Selected Research on Chinese Herbs at Seattle Acupuncture Center

A daily decoction of a formula containing 10 Chinese herbs, considered to be potentially beneficial in open trials in atopic eczema, were utilized in a double-blind controlled trial of 40 patients with a long standing refractory condition. The 2 groups received either 2 months of either the active formulation of herbs, or placebo herbs, followed by crossover treatment after a 4 week washout period. The mean score for erythema at the end of the active phase was 12.6, and at the end of the placebo phase 113. The mean score for surface damage was 11.3, and 111 at the end of the active treatment. Of the 31 patients who completed the study and expressed a preference, 20 preferred the phase of the trial in which they received the herbs, whereas 4% preferred the placebo. There was a subjective improvement in itching and sleeping during the herbal reatment. No side effects were noted. The authors conclude that traditional Chinese herbal therapy seems to benefit patients with atopic eczema.

“Efficacy of Traditional Chinese Herbal Therapy in Adult Dermatitis”, Sheehan, M.P., et al, The Lancet, July 4, 1992;340:13-17.

In 116 irritable bowel syndrome patients participating in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, subjects received either a standard preparation of Chinese herbs, an individually tailored Chinese herbal-medicine formulation or placebo, administered 3 times daily. Compared to the placebo group, patients in the 2 treatment groups showed significant improvement, both as rated by the patients themselves and by gastroenterologists. Standard Chinese herbal preparations were just as effective as preparations that were individually tailored to the patient.

“Chinese Herbs Calm Irritable Bowels,” Senior K, The Lancet, November 14, 1998;352:1605/JAMA, 1998;280:1569-1575/1585-1590