June 25, 2005
Q: I suffer from osteoporosis and have suffered several broken bones, broken hip bones, and fractures. Are there any alternative therapies to help with this condition? - Layperson
A: Osteoporosis, or porous bone, is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased susceptibility to fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. Men as well as women suffer from osteoporosis, a disease that can be prevented and treated.
committee of the World Health Organization has defined osteoporosis based on the bone density. Using standardized bone density measurements of the total hip, "normal" bone is greater than 833 mg/cm2. "Osteopenia" is between 833 and 648mg/cm2. Osteoporosis is lower than 648mg/cm2, and "Severe (established) osteoporosis" is when there has been a fragility fracture. Details are explained in the bone density section.
Fractures are a result of both trauma and decreased bone strength. Trauma depends on factors related to falling and to the force of the impact. For example, bones will break more easily when subjected to torque than compression. Bone strength depends on both the density (quantity) of the bone and on the quality of the bone.
Many studies demonstrate the ability of bone density to predict fractures, especially fragility fractures (those caused by minor trauma). The relative risk of a fracture (compared to another woman the same age) is between 1.3 and 2.6 for each standard deviation of bone density below the age-matched mean. The risks vary depending on the populations studied and on the technique of measuring the bone density.
The presence of a vertebral fracture increases the risk of a new fracture by about 4 times, even when adjusting for bone density.
Greenspan showed that women who fell on their side had a relative risk of hip
fracture of 5.7 compared to those who fell in other directions. This is a much
greater risk than a lower bone density, in which a standard deviation decrease
increased the risk by a factor of 2. Gait speed plays a role. Women who walk
faster are more likely to have forward momentum, and if they fall they land on
their wrist. This may lead to a distal radius fracture, but that is much less
devastating than a hip fracture.
Bone quality is determined by bone mass (as measured by bone density) and also by the micro-architecture of bone, the crystal size and shape, the brittleness, the connectivity of the trabecular network, the vitality of the bone cells, ability to repair micro-cracks, and the structure of the bone proteins. The fat cells, vasculature, neuronal pathways and bone marrow cells probably also influence the quality of the bone as well as the quantity of bone.
A blend of Chinese herbs uder the name of Osteoking, is making the news for fighting fractures, osteoporosis, and bone necrosis (death). Suffice to say there are many studies in many countries backing the healing power of this herbal blend and combination. When taken as directed, the blend both strengthens the bones by increasing bone density and by cutting the healing time of bone factures and breaks in half.
The Ingredients in OSTEOKING
Astragalus Root, Asian Ginseng Root, Safflower Flower, Tienchi Ginseng Root, Eucommia Bark, Tangerine Peel, Purified Water. No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives are added.
It is recommended that adults take one full bottle (25 ml/.83 oz) one hour after eating, every other day. For children, age 6-12, it is recommended to take one half bottle (12ml/.41oz) one hour after eating, every other day.
OSTEOKING is 100% Natural ingredients, with no chemicals or preservatives added. There are no known harmful side effects. Occasionally, some people report experiencing dry mouth or slight dizziness. These effects go away spontaneously within a short time, and do not need any treatments.
Children as young as 3 years old have taken OSTEOKING with no harmful side effects.
OSTEOKING is not recommended for use by pregnant women, those with mental disease, glaucoma, or anyone suffering from heart, lung or kidney failure, or excessive bleeding (hemorrhaging).
The OSTEOKING formula is an ancient Chinese formula, derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a body of knowledge that is over 3000 years old. According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine Texts, OSTEOKING’s effectiveness is based on:
OSTEOKING has been tested repeatedly both at Hong Kong Standards and Testing Laboratory as well as Laboratories in the United States. Results have consistently shown that there are no heavy metals (Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium, Mercury or others) and there are no bacteria, molds, yeast or e-coli. In short, the product is prepared under the most stringent pharmaceutical conditions and is consistently and reliably pure.
Another herb that speeds the healing time of fractures is Comfrey, mixes of which have been used externally and internally. Comfrey encourages the speedy formation of new bone. A substance, allantoin, is largely responsible for comfrey's bone-knitting property."
Caution: A word about comfrey. Although comfrey can help heal wounds and broken bones, it is not recommend that comfrey be taken internally because of toxicity to the liver caused by the pyrrolizidine alkaloids which it contains. It is GREAT for speeding up wound healing after surgery if applied externally as a poultice. The variety of comfrey grown in america has fewer PA's than those grown in Europe/Russia, so if not taken in large amounts or ongoing...but only for specific healing purposes, it should be OK to give internally. Most herbal healers use comfrey. Dr CJ Puotinen says in his book that there are PA free comfrey tinctures available, so that might be the way to go.
Common names: Knit Bone, Boneset, Consound and Bruise wort
It grows in moist meadows, ditches and near streams, is found also near fences and in gravel pits, flowering all summer. The leaves are rough and pointed at the end. The several year old root, dark brown, to black on the outside, white to yellowish within, is of the thickness of a thumb and, cut open, is sticky almost slimy. The root is dug out in spring or autumn. The fresh plant is gathered before and during the time of flowering.
The tincture of Comfrey, easily prepared, contains wonderful power. People, who suffer from rheumatism and swelling of joints and have been treated with other remedies without success, have found relief with Comfrey tincture.
Knobs on the joints of hands and feet are made to disappear with these poultices. I would like to point out that the Comfrey meal itself, applied as a poultice, gives ease in paraplegia. Warm poultices are helpful in varicose ulcers, muscular rheumatism, gout stones, ulcers, neck pains, painful amputation stumps, and periostitis itself.
A tea can be prepared from the roots and used internally for bronchitis, disorders of the digestive system, bleeding in the stomach and pleurisy. 2 to 4 cups are sipped during the day. For stomach ulcers a tea of 100 gm. Comfrey, 50 gm. Calendula and 50gm. Knot grass (Polygnom aviculare) is recommended (see "directions").
Once again I would like to mention the Comfrey tincture. As a compress it is used most successfully for external and internal wounds, all sorts of injuries, bruises, contusions, ecchymosis and bone fractures.
The leaves of Comfrey are not only used as poultices but also as additions to baths for rheumatic complaints, gout, painful bones, slipped discs and defective circulation.
For defective circulation in the legs, varicose veins and as supplementary treatment of bone fractures, Comfrey sitz baths are taken.
In an old German recipe Comfrey leaves are dipped into a light batter and fried in oil. There is goodness there for the whole family.
The homeopathic remedy, symphytum can be given for bone healing. It rapidly speeds up the process and ensures that most fractures will heal. It should never be given until the bone has been set; otherwse it will start the healing process so rapidly that the bone will heal out of alignment. Give symphytum for a week then give Calcaria phosphoric to finish the healing.
Aloe Vera and its juices contain allantoin, the healing ingredient in Comfrey, without the dangers and can be used in much the same way.
As usual, consult a healthcare professional, knowlegeable in the use of the above.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this column, is NOT intended to diagnose and/or treat any health related issues and is provided solely for informational purposes only. Consult the appropriate healthcare professional before making any changes to your healthcare regime. Even what may seem like simple changes in the diet for example, can interact with, and alter, the efficiency of medications and/or the body's response to the medications. Many herbs and supplements exert powerful medicinal effects. Neither the author, nor the website designers, assume any responsibility for the reader's use or misuse of this information.