Chinese herbal medicine soothes eczema

March 13, 2008

Hong Kong - A new study suggests a traditional Chinese herbal medicine may improve the quality of life of those suffering from atopic eczema.

Hong Kong

- Researchers have discovered a traditional Chinese herbal medicine consisting of five herbs may soothe eczema symptoms, reducing the need for conventional medicine, BBC News reports.

The study, published in the British Journal of Dermatology, gave 85 patients either the medicine or placebo. Those who took the medicine reported their quality of life improved by a third, while placebo patients reported no improvement. Researchers also found the herbal remedy reduced the need for topical steroids by an average of four days a month, compared to one day a month in the placebo patients.

The herbs present in the medicine include Japanese honeysuckle, peppermint, root bark of peony tree, underground stem of the atractylodes herb and Amur cork-tree bark. Further testing showed patients who took the medicine had lower blood levels of four proteins associated with inflammatory effects linked to eczema, according BBC News.