Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis Week is from June 18th – 24th and is an annual event to raise awareness of the condition and the impact on sufferers.  Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, in which your immune system starts attacking the body’s own tissues, causing inflammation. Common symptoms include painful, swollen joints, stiffness and fatigue.

Although there is no real cure for rheumatoid arthritis yet, there are treatments that can ease the symptoms and alter the way the disease progresses to keep joint damage to a minimum. Traditional Chinese Medicine is one of the treatments suffers are turning to due to the combined effects of herbal medicine and acupuncture in treating the ailment.

We have recommended a formula that may be effective at treating rheumatoid arthritis. This formula can be adapted and modified depending on the patient’s needs.

Disclaimer: please note that this information is intended for qualified herbalists only. If you are a patient, please consult your practitioner for a diagnosis as this formula may not be suitable for you. If you would like any advice or require a Phoenix recommended herbalist, please contact us at info@phoenixmd.co.uk

Shen Jin Gui Zhi Shao Yao Zhi Mu Tang

This formula can alleviate pain in the joints, dispel wind-damp and stagnation and clears heat.

Shen Jin Cao: dispels wind, eliminates dampness, relaxes the sinews and invigorates the blood.

Sang Ji Sheng: tonifies the liver and kidney Yin, strengthens the sinews and bones and expels wind-dampness.

Wu Jia Pi: dispels wind-dampness, nourishes and warms the liver and kidneys, strengthens sinews and bones, transforms dampness and reduces swelling.

Gui Zhi: releases the exterior, assists Yang, adjusts the Ying and Wei, releases the muscle layer, warms the channels and collaterals, relieves pain, unblocks Yang, transforms Qi and thin mucus, assists heart Yang, warms and facilitates the flow of Qi through the channels, warms the middles and descends turbid Yin. When used with Bai Shao, it can expel external wind-cold and warm the middle Jiao. Additionally, if used with Zhi Fu Zi, it can treat chills and painful extremities due to Yang deficiency.

Bai Shao: nourishes the blood, astringes Yin, adjusts the Ying and Wei, softens the liver and relieves pain. When used with Gan Cao, it can regulate the relationship between the liver and spleen and nourish the sinews.

Zhi Mu: clears heat, drains fire from the lungs and stomach, nourishes Yin, moistens dryness, generates fluids, clears deficiency fire and quenches thirst. When used with Gan Cao, it can regulate cold and heat, harmonises the exterior and interior and treat malarial diseases.

Sheng Jiang: releases the exterior, induces perspiration, disperses cold, warms the middle, stops vomiting, warms the lungs, stops coughing, adjusts the Ying and Wei, normalizes the flow of Qi at the centre and reduces the toxicity of other herbs. With Gui Zhi, it can induce sweating for external wind-cold with chills, fever and body aches.

Bai Zhu: tonifies the spleen, augments Qi, dries dampness and promotes water metabolism.

Fang Feng: expels wind-dampness, expels internal wind, stops spasms, relieves diarrhoea, stops bleeding and alleviates pain.

Zhi Fu Zi: warms the Ming Men fire, assists heart, kidney and spleen Yang, disperses cold and dampness, warms the channels and stops pain.

Gan Cao: tonifies Qi, moistens the lungs, resolves phlegm, stops coughing, clears heat, relieves fire toxicity, moderates spasms, alleviates pain, moderates and harmonises the harsh properties of other herbs and guides the herbs to all 12 channels. With Bai Shao, it can moderate spasms and alleviates pain, for painful spasms of the leg or abdomen.

This formula can be effective in treating inflammation, swelling, pain, numbness and degeneration in the joints, sinews and connective tissues. It can also be used to treat aching, soreness or weakness of the lower back, bones, leg and heel.

To make the formula even more effective, we recommend a course of acupuncture to complement the herbs. Moxibustion can also be applied for more effective results.

The primary acupuncture points for all patients are:

  • Jinsuo (DU8)
  • Sanyinjiao (SP6)
  • Zusanli (ST36)
  • Ganshu (UB18)
  • Shenshu (UB23)
  • Pishu (UB20)

For arm pain, the following acupuncture points are:

  • Tianjing (SJ10)
  • Waiguan (SJ5)
  • Yangchi (SJ4)
  • Hegu (LI4)

For cases of leg pain, the points are:

  • Weizhong (UB40)
  • Dubi (ST35)
  • Kunlun (UB 60)
  • Jiexi (ST41)
  • Yanglingquan (GB34)

If you would either of the above formulas in dry herb or concentrated granule form, please visit our dispensary at chineseherbaldispensary.co.uk or email our dispensary administrator Charlotte at dispensary@phoenixmd.co.uk. Alternatively, you can order the herbs separately as raw dry herbs and granules. If you have any questions regarding the formulas or how to modify them, please contact us at info@phoenixmd.co.uk


Wang, Zizhen. “Clinical observation on treating rheumatoid arthritis with the Guizhi Shaoyao Zhimu decoction plus acupuncture.” Clinical Journal of Chinese Medicine 6.4 (2014): 89-90.

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