Molluscum Contagiosum is a skin disease that can effect anyone but is more common in children under ten years of age. It can be spread by direct skin contact and sharing of towels and the incubation period is a couple weeks but could be as long as six months. It is caused by a virus and leaves small round papules of various colours and can make the skin around them break out into dermatitis.
From a western medical perspective, there is no anti-viral agent or medication that can help. Laser treatments can leave scars and cryotherapy can leave white marks.
Skin diseases such as psorasis, eczema, hives and dermatitis have been treated by Chinese herbs for centuries. Ancient Chinese medical texts had different names for all the types of skin diseases that we see today but were also around many centuries ago. Molluscum Contagiosum is also a problem in modern day China as it is here in New Zealand today.
As there is no effective western medical treatment available for Molluscum Contagiosum, in the modern day Chinese hospital, Chinese herbs are used for this condition. There are hundreds of herbs and hundreds of formula available at hand for a practitioner of Chinese medicine and herbs are prescribed to suit the individual requirements of the specific patient.
A well respected doctor of Chinese medicine, Dr Wang Xin Suo, of the Beijing Yixintang Medical Research Institute has over many years of experience developed his own base formula in the treatment of Molluscum Contagiosum. It needs to be stressed here to the reader, that this is the base formula used as a guide and then the formula is varied according the needs of the individual patient.
In particular, it must be noted that most children constitutionally, according to traditional Chinese medicine, have a deficiency of stomach and spleen energy and hence this formula would be modified acordingly. Herbs would be added or subtracted or doses altered to accommodate the individual needs of the patient. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as one size fits all. For example, if the child had Molluscum Contagiosum concurrent with low appetite and loose stools would require a variation of the formula to help boost spleen function. In another case, the child may have chronic insomnia where they wake up in the middle of the night with a terror or anxious feeling. This may indicate a heart or gall bladder problem so herbs are supplemented to address those imbalances.
The basis of Dr Wang Xin Suo formula and proportional weights is as below and can used to be referred to by other qualified Chinese herbalists to help assist in them designing a combination formula suited to the individual needs and consitition of the patient.
ban lan gen 3
bai jiang cao 2
zi cao 1
ma chi jian 3
da qing ye 2
mu jei 1
tu fu ling 2
lian qiao 2
xiang fu 1
yi yi ren 2
gan cao 1
Heiko Lade has a master’ss degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the University of Technology, Sydney and has had over 30 years clinical experience. Acupuncture New Zealand has over 700 members nation wide, many of whom have done additional degrees in Chinese herbal medicine.