Can Traditional Chinese Herbs Help Treat Eczema?

Can Traditional Chinese Herbs Help Treat Eczema

Studies indicate that eczema symptoms may be effectively relieved by using herbs that are utilised in traditional Chinese medicine.

The symptoms of eczema, an inflammatory skin condition, include rashes, itching, and dry skin. Although eczema has no known cure, there are conventional and complementary therapies that can lessen symptoms.

An alternative therapy for eczema is traditional Chinese medicine or TCM. This is an ancient Chinese alternative medicine that has been used for thousands of years. Herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies are combined in a holistic manner to treat a range of ailments, including eczema.

This article examines the potential applications of TCM for eczema symptom relief.

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine’s approach to eczema?

TCM uses a combination of the following items or therapies to treat eczema, sometimes referred to as atopic dermatitis:
  • lotions
  • acupuncture
  • acupressure
  • creams
  • baths
  • teas
  • pills
To reduce an individual's immune system's sensitivity to environmental and dietary allergens, these treatments are often combined.

The formulation, including the components and quantity, can be modified by TCM practitioners to meet a patient's unique skin condition as well as any additional factors that may be exacerbating symptoms when treating eczema.

Which Chinese herbs have been used to treat eczema?

Fang Feng (Saposhnikovia divaricata)

Recent studies have indicated that this herb has antioxidant, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory qualities. It also aids in immune system regulation.

To cure eczema, fung feng is used topically, or on the skin.

Gan Cao (Radix glycyrrhizae)

According to a 2016 study, this herb's primary constituents include immunoregulatory, analgesic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects. Additionally, the plant showed anticancer properties by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.

Huang Qin (Scutellaria baicalensis)

This Chinese herb has antioxidant, antiviral, and antibacterial qualities that may aid in the treatment of infections and inflammatory illnesses, per a 2016 study.

Huang Qin is administered topically as a paste or cream for the skin. It can be consumed orally as well.

Mu Dan Pi (Moutan Cortex Radicis)

According to a 2020 study, there are components in this Chinese herb that reduce inflammation symptoms. It is applied to autoimmune and inflammatory conditions such as eczema.

Yi Yi Ren (Coicis Semen)

The dried seeds of the Coix lacrymal-jobi plant are the source of Yi Yi Ren.

Yi Yi Ren has been demonstrated in a 2020 study to modulate the immune system and reduce eczema-related inflammation. Both topical and oral use of the herb are safe.

Mu Li (Concha Ostreae)

Mu Li has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-allergen qualities, according to a 2022 study. Although it's not a herb—ground oyster shells are what it is made of—the study found that it helped reduce the symptoms of chronic itching in atopic dermatitis patients with a 70% success rate.

Individuals can ingest it or apply it straight to their skin.

Ci Shi (Magnetite)

Treatments for allergic illnesses like eczema may be more effective when Ci Shi is used because of its immunosuppressive qualities, which lessen the body's immunological response. This mineral can be applied topically as a soaking solution or as an oral supplement.

Zi Cao (Radix arnebiae)

According to a 2021 assessment of research, Zi Cao may be used to cure inflammation and skin sores. This herb is frequently prepared as an oil or cream to be administered topically.

How effective are Chinese herbs used to treat eczema?

Herbs and minerals used in traditional Chinese medicine have been shown to have potential benefits in the treatment of eczema.

A 2020 study suggests that Qinzhuliangxue decoction (QZLXD), a TCM-based concoction, may help with various eczema symptoms and consequences.

According to the 176 trial participants with subacute atopic eczema, QZLXD reduced the likelihood of relapse and alleviated symptoms.

According to a 2022 study that included 662 individuals (322 in the experimental group and 340 in the control group), TCM compounds may also help study participants with atopic dermatitis sleep better by reducing the size and severity of skin lesions, or abnormal changes in the skin.

Are there any side effects associated with Chinese herbs?

Although TCM appears to be useful in treating eczema symptoms, many Chinese herbal medicines may include harmful ingredients, according to the National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). These include:
  • toxic compounds
  • minor aches and pains
  • asthma
  • severe allergic reactions
  • pesticides
  • microorganisms
  • organ damage
  • heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, and cadmium
Consultation with a physician is advised before using TCM for eczema or other medical issues.

Although data indicates that between 40 and 90 percent of expectant mothers utilise TCM, little is known about the safety of this complementary therapy for expectant mothers and their developing foetuses.

What other home remedies are useful for treating eczema?

  • hypnosis
  • probiotics
  • vitamins B12 and D
  • wet wraps
  • tea tree baths
  • colloidal oatmeal baths
  • natural oils, such as sunflower and coconut oils
  • specific diets, including those that are low in allergens, sugar-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free
Parents of children with itchy eczema might also find some useful home treatment recommendations in this article from the American Academy of Dermatology.

It can be difficult to navigate alternative eczema relief solutions. Expert advice on safe and effective alternative treatments can be obtained from a physician or dermatologist.


Eczema is one of the many medical diseases that are commonly treated using traditional Chinese medicine. Some Chinese herbs include anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-allergen qualities that may help avoid or lessen the need for treating eczema.

Although TCM appears to be helpful, care should be taken because tainted herbal items may have unfavourable side effects that range in severity from mild to severe.

Consult a physician to determine if TCM is a suitable treatment option for your eczema before looking into it.

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