Posted on Mar 20, 2009, 8 a.m.
By gary clark
Two recent studies have shown that drinking Chinese herbal tea, soaking in an herbal bath and using an herbal cream, can relieve the dry itchy skin associated with severe eczema.
Researcher Dr. Julia Wisniewski of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and her colleagues studied 14 childen who had persistent eczema. Each child was treated with Chinese medicine at the Ming Qi Natural Health Center in Manhattan between August 2006 and May 2008. Treatments included consuming Erka Shizheng Herbal Tea twice a day. In addition, they soaked in an herbal bath for 20 minutes daily and used an herbal cream, which they applied to their skin two or three times a day. The childen also underwent acupunture treatment.
When the study began, more than half of the children had severe symptoms, based on a scale dermatologists use to measure eczema severity. After just eight months, most had mild symptoms. "Improvement in symptoms and quality of life was seen as early as three months," Dr. Wisniewski says. The participants also reduced their use of steriods, antibiotics and antihistamines within the first three months of being treated with the traditional Chinese medicine. According to Dr. Wisniewski, "The herbal treatments proved safe, with no abnormalities in liver and kidney function observed. Chinese medicine is a very good alternative to conventional therapy for children with eczema." Children who had an allergy to cats, eggs or elm as toddlers are at an increased risk of developing eczema by the age of 4. Dr. Wisniewski also notes that eczema sufferers often continue to have flare-ups even after a decade of using steriods and immune-suppressing agents.
Adults with eczema can also benefit from traditional Chinese medicine, according to Japanese researchers who studied 274 men and women with long-term eczema. Close to one third had patches of chronically itchy, dry, inflamed skin over at least 10 percent of their bodies. According to Dr. Yoshiteru Shimoide, head of the Yoshiteru Shimoide Clinic of Internal Medicine in Kagoshima City, "Medicinal Chinese herbal remedies were selected and administered in accordance with the sufferer's symptoms - an approach known as Sho in oriental medicine." The study found that after just four months of treatment, 87 percent of the patients were symptom-free, with an additional 12 percent showing significant improvement.
News Release: Can Chinese herbs relieve eczema? www.webmed.com March 17, 2009