Chinese Herbs for Psoriasis

Chinese Herbs for Psoriasisphoto: joelschreck.com

TCM Herbs for Psoriasis

Psoriasis is not simply a topical condition. It is rooted in “internal dryness”.  In some cases, Chinese herbal medicine can offer help to people with this condition.

Psoriasis is called SONG PI XIAN. When it appears in dotted form it is called BAI BI. It is said to be caused by malnourishment of the skin due to Blood Dryness. Such dryness can be caused by Invasion of Pathogenic Wind or by Heat.

“Heat”,  in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), refers to both heat you can measure, like a fever, or heat you can’t measure – like hot flashes. Heat is also inflammation, hyperactivity, or over stimulation.

Treating Psoriasis with Traditional Chinese Medicine

At least Three Kinds of Psoriasis According to TCM

1) Flaming Of Heat-Evil At The Qi And Blood Levels Combined With Wind

Erythema and scales appear continuously, expanding and spreading throughout the skin of the body. The lesions are flushed and swollen. The scales are easily shed when scratched. Itching is often intense.

Cool the Blood and Expel Wind Decoction (LIANG XUE XIAO FENG TANG).
Ingredients:
Sheng Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae Glutinosae) 
Sheng Shi Gao (Gypsum)
Bai Mao Gen (Rhizoma Imperatae Cylindricae) 
Xuan Shen (Radix Scrophulariae Ningpoensis) 
ZHI MU(Radix Anemarrhenae Asphodeloidis) 
Bai Shao (Radix Paeoniae Lactiflorae) 
Jin YIN Hua (Flos Lonicerae Japonicae) 
NIU BANG ZI(Fructus Arctii Lappae) 
JING JIE (Herba seu Flos Schizonepetae Tenuifoliae) 
Fang Feng (Radix Ledebouriellae Sesloidis) 
GAN CAO (Radix Glycyrrhizae Uralensis) 

2. Blood-heat and Blood-stasis

The skin lesions are less severe than and the swelling is not as pronounced. The course of the disease is slow, with new lesions appearing sporadically.
Psoriasis lesions of this type are usually purple red macules that are moist and covered by a thick layer of scales.

NIU PI XUAN HAO FANG

Ingredients:

Tu Fu Ling (Rhizoma Smilacis Glabrae) 
Sheng Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae Glutinosae) 
Ban Lan Gen (Radix Isatidis seu Baphicacanthi) 
Da Qing Ye (Folium Daqingye)
Xuan Shen (Radix Scrophulariae Ningpoensis) 
Mai Men Dong (Tuber Ophiopogonis Japonici) 
Jin YIN Hua (Flos Lonicerae Japonicae) 
LIAN QIAO(Fructus Forsythiae Suspensae) 
Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae Baicalensis) 
DANG GUI(Radix Angelicae Sinensis) 
Hong Hua (Flos Carthami Tinctorii) 

3) Toxic-heat and Blood-stasis

The lesions are dark red or pigmented and covered by thick, hard and adherent scales. Occasionally, the scales are rough. Long-standing lesions may overlap, causing the skin to take on a map-like appearance. Sometimes these lesions may be itch, hurt or fissure. In some cases, the joints are affected. The lesions can persist for years.

NIU PI XUAN ER HAO FANG

Ingredients
TU FU LING (Rhizoma Smilacis Glabrae) 20%
YIN CHEN HAO (Herba Artemisiae Capillaris) 15%
SHENG DI HUANG (Radix Rehmanniae Glutinosae) 15%
JIN YIN HUA (Flos Lonicerae Japonicae) 10%
LIAN QIAO (FRUCTUS Forsythiae Suspensae) 10%
SHI GAO (Gypsum) 10%
PU GONG YIN (Herba Taraxaci Mongolici cum Radice) 5%
ZI HUA DI DING (Herba Violae cum Radice) 5%
SAN LENG (Rhizoma Sparganii) 5%
YE JU HUA (Flos Chrysanthemi Indici) 5%

Topical Psoriasis Treatment

1. Ointment (PU LIAN GAO)

Ingredients
Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae Baicalensis) 50g
Huang Bai (Cortex Phellodendri) 50g
Vaseline 400g

Method
Grind the first two herbal ingredients into fine powder and
 make an ointment by mixing the powder with melted petroleum jelly (Vaseline).

2. Bathing once a day in a decoction made 
from:
Ku Shen (Radix Sophorae Flavescentis) 60g
Tu Fu Ling (Rhizoma Smilacis Glabrae) 30g
YIN Chen Hao (Herba Artemisiae Capillaris) 30g
Da Huang (Rhizoma Rhei) 30g
Ye JU HUA (Flos Chrysanthemi Indici) 30g
Zi Hua Di Ding (Herba Violae cum Radice) 30g
GAN CAO (Radix Glycyrrhizae Uralensis) 30g

Method
Each day, stay immersed in the bath for thirty to forty 
minutes.

Psoriasis Research & Acupuncture

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center website; Acupuncture may help some people with psoriasis, possibly due to the relaxation effect of the therapy combined with traditional Chinese medicine approaches of eliminating the "heat" and "dampness" in the meridians (energy pathways in the body) associated with psoriasis.

Acupuncture treatment for psoriasis: a retrospective case report. By Liao SJ; Liao TA.

Acupuncture and Electro-Therapeutics Research, 1992 Jul-Sep, 17(3):195-208.
(UI: 93034519) AT: UCLA Biomed wl AC999T
(PE title: Acupuncture & electro-therapeutics research.)

Abstract: We treated 61 cases of psoriasis with acupuncture, including 25 patients with complications of joint involvement and two cases with scleroderma additionally. Most of them (about 61%) had quite extensive involvement of the body. The average of duration of their illness was over 16 years, ranging from two to 65 years.

They received an average of about nine sessions of acupuncture treatment, ranging from one to 15. Almost one third (19) of them had eleven to thirteen sessions.

With the acupuncture treatment, about one-half (30) of the 61 patients had complete or almost complete clearance of the skin lesions. About a quarter (14 patients) of them had a clearance of about two thirds of the skin lesions. Eight of them had a clearance of one third of the skin lesions. Nine patients had minimal or no improvement.

Our experience indicates that acupuncture is an effective therapeutic modality for psoriasis, particularly when the western medical management is unsuccessful. We speculated about the possible involvement of the cutaneous reticuloendothelial system in the clearance of the skin lesions.

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