Veterinarians practicing Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) in addition to Western medicine often have more options available for pet parents.
TCVM utilizes Eastern and Western herbs to treat the root cause of illness, rather than just the symptoms.
For example, Chinese herbs, such as Cornus, address the liver and kidney, which cause back and knee pain when out of balance.
NSAIDs, and other common pain relievers, often carry harmful side effects.
Herbal remedies are typically gentler, providing relief with lower risk.
What is Cornus for Dogs?
Cornus officinalis, or shan zhu yu, is a tree used in Chinese medicine.
The trees grow in the woodland region of East Asia.
Chinese Cornus is different from the North American tree Cornus florida, also known as dogwood or American boxwood.
The seedless fruit and the bark from the stem are the most medicinal components of the Chinese Cornus plant.
In Chinese medicine, the berry is harvested when ripe and dried, eaten raw or cooked when used for its astringent and antioxidant properties.
The bark and stem offer antimalarial, kidney and liver strengthening, and back or knee pain relieving properties.
Western herbal medicine uses American Cornus for different healing properties.
Chinese studies published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine reveal the benefits of cornus on blood flow to the kidney and spleen.
Dating back to the Song Dynasty, people brewed dogwood wine and considered it a rare tonic listed as a tribute.
Why is Cornus Beneficial for Alleviating Dog Pain?
According to the Chinese Materia Medica, Cornus is sour in flavor and slightly warm in nature.
In Chinese medicine, Cornus goes to meridians of liver and kidney, primarily tonifying these organs.
Practitioners administer Cornus with yin tonics to treat lower back and knee pain due to liver and kidney yin deficiency.
Cornus is also combined with middle-warming and yang-tonifying herbs to treat lumbar soreness.
Does Cornus Have Side Effects?
Cornus has no known side effects.
However, since Cornus is primarily used in Chinese medicine, there are no studies of potential interactions with Western medicines.
Cornus is an antidiuretic, so don’t combine with other diuretics.
In TCM, Cornus is not for cases of chronic damp-heat, persistent erection of penis, flaming fire of the life gate, or painful and difficult urination.
The Ben Cao Jing Ji Zhu (Explanation of Canon of Materia Medica) suggests Cornus dislikes Jie Geng (Balloon Flower Root), Fang Feng (Radix Saposhnikoviae), and Fang Ji (Stephania Tetrandra).
How to Use Cornus with Other Herbs and Compounds
Cornus’ benefits are best when combined with other compounds.
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