Dr. Anna Hsieh Gold, one of the Bay Area’s most sought-after practitioners of TCM, happens to specialize in fertility and hormone related issues. So, when she developed her line of Dr. Anna Gold (formerly Arcana) herbal tinctures, it was only natural for her to include formulas that would specifically address the hormonal challenges she sees most frequently in her clients.
Ayla: ELEVATE appears to take care of seemingly unrelated conditions. It also sounds too good to be true: it lifts sagging, puffy skin; alleviates fatigue; reduces hot flashes; nourishes dry skin; and supports mental acuity. What kind of magical tonic is this? How does it work?
ANNA GOLD: Chinese medicine bases its diagnoses on syndromes, not symptoms. A symptom is just that; an expression of a condition. But a syndrome is a group of related symptoms interwoven by mechanisms that lead one condition to another. If you understand the TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) syndrome that this formula addresses, all these symptoms that Elevate can address make sense.
ELEVATE is in part based on a formula called Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, which is a classic TCM formula used to tonify Kidney Yin — the primordial source of fluids in the body that moistens and nourishes organs and tissues. Kidney Yin is the reserve of nutrients and fuel for physiological activities. It is depleted over time by staying up late at night, overworking, too much sex, stimulation, birthing, and aging. As kidney Yin recedes, the moisture in both skin and body dry out, and hot flashes and deep fatigue can occur. This formulation address the syndrome of Kidney Yin deficiency that is synonymous with menopause.
In one clinical study from 2019, the ingredients of this formula — Rehmannia, Chinese Yam rhizome, Asiatic Dogwood, Asian Water Plantain, Poria, and Tree Peony Bark — were shown to slow down cognitive deterioration and benefit cognitive impairments and gastrointestinal microbiota dysbiosis associated with Alzheimer’s.
Other ingredients in ELEVATE, like Astragalus, have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties. Pharmacological studies have shown that astragalus has significant antioxidant and immunoregulatory properties, and it can even help protect telomeres. Telomeres are the compound structures at the end of chromosomes that protect the DNA stands; as we age, these telomeres start to fray and thus begin symptoms associated with aging.
In Chinese medicine, there’s the concept of “Jing,” or Essence. Jing is the foundation of our physical body, the basis of our vitality. Similar to DNA, it carries the blueprint of our primordial inheritance. It is said that we cannot replenish Jing, but that we can slow down the deterioration —in a way similar to the way that certain herbs like Astragalus can influence the degeneration of telomeres.
Ayla: Tell us about the other magical tonic we love, BALANCE, and how it addresses perimenopause and menopause.
ANNA GOLD: One of the lesser known symptoms of perimenopause and menopause is mood swings. This occurs when estrogen and progesterone are suffering from imbalances. BALANCE tincture addresses mood instability, which can be expressed as anxiety, depression, or stress, by promoting the TCM concept of “Liver Qi Stagnation.” The Liver in Chinese medicine is responsible for proper circulation of blood and energy throughout the body. Liver Qi Stagnation can arise with emotional instability, chronic stress, and illness — and in the case of menopause, hormonal imbalances. It is characterized by the lack of circulating vitality, when the body feels tense and the breath is shallow.
Balance incorporates ingredients such as Bupleurum and Tree Peony, which promote blood circulation to the Liver. It also contains Ashwaganda to help the body lower cortisol, the stress hormone, and Lemon Balm to calm mood. A placebo-controlled trial found that menopausal women suffering from interrupted sleep reported much better rest after taking lemon balm, and many of my patients have found it to be helpful from that standpoint, too.
We adore Anna and are thrilled to carry her entire line of Dr. Anna Gold tinctures (formerly known as Arcana). Learn more about Traditional Chinese Medicine with her here, find out how she works with Kristina Holey to develop tinctures that care for skin from the inside out here, discover more about BALANCE’s effects on stress and anxiety here, and learn how DEFEND can be part of a solid immunity-boosting plan here.
And to take a deeper dive into perimenopause and menopause, here are some additional resources you can find on our blog:
- Watch a recording of our virtual Q&A with Dr. Tamara Neuhaus, The Cusp’s Chief Medical Officer, and our founder, Dara, here.
- Read our interview about skin and body symptoms during Perimenopause and Menopause with Dr. Neuhaus here.
- For skin-specific information and suggestions, check out our blog posts with dermatologist Jeanette Graf, MD here and with skincare specialist Kristina Holey and star formulator Marie Veronique here.
About Dr. Anna Gold: a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, and Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine — with additional advanced degrees (in Traditional Oriental Medicine and Constitutional Facial Acupuncture), years of practice, and thousands of happy clients — Anna Gold is one of the most sought-after acupuncturists in the Bay Area, known not only for her skill in treating challenges ranging from infertility to asthma, but also for her partnership in treating skin conditions with Kristina Holey. Prior to her career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Anna was an instructor at Jivamukti Yoga in New York. And before studying yoga, Anna graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from Berkeley, where she also completed all the prerequisites for medical school.
Any topic discussed in this article is not intended as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, please check with your doctor.