Traditional Chinese Medicine and altitude sickness

The miracle pills

The miracle pills

Here I am up at between 2000 and 3000m, in Yunnan, SW China. You can read about my adventures on vickygoestravelling.

Vicky on Jade Belt Path gorge - at altitude!

Vicky on Jade Belt Path gorge – at altitude!

On the second day I awake feeling very headachey, and with horrible neck pain as well. Over the next two days I feel weak and dizzy, lose my appetite and can’t even look at a glass of red wine. I also develop a fever. Stuck in the middle of nowhere, Shaxi village to be precise, and faced with the challenge of trying to enjoy our amazing holiday while feeling lousy, we stop off at the only pharmacy in town which turns out to be a TCM one, complete with doctor.

He feels my pulse, looks at my tongue, and asks several questions via the guide. He correctly diagnoses me as a cold person and thankfully gives me two sets of tablets – I was dreading being given some of the more disgusting looking potions that Yunnan, centre of traditional herbal medicine, is famous for!

Vicky with sheep at Spruce meadow, Jade Dragon Snowy Mountain, Lijiang

Vicky with sheep at Spruce meadow, Jade Dragon Snowy Mountain, Lijiang

Within an hour of taking the honeysuckle tablets, and the other more common local painkiller (paracetamol not available in this part of China and I had finished mine by then) my headache and neck pain disappear.

Yes, it did return when the pills wore off (only took them 2 x per day), but over the next 36 hours the pain and giddiness lessen and gradually my appetite has returned. This might be partly due to some of the food on offer being less than appetising! I am fully recovered for our trip up to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain yesterday and enjoy my first glass of wine!

So now we head off for Shangri-La where we are walking at well over 3000m. I am up for it!

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