TCM treatment options for Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

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Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition that causes extreme tiredness. People with CFS have debilitating fatigue that lasts for six months or longer. CFS does not have a known cause, but appears to result from a combination of factors.

CFS is the most common name for this disorder, but it also has been called chronic fatigue and immune disorder syndrome (CFIDS), myalgic encephalomyelitis, low natural killer cell disease, post-viral fatigue syndrome, Epstein-Barr disease, and yuppie flu. Reports of a CFS-like syndrome called neurasthenia date back to 1869. Later, people with similar symptoms were said to have fibromyalgia because one of the main symptoms is myalgia, or muscle pain. Because of the similarity of symptoms, fibromyalgia and CFS are considered to be overlapping syndromes.

Causes & symptoms
There is no single known cause for CFS. Studies have pointed to several different conditions that might be responsible. These include:

viral infections
chemical toxins
immune abnormalities
psychological disorders

TCM treatment options
Chinese medicine, including acupuncture and cupping, works to bring the body back into balance. Herbals which may help relieve symptoms of CFS include:

astragalus (huang chi) to increase energy
licorice (gan t'sao) for stomach and liver problems, adrenal exhaustion, and blood pressure warming
ginger root for digestion
turmeric for inflammation
linden flowers for the heart
echinacea stimulates the immune system, but should only be taken daily for 10–14 consecutive days
Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) to increase resistance to stress and boost the immune system
ginkgo to increase blood flow through the brain, but also thin the blood
evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) oil to increase energy levels
borage seed (Borago officinales) oil
flaxseed oil

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