Treatment of Hyperlipidemia with Chinese Medicine


By Professor Guo Wei Qin

Hyperlipidemia is defined as an elevation of lipids (fats) in the bloodstream. These lipids include cholesterol, cholesterol esters (compounds), phospholipids and triglycerides. They are transported in the blood as part of large molecules called lipoproteins. Hyperlipidemia is the main cause for coronary atheroma and is intimately associated with cardio and cerebro vascular diseases and emphasis is placed on preventative measures aimed at lowering serum cholesterol and serum triglyceride levels. From the perspective of Chinese medicine, it falls into the categories of obesity, phlegm damp and stasis patterns, and may also seen to be covered by such traditional disease names as Xiao Dan (Exertion Debilitation), Pu Ji (cataplexy, where thre are recurrent bouts of sudden collapse and loss of consciousness) and Pian Ku (hemiplegia).

Both Pian Ji (catalepsy) and Pian Ku (hemiplegia) are referred to in the Huang Di Nei Jing, Su Wen in Chapter entitled Tong Ping Xu Shi Lun (Discussion on Evaluating Deficiency and Excess), which states: “Diseases such as diabetes, cataplexy (Pu Ji), Pian Ku (hemiplegia)….. are mostly suffered by people who enjoy rich and fatty food.”, and Pian Ku or hemiplegia is further mentioned in Huang Di Nei Jing,Ling Shu in Chapter entitled Ci Jie Zhen Xie, where it says: “When a debilitating pathogen affects one side of the body, the pathogenic qi penetrates inside to invade the ying and wei causing their function to decline. The zheng qi will then depart and the pathogenic qi will prevail in the body. This is called hemiplegia.”

Aetiology and Pathogenesis: Western medicine differentiates between primary and secondary hyperlipidemia, where primary hyperlipidemia is an inherited disease, and secondary hyperlipidemia is where a cause can be found in the life-style of the patient, or in the disease history. The understanding of Chinese medicine is that multiple factors can deplete or damage the zang organs, resulting in dysfunction, and it is impaired function of the zang fu which contributes to the pathogenesis of this disorder. The principle zang organs involved are the liver, spleen and kidney. The pathomechanism is ascribed to phlegm obstruction and stasis with ensuing stagnation of the network vessels

This article is an extract from the Pearls of Wisdom Seminar in 2005. You can purchase the entire article as a downloadable pdf. Alternatively you can download the Pearls Souvenir Book which contains a total of 14 seminar and workshop lectures from Pearls of Wisdom Seminars 2002-12.

Pearls of Wisdom Chinese Medicine Ten Year Souvenir Book

Pearls of Wisdom Souvenir 10th anniversary edition collecting 14 seminars and workshops  from 2002 to 2012.

About Professor Guo Wei Qin

Professor Guo Wei Qin was born to a family with a strong background in Chinese medicine, and her father was Dr. Guo Shi Kui was a famous cardiac specialist in China. She studied under many famous Chinese Medicine practitioners such as Qin Bo Wei, Ren Y…Read more

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