Why do patients experience nightmares when taking Suan Zao Ren or Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan?
Personally I've never seen a response like this clinically. If they didn't have nightmares before and -only- have them on the herbs then most likely the diagnosis is wrong (i.e. this would be the wrong formula for them). As these two are more for kidney/liver and kidney/heart yin deficiency respectively if spleen and/or liver blood deficiency is more involved (for example) these could be inappropriate and perhaps a formula like gui pi wan (among others) is better. If the diagnosis is right, sleep and the state of mind should improve considerably with either of these formulas - they are classics for good reason.
Have you noticed this on many patients? If so, are the nightmares really only with the herbs, or did they have nightmares before and they just were not better with these formulas? Did they persist as long as they took the formulas? or was it a side effect that improved the longer they were on it?
Chad J. Dupuis, L.Ac.
Yin Yang House Acupuncture and Wellness Center
Have you noticed this on many patients? YES, in many with Suan Zao. Then with Tian wan! Which was shocking. Suan Zao I can understand - too much Zizyphus for the Hun and a lot of pent up anger coming out in sleep if repressed while awake.
If so, are the nightmares really only with the herbs, or did they have nightmares before and they just were not better with these formulas? They said no dreaming at all before, no memory of them. Then BAM! Nightmares. I suspect that dreaming was happening without the herbs and then forgotten. The herbs and acupuncture lifted the 'fog' so to say, as to remember the dreams.
Did they persist as long as they took the formulas? Yes. Stopped formula and no nightmares later, nothing remembered - dreams OR nightmares.
It has happened on Gui Pi too which REALLY surprised me, so nourishing. Since it is happening with all the "sleep" herbs, I see it as a healing crisis of sorts. Patients can be so detached from the different realities of spirit, that when it is shaken up a little, there is a bit of a shock to the system, anything unwanted, undesirable comes up, stuff to deal with, process comes up (in sleep) -especially in these times of great change.
It could also be "too soon" for the herbs - ie treating root vs. branch and v/v.
Was wondering of any others experienced nightmares while using the herbs.
Nightmare is because of Liver fire or Heart fire. Suan Zao Ren Wan is mainly for liver blood deficiency. Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan is for Heart and Kidney not harmoney cause heart fire up. For American people mainly eat beef most are hot body style, it is different from Chinese people which mainly eat rice. So the certainly formula pills in China may not good for some people in American. The raw herb tea formula may more good and flexible for American people.
It is true. In N America, there are so many complex disease patterns. Classic pattern differentiation and herbal formulas are not enough.
Even if they do not eat a lot of beef, the beef that is eaten is of such low quality, with chemicals causing fire, poor lifestyles, no yin activities.
The Nightmares on Gui Pi really threw me for a loop. The formulas, ya, i get what they classically are used for.
I modify the granules a lot. No way to use raw, low patient compliance, no source of raw and no quality source of raw.
Wondering of any one else had this happen to them - nightmares that is.
Gui Pi Tang use for syndrome of deficiency of both heart and spleen( Qi and Yin)
Very hard sunk in sleep, caused by Over thinking not by Anxiety.
Tongue body's color is slightly red.
Tongue coating must be thin and white
It help sleep and reduce dream, not for nightmare with bad temper.
Gallbladder Qi weakness can make some nightmare, use Gui Pi Tang.
Add Mai Dong if night sweats and fever worse than nightmare.
Row herbs is very hard to store. Herb's quality and variety need Special talent ( Zhong Yao Shi---Traditional Chinese medicine pharmacists)
hi.. i have been using both formulasin clinic for some years now but have never had clients experience nightmares.. i imagine its due to release of emotions that have been held in or pent up for some time and now the person is able to relax finally and let go.. draming is a safe way to face fears and emotions..
Thanks, Kathleen. I am suspecting the same thing. It fits their consitution, hx and Shen state as well. The emotions finally have an outlet and they come out with a blaze. It also fits the type of patients I attract and see a lot in the clinic.
I am also going to be more aware of modifying the formulas for heat and more heart herbs.
For what it is worth, I have found acupuncture to be incredibly successful for nightmares, and usually works within a treatment or two. I will ALWAYS use gallbladder channel points. If there is more of a Ht/GB def. GB40 and Ht7. Other cases I have found GB41 with Liv2 to be helpful.
Hope that helps!
When I took Suan Zao Ren Wan I got damp heat feeling in large intestine, and two days later a nightmare. I took it for insomnia and it helped, but I also felt exhausted during the day. At the same time I also started to take royal jelly, so I don't know which one caused which effects. What do you think about it?
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