The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Eczema can be the consequence of several so-called “patterns of disharmony” in Chinese Medicine.
Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted, leading to symptoms or signs that something is wrong (like eczema here). It is similar to the concept of disease in Western Medicine but not quite: a Western disease can often be explained by several Chinese patterns and vice-versa.
A pattern often manifests itself in a combination of symptoms that, at first glance, do not seem necessarily related to each others. For instance here eczema is often associated with sores, vaginal itching and vaginal discharge in the pattern “Damp Heat in the Liver”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause eczema.
Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of eczema we’ve identified two herbal formulas that may help treat patterns behind the symptom.
We’ve also selected below the five medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat eczema.
In Chinese Medicine eczema is a symptom for 2 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.
The Liver is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Liver in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Wiry (Xian)
Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Yellow coating
Tongue color: Red
This pattern is caused by excessive Heat in the Liver and Dampness due to Spleen Deficiency. Dampness can cause the formation of Phlegm. Patients often have a feeling of fullness. It is often caused by bad diet and lifestyle, hot and damp environment and emotional stress such as anger.
Damp Heat in the Liver is often treated with Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Chinese Gentian - Long Dan Cao - as a key herb). Long Dan Xie Gan Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat from the organs", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder".
Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu)
Tongue color: Red
Heat in the Blood (or Blood-Heat) refers to a condition whereby Heat, as a so-called "Pernicious Influence", entered the Blood. This invasion tends to accelerate Blood flow (leading to a faster pulse) and to manifest itself in various types of bleeding as well as other symptoms.
Heat in the Blood is often treated with Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Water Buffalo Horns - Shui Niu Jiao - as a key herb). Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear nutritive-level heat", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Treats severe fevers and Heat in the Blood system".
Source date: 1682 AD
Number of ingredients: 10 herbs
Key actions: Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears and drains Damp-Heat from the Lower Burner.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp Heat in the Liver' of which eczema is a symptom.
Source date: 650 AD
Number of ingredients: 4 herbs
Key actions: Treats severe fevers and Heat in the Blood system. Removes Blood Stagnation.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Heat in the Blood' of which eczema is a symptom.
Its main actions are: Expels Damp-Heat especially in the Liver and Gallbladder Meridians. Clears Liver-Fire. Clears Liver-Wind.
Its main actions are: Expels Heat by Cooling Blood. Tonifies Yin by promoting Fluid production. Soothes the Heart by calming Blazing Fire. Cools and nourishes.
Its main actions are: Cools the Blood, drains Fire and stops reckless movement of Blood. Clears Heat and Fire and stops tremors and convulsions. Cools Fire and expels toxins.
Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat eczema as can be seen on Stephania Root's page.
Its main actions are: Encourages urination. Allays pain and dispels Wind-Damp painful obstruction (Bi Pain).
Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat eczema as can be seen on Gold Coin Herb 's page.
Its main actions are: Drains damp-heat. Promotes urination. Cools heat and disperses swellings. Cools blood and dispels toxicity.