Chinese medicinal herbs for treating skin disorders

Chinese herbology is highly effective in treating numerous ailments, including skin diseases.


Due to the complexity of plant materials Chinese herbology is more chemically balanced, and, therefore less likely to cause side effects than modern medicine which is based on isolated active ingredients. Herbal medicine is aimed primarily at correcting internal imbalances rather than only treating symptoms, and therapeutic intervention is designed to stimulate this self-healing process

Numerous clinical studies have proven the efficacy of TCM in the treatment of skin conditions such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Currently, the focus of dermatological research is directed at anti-microbial peptides (AMP) that are a part of the body’s chemical barrier. AMPs have an immediate antimicrobial effect on skin infections and inflammations, serving as the body’s own “antibiotics”. They furthermore regulate the innate immune system.

Among the main representatives of AMPs are defensins – a type of protein.  During skin infections and inflammatory reactions keratinocytes produce an increased amount of β-defensin-2 and β-defensin-3, which are broadly effective against most types of skin bacteria. However, skin diseases seem to result in mis-regulation of AMPs, as concluded from a decrease in production of β-defensin detected in people suffering from atopic dermatitis.

By contrast, an increase in β-defensin has been documented in psoriasis patients.
In the field of skin research there is growing interest in finding different plant-based and other active ingredients that can stimulate the formation of antimicrobial peptides.