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Home > Research > Eczema

TCM Treatment of Pediatric Eczema

Translated by Bob Flaws, Dipl. Ac., Dipl. C.H., FNAAOM  

Chinese Reports on the Treatment of Various Dermatological Conditions

"The Treatment of Pediatric Eczema with Shu Feng Qu Shi Tang (Course Wind, Eliminate Dampness Decoction)" by Zhan Nai-jun, Zhe Jiang Zhong Yi Za Zhi (Zhejiang Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine), #6, 1994, p. 262.

The author of this article has used Shu Feng Qu Shi Tang in the treatment of 36 cases of pediatric eczema (shi zhen) with entirely good results. Of the 36 cases, 22 were boys and 14 were girls. The course of disease had lasted from as long as one month to as short as one week with an average duration of 10 days. Eleven cases also had cough and panting (i.e., asthma), diarrhea, and other such diseases.

Shu Feng Qu Shi Tang consisted of: Caulis Lonicerae Japonicae (Ren Dong Teng), 9g, stir-fried Radix Scutellariae Baicalensis (Dan Qin), Periostracum Cicadae (Chan Yi), stir-fried Fructus Citri Seu Ponciri (Zhi Ke), and Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae (Chen Pi), 2g @, processed Bambyx Batryticatus (Jiang Can) and Cortex Radicis Dictamni (Bai Xian Pi), 6g @, stir-fried Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae (Bai Zhu), stir-fried Rhizoma Atractylodis (Cang Zhu), and Herba Agastachis Seu Pogostemmi (Huo Xiang), 5g @. If heat was heavy, Cortex Gardeniae Jasminodis (Zhi Zi Pi) and Rhizoma Imperatae Cylindricae (Bai Mao Gen) were added. If wind was severe, Radix Ledebouriellae Sesloidis (Fang Feng) and Folium Mori Albi (Sang Ye) were added. If dampness was severe, Semen Coicis Lachryma-jobi (Mi Ren) was added. And if the bowel movements were rough or coarse with foul smelling flatulence, carbonized Fructus Crataegi (Shan Zha Tan) was added.

Of the 36 cases, 34 were completely cured after taking the above medicinals internally for one week. The other two patients were cured after taking it for half a month.

Case history: Girl, 5.5 months old. Eczema had broke out half a month previously. Originally it had been on the head and face but had spread to the four limbs. Her spirit was vexed and her sleep was restless. When the lesions were scratched, a fatty water flowed. Her appetite was good, her stools were dry, there was smelly flatulence, yellowish urine, a white, slimy tongue coating, and her fingernails were pale purplish. In order to course wind and eliminate dampness aided by leveling the liver, she was given the basic formula minus Rhizoma Atractylodis (Cang Zhu) and Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae (Chen Pi) but with Flos Chrysanthemi Morifolii (Gan Ju), 6g, Fructus Tribuli Terrestris (Bai Ji Li), 9g, Folium Lophatheri Gracilis (Dan Zhu Ye), 5g, and Medulla Junci Effusi (Chen Deng Xin), 2 bundles. The child was given 3 ji.

On the return examination after taking the above medicinals, the lesions on the head and face were still apparent but the itching sensation was markedly diminished. At night, her sleep was more restful, her appetite was good, and her stools were loosish one to two times per day. At this time, her tongue coating was thin and slimy. Therefore, Rhizoma Atractylodis, Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae, and Pericostracum Cicadae were removed from the basic formula and stir-fried Semen Coicis Lachryma-jobi (Mi Ren), stir-fried Fructus Germinatus Oryzae Sativae (Gu Ya), Sclerotium Poriae Cocos (Fu Ling), and stir-fried Semen Dolichos Lablabis (Bian Dou), 9g @, and Fructus Kochiae Scopariae (Di Fu Zi), 6g, were added in order to strengthen the fortifying of the spleen and transforming of the dampness. After 4 ji of the above formula, the eczema was cured.

According to the author, this disease is known as milk tinea (nai xuan) in TCM. Usually it is due to fetal fire and damp heat. Internally, it is caused by damp heat internally smoldering, while externally it is due to wind evils externally invading. Thus wind and dampness become depressed in the flesh and exterior causing the onset of this disease. Because children's spleens are normally insufficient, it is not appropriate to use too many bitter, cold ingredients. Rather one should mainly use sweet, cold ones. In this formula, Caulis Lonicerae and a small amount of Scutellaria are the main medicinals for clearing wind, damp, and heat evils. Folium Mori and Periostracum Cicadae course the wind and clear heat. Bombyx Batryticatus and Dictamnus eliminate wind dampness and stop itching. Orange Peel and Agastaches aromatically and fragrantly arouse the stomach and eliminate dampness. While the two Atractylodes and Citrus Seu Poncirus transport the spleen, rectify the qi, and eliminate dampness at its root. When wind evils are coursed and damp heat eliminated, there are the results.


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