Coronary heart disease (CHD) is one of the most serious cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) threatening human health. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 17 million people die of CVDs in the world every year and 7.4 million die of CHD.

Coronary Artery Disease, which often develops over decades, occurs when the coronary arteries (which supply your heart with blood carrying nutrients and oxygen - think Qi) become damaged or diseased. The Mayo clinic explains how plaque affects your heart as follows. "When plaque builds up, it narrows your coronary arteries, decreasing blood flow to your heart. Eventually, the decreased blood flow may cause chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, or other coronary artery disease signs and symptoms. A complete blockage can cause a heart attack."

Based on the basic theories of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), CHD is equivalent to the term of ‘Xiong Bi’, which was described in the ‘Inner Canon of Yellow Emperor’.  The etiology and pathogenesis of CHD are related to blood stasis, which blocks the heart and vessels. Therefore, activating circulation and removing blood stasis (Chinese name in pinyin is ‘Huoxue Huayu’) is an important therapy for CHD.

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