Commonly known as HPV, the human papillomaviruses are a group of DNA viruses with over a hundred different types. They often target the human body’s epithelial cells. The HPV 6 and HPV 11 viruses are the ones that produce warts. There are over 30 different types of HPV that are transmitted through sexual contact. Some of these viruses are oncogenic and they increase the risk of pre-cancerous conditions as well as anus, oropharynx, penis, vagina, vulva, and cervix cancers.
There is a definite connection between cervical cancer and HPV, as proven by several Western medicine studies. The diagnosis of cervical dysplasia has become rather easy now that females are required to undergo a routine high-risk HPV test. This has led to a dramatic reduction in the morbidity rates of cervical cancer. In the management of cervical dysplasia, Western medicine mostly adopts a conservative approach. It monitors the condition until the mild (CIN 1) cervical intraepitheliael neoplasia develops into medium or malignant CIN and CN3 stages. When this arises, electrocautery therapy, cryotherapy, laser ablative therapy and other invasive procedures as well as hysterectomies are done. The end result of these procedures is usually infertility and scarring. For vulvar or vaginal warts, ablative therapy is often recommended. However, recurrence usually occurs that this therapy to treat warts eventually becomes ineffective for a lot of chronic cases.
Right now, Western medicine treatment of premalignant lesions of the cervix, HPV with genital neoplasia, latent HPV therapy and HPV along with long-term genital warts has produced unsatisfactory results. This has led to the rise of Chinese medicine for the treatment of these conditions. Over 20 centuries ago, the texts of Zhen Jiu Jia Yi Jing and Huang Di Nei Jing documented the use of acupuncture for the treatment of warts. Over time, Chinese herbal treatments for cervical pre-cancerous and cancer conditions and for vulvar and vaginal warts treatment have been developing apace with consistently impressive results.
In the United States almost 80% of women have been infected with HPV at least once in their lifetime; sixty to seventy percent of the time, female HPV infections are temporary. They tend to resolve on their own spontaneously after a couple of years because of the body’s ability to overcome the virus. This is the reason why some doctors do nothing except monitor the patient. Both doctors and nurses adopt a watch-and-wait attitude until it affects the sexual and reproductive life of the female. This only heightens the high likelihood of transmitting the virus from one person to another. In Chinese medicine, Chinese dietary therapy can help lessen the number of viruses in the body. This is important since it will provide the patient’s immune system with a faster and better way of eliminating the virus.
HPV infection can also be prevented with Chinese dietary therapy although for best results this Eastern treatment can be combined with Western medicine especially for cases of lesions along with the infection.
People at High Risk for HPV Infections
Based on the viewpoint of TCM or traditional Chinese medicine, women suffering from kidney and spleen qi deficiency are highly susceptible to an HPV infection (with or without lesions). This type of deficiency makes her unable to produce adequate defensive qi to overcome HPV (in the form of (toxic dampness) HPV that has entered her body. Further injuries to the functions of the kidney, spleen, and liver can occur after HPV invades due to the increase of cold or heat toxic dampness, which also leads to an imbalance of yin and yang. This leads to blood stasis, qi stagnation, and an imbalance of blood and qi. Finally, the kidney essence and liver blood weaken during cervical cancer’s final stages.
The longstanding use of birth control pills, engaging in sexual intercourse with more than one person, people with severe stress, smokers, and people who overwork are the ones who are likely to suffer from kidney and spleen deficiency.
Chinese Herbal Formulas
In treating HPV, TCM practitioners use hip baths, topical herbal powders or creams, and oral herbal prescriptions. The hip baths consist of herbs with anti-HPV qualities and ones that boost skin healing, Some of them will use herbal creams that can clear out skin cells that have been infected. When the hip bath and cream are used together, they can stop the formation of scar. Each patient is given a different oral herbal remedy based on her own specific needs.
Listed below are the foods and herbs prescribed by TCM practitioners for the treatment of HPV infections: Ban Lan Gen; Benincasae; Camellia Sinensis; Carrots; Cortex Phellodendri; Daucus Carota; Dong Gua/Winter melon; Folium Perillae; Green Tea; Hei Dou/Black Bean; Herba Portulacae; Huang Bai; Huang Lian; Huang Qi; Ling Jiao/Water Caltrop; Ma Chi Jian/Purslane; Radix Arnebiae seu Lithospermi; Radix Astragali siu Hedysari; Radix Glycinae; Radix Isatidis; Rhizoma Coptidis; Rhizoma Dioscoreae; Semen Coixis; Shan Yao/Chinese Yam; Trapa Bicornis; Yi Yi Ren/Job’s Tears; Zi Cao; Zi Su Ye
For safe use, all these herbs need to be prescribed by a qualified TCM practitioner.