Herbal Spotlight: Body Sore
By: Dr. Michael Bartholomew
The Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine, Body Sore, is an herbal formula developed by Jing Tang Herbal in Reddick, FL and is utilized for musculoskeletal pain in dogs, cats, and horses. Originally, it was developed for use in performance horses and is the descended from the classical herbal formula Shen Tong Zhu Yu Tang. It was first described in Yi Lin Gai Cao (Corrections of Errors Among Physicians) in 1830. In Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, pain is the result of a blockage of energy (Qi) or Blood, so the main goal of this herbal medicine is to restore normal flow of this energy through the body thus relieving pain. The formula contains a number of herbs that work together in a well-choreographed dance to achieve this goal.
For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine has been treating patients effectively. The question that often arises is “Where is the science?” The beauty of being a TCVM practitioner and a scientist currently is that more and more research is bringing to light data showing the effectiveness of TCVM in treating various diseases. Several of the herbs in Body Sore have been shown to have both anti-inflammatory effects and to produce analgesia in human and animal studies. Ru Xiang contains 16 different compounds which are anti-inflammatory and also has been shown to have a suppressive effect on bladder cancer cells. Terpenoids isolated from Mo Yao have been shown to be antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antineoplastic. Compounds contained within Qiang Huo have been shown to be analgesic with significant anti-inflammatory effects via inhibition of cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways. In one human study in patients experiencing sciatica, the overall effectiveness of the formula Shen Tong Zhu Yu Tang was 97.2% with complete recovery or significant improvement in all but 1 of the patients after 17 days of treatment.
As time moves forward, there will be more research performed in all areas of TCVM, thorough institutions like the Chi Institute in Reddick, FL, the World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and journals such as the Journal of the American Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. Practices such as the Animal Hospital of Dunedin strive to integrate the best of conventional medicine with Traditional Medicine leading to wider acceptance and the eventual goal of truly integrative care for all of our patients.