Herb for Back Pain and Sciatica

Cropped_Du_HuoThe herb for this post is the pubescent angelica root.

The Chinese characters for the pubescent angelica root are 獨活, Romanized as Dú Huó, and pronounced like “Doo Hwoah.”  The Chinese name means “self reliant existence”, presumably because by taking this herb a person could stay pain and arthritis free well into old age.

Pubescent Angelica Root Treats Sciatica

A study from Reports in Chinese Medicine showed that of the 100 patients with sciatica who took an herbal formula containing the pubescent angelica root 87 obtained complete relief and 7 had marked relief from the pain.

The Journal of Guiyang Medical University contained a study in which 81% of patients who took a formula containing Dú Huó were cured of their sciatica.

85 out of 105 patients in a study from The Journal of Practical Chinese Medicine and Medicinals obtained relief from sciatica by taking pubescent angelica root with some other herbs in a formula..

This website lists many treatments for sciatica using Chinese medicine, including Dú Huó.

Dú Huó Relieves Arthritis

A study from Jilin Chinese Medicine and Herbology consisted of 262 patients with osteoarthritis; 77 of those patients had significant improvement  and 118 patients had moderate improvement in pain after taking a formula containing pubescent angelica root.

Another study from Sichuan Chinese Medicine involving 104 patients taking a formula containing Dú Huó showed a 91% effectiveness rate using the formula to combat rheumatoid arthritis.

This study shows shows that a formula containing pubescent angelica root prevented arthritis in rabbits.

Other Miscellaneous Symptoms Treated by Pubescent Angelica Root

  • Neck Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Psoriasis
  • Vitiligo

Chinese Medicinal Actions of Dú Huó

Chinese medical terms are different than standard western medical terms.  Pubescent angelica root dispels wind and dampness to relieve pain and releases the exterior.


Dú Huó is contraindicated in patients who have yin and/or blood vacuities or in patients who have internal Liver wind.

If you have arthritis, sciatica, low back pain, muscle cramps, pain or other dysfunction and are looking for a natural treatment, call our office at (618) 207-4445 and we can compound an herbal formula for your health problems.  We are located in Swansea, IL; near Belleville, Fairview Heights, Shiloh, O’Fallon, Freeburg, Mascoutah, Smithton, and Millstadt.

Visit our main website at http://swanseaacupuncture.net

Source:  Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology- Chen and Chen

Eric Waltemate, DC, LAc (IN)
14 Park Place Suite A

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