Dysentery is an infection of the intestines that causes diarrhoea containing blood or mucus. It is caused by either bacterial infection via the shigella bacteria or by an amoeba, Entamoeba histolytica.
The bacterial type which affects people in Britain is the most common, caused by eating contaminated food or water and spread by poor hygiene. Symptoms of this dysentry include severe blood-streaked diarrhoea, stomach pains, sickness and fever. Hygiene is extremely important as the condition is infectious.
Amoebic dysentery is prevalent in tropical countries and is a serious condition, requiring immediate medical attention. Chinese Medicine regards dysentery as an external disease, considered to be due to Heat and Damp poisons in the intestines, which causes a blockage.
The medicinal herbs used for it includes treatment with Bai Tou Weng (Radix Pulsatillae Chinensis), which is very effective, plus Bai Shao (Radix Paeoniae Alba), Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae), Huang Lian (Rhizoma Coptidis) and Ma Chi Xian (Herba Portulacae).
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