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Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient health care system that involves many different practices employed by practitioners who have often inherited the skills from family predecessors. The administration of a wide selection of different herbs and extracts combined in unique and specific formulations for each individual patient means that it is very hard to objectively study TCM as far as psoriasis is concerned or any diseases for that matter. TCM comes in oral, topical and injectable preparations.
In China and now most Western countries, many herbal preparations, both oral and topical, are available for treating psoriasis. Some of these make the skin more sensitive to ultraviolet light and are combined with traditional phototherapy. Other preparations concentrate on detoxifying the body and providing a balance of essential phyto-nutrients which are often lacking in the diet. These formulations, provided they are done by qualified and experienced doctors experienced in TCM, can be very effective at treating autoimmune disease judging from the amount of anecdotal evidence that exists.
However, psoriasis sufferers should be made aware of some of the problems arising from using TCM that is formulated using questionable practises. There are thousands of anecdotal reports of good results from using TCM but there are also a lot of reports of products deliberately being tainted with steroid drugs and causing skin thinning and side effects. In one analysis done in London on 14 products purchased from different suppliers of TCM for psoriasis, 12 of the products had steroid drugs in them with several of them containing steroids over the limit you could buy on prescription from your doctor! So be very wary about any TCM formulation unless it is coming from a well recognised and reliable source.
Any studies of TCM are particularly hard, if not impossible, to control because of the individualised nature of the preparations used.
In the hands of properly trained individuals however, the centuries of wisdom behind TCM may be able to help many people. Caution is advised at all times if you are dealing with a TCM practitioner who is lacking credentials.. The lack of quality control, regulation and standardization of TCM has led to many reports of products deliberately laced with steroids and other unpleasant contaminants. Liver complications have actually arisen in some patients.
Perhaps the worlds leading expert on TCM and the extraction process of traditional herbs is Dr Albert Y Leung BS MS PhD who has been an outspoken advocate of quality in the field of herbal extracts for over 25 years. I suggest anyone contemplating using TCM for any reason visit Dr Leung's website for more information on TCM and the role phyto-nutrients play in overall health.
Judging by the amount of anecdotal evidence, properly extracted herbal formulas used as part of a holistic approach to health may benefit many people greatly who are suffering from auto-immune dysfunction. As psoriasis is a known autoimmune disease then some of the unique phyto-nutrients contained within a TCM formula could well provide a key to unlocking the puzzle. Just make sure the herbs are from a highly reputable source!
Read our free e-book on psoriasis and Natural Health to get a better understanding of the role phyto-nutrients play in health.
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