Eczema is a kind of common allergic inflammatory dermatitis. It is profoundly disturbing to patients because of extreme itching on the affected part of the skin, the polymorphic skin lesion, orrhorrhea, frequent recurrence and also lack of effective way of treatment in conventional medicine.
Two sister, aged ten and fourteen, had eczema since babyhood. They were treated with many types of cream and medicine in different medical traditions and received no improvement at all. They had the back of both knees affected. The itching disturbed their sleep and the lesion of the skin hampered their walking. They finally came to try Chinese Herbal Medicine. Eight courses of Chinese herbal medicine alleviated their sufferings and another eight courses cured them completely. What makes the Chinese herbal medicine so effective for eczema ? In terms of Chinese Medicine, the eczema is not caused by the skin itself although it occurs on the skin. It is Caused by internal pathogenic heat, dampness, wind or a mixture of them. The differentiation of these causes can be accomplished by the observation of the symptoms of affected skin, the colour of tongue and its fur, and physiological reaction. Different remedies are then used specifically to clean away heat, to remove dampness, to expel wind, to moist the dryness, or to cool the blood. This approach has been tried for thousands of years. Today, The common types of eczema are well categorised, their causes and effective remedies are well documented in Chinese medicine. It can be treated successfully by taking several sets of Chinese herbal medicines in normal cases although some chronic cases may need longer treatment.
As a matter of fact, the entire system of Chinese medicine takes the same approach as mentioned before. Its fundamental principle lies in two aspects. Firstly, it takes the human body as an organic whole and holds that the human body has very close and inseparable relations with external natural surroundings. Secondly, it emphasises that the diagnosis and treatment are based on an overall analysis of signs and symptoms rather than on illness itself. This approach explains why Chinese medicine has started to gain high popularity as an effective alternative medicine.
It is also important in Chinese system of medicine to maintain an appropriate diet to assist the medical treatment and to prevent the recurrence of the condition after treatment.
As we know, the symptoms relating to heat are easily observable with eczema patients. The affected parts of skin are usually diffusely red; with a sensation of burning; severe itching, and sometimes patients feel hot and thirsty. A high proportion of eczema is attributed to excess heat and dampness gathering inside the body according to the Chinese system of medicine. It is therefore recommended to consume fewer foods and drinks whose natures are hot and damp these foods and drinks include mainly lamb, chilli, hot curry or sauce, onion, garlic, alcohol, milk, cheese, chocolate and other dairy products.
Pork and beef are more or less neutral in nature and they generally do not aggravate the condition. Fresh fruits and vegetables are generally neutral or cold in nature and are therefore good for eczema. Exceptions are peach, tangerine and grape. Peach and tangerine are warm in nature and grape can produce excess internal heat if eaten a lot, although its nature is neutral.