traditional medicine has not been neglected in favor of the new and shiny. Rather it lives as a viable practice along with it’s more progressive offspring of Modern Medicine.

In Korea patients are given a choice of whether they want to be treated by the traditional or more contemporary methods of science. This gives the physicians the oportunity to test, study and expand the knowledge and practice of Korean Traditional Medicine, in conjunction with the latest tools of Medical Science.

Pharmacopuncture is a recent development in the field of Alternative Medicine, that comes out of Korea. It is a combination of Accupuncture and Herbal medicine. According to this treatment practice,subclinical dosages of herbal extracts or drugs are injected by needle in the meridians of the body. Every year thousands of patients are being treated by this method in Korea alone.

Is there any literature on the matter?

The main source for the latest scientific developments in the field is “The Journal of Pharmacopuncture” , an open-access peer-reviewed journal published by the Korean Pharmacopuncture Institute , since 1996. According to the journal’s official website the purpose of the publication is :

to present major advances and new developments contributing to the advancement of complementary and alternative medicine, with a special focus on pharmacology, acupuncture and a combination of pharmacology and acupuncture.

One can find more information at http://www.journal.ac/main.

How is pharmacopuncture used?

 

Usual treatments of pharmacopuncture use.

The types of pharmacopuncture ,as it is practiced in Korea, are :

  1. Eight principle pharmacopuncture (EPP).
  2. Distillation Pharmacopuncture.
  3. Animal Pharmacopuncture.
  4. Blood and Qi nursing pharmacopuncture/blood energy pharmacopuncture.
  5. Blood energy pharmacopuncture.
  6. Simple medicine pharmacopuncture/docking agent pharmacopuncture.
  7. Eye Pharmacopuncture.

Some very common constituents used in the practice of Pharmacopuncture are:

Drug Constituents – Preparation
Shinbaro 1 Herbal extraction (Cibotium barometz, Saposhnikovia divaricata, Eucommia ulmoides, Acanthopanax sessiliflorus, Ostericum koreanum, Angelica pubescens, Achyranthes japonica, Paeonia lactiflora) using reflux extraction with 70 % spiritus vinosus → progressive purification using alcohol immersion → freeze-drying → dilution → filtering → sterilization
Shinbaro 2 Herbal extraction (Cibotium barometz, Saposhnikovia divaricata, Eucommia ulmoides, Acanthopanax sessiliflorus, Ostericum koreanum, Angelica pubescens, Achyranthes japonica, Paeonia albiflora, Scolopendra subspinipes) using reflux extraction with 70 % spiritus vinosus → progressive purification using alcohol immersion → freeze-drying → dilution → filtering → sterilization
Shinbaro 3 Herbal extraction (Harpagophytum procumbens) extraction using reflux extraction with 70 % spiritus vinosus → progressive purification using alcohol immersion → freeze-drying → dilution → filtering → sterilization
Bee venom Purification of dried bee venom → freeze-drying → dilution → filtering
Hwangryunhaedok (黃蓮解毒) Herbal distillation extraction (Coptis japonica, Scutellaria baicalensis, Phellodendron amurense, Gardenia jasminoides) → filtering → sterilization
Joongseongouhyul (中性瘀血) Herbal distillation extraction (Gardenia jasminoides, Commiphora molmol, Boswellia carterii, Corydalis ternate, Paeonia obovata, Salvia miltiorrhiza, Caesalpina sappan) → filtering → sterilization
Hominis placenta (紫河車) Hominis placenta extracts approved for herbal medicine preparation → filtering → sterilization
Muscle relaxation Herbal extraction (Paeonia lactiflora, Glycyrrhiza uralensis) using reflux extraction with 70 % spiritus vinosus → progressive purification using alcohol immersion → freeze-drying → dilution → filtering → sterilization

Other standardized herbal Formulas used in Pharmacopuncture are:

Shinbaro1 and 2 solutions contain the herbal compound GCSB-5. GCSB-5 (traditional name: Chungpa-Juhn),is an herbal medicine composed of 6 crude herbs (Saposhnikovia divaricata Schiskin, Achyranthis bidentata Blume, Acanthopanax sessiliflorum Seem, Cibotium baromets J. Smith, Glycine max Meriill, and Eucommia ulmoides Oliver), has been widely used in Asia for treatment of neuropathic and inflammatory diseases. The specific herbal extract has been shown to have antioxidant activity and neuroprotective properties on rats.

##References:

  1. [Protective effect of GCSB-5, an herbal preparation, against peripheral nerve injury in rats. Kim et. al.J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jun 22;136(2):297-304. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.04.037. Epub 2011 May 4. ] (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21569830)
  2. List of types of pharmacopuncure.
  3. Pharmacopuncture in Korea: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Jimin Park et. al. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4683121
  4. Usage report of pharmacopuncture in musculoskeletal patients visiting Korean medicine hospitals and clinics in Korea. Yoon Jae Lee et.al . BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine

 

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