Cortex Phellodendri is originated from the dried tree bark of Phellodendron chinense Schneid. It is one of the most commonly used traditional chinese medicinal plants for psoriasis, diaper rash, infant and toddler eczema treatment. The major active constituent of Cortex Phellodendri is berberine1.
Eczema is a common chronic itchy skin condition with high prevalence in children under the age of five, especially in the first six months. Some adolescence and adults also suffer from very mild to severe eczema. Conventional treatments include hydrocortisone cream, antifungal cream, topical or oral antibiotics, and systemic corticosteroids aimed at reducing skin inflammation.
Cortex Phellodendri has been widely used in herbal medicine for its anti-inflammatory effects. Scientific studies revealed that the anti-inflammatory effect of cortex Phellodendri was mediated by down-regulating the mRNA expression of a panel of inflammatory mediators including cyclooxygenase-2, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 1,2,3,4,5.
Other beneficial actions of cortex phellodendri include neuroprotective, anti-diarrheal and antimicrobial effects 6,7.
- Xian YF, et al. Comparison on the anti-inflammatory effect of cortex Phellodendri Chinensis and Cortex Phellodendri Amurensis in 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate-induced ear edema in mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Oct 11; 137(3):1425-30.
- Chan BC, et al. Traditional Chinese medicine for atopic eczema: PentaHerbs formula suppresses inflammatory mediators release from mast cells. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Oct 30;120(1):85-91.
- Isomaki P, et al. Pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Med. 1997 Dec; 29(6): 499-507.
- Kim S, et al. Berberine inhibits TPA-induced MMP-9 and IL-6 expression in normal human keratinocytes. Phytomedicine 2008 May; 15(5): 340-347.
- Lou T, et al. Berberine inhibits inflammatory response and ameliorates insulin resistance in hepatocytes. Inflammation. 2011 Dec;34(6):659-67.
- Xian YF, et al. Comparison the neuroprotective effect of Cortex Phellodendri chinensis and Cortex Phellodendri amurensis against beta-amyloid-induced neurotoxicity in PC12 cells. Phytomedicine. 2013 Jan 15;20(2):187-93.
- Yu HH, et al. Antimicrobial activity of berberine alone and in combination with ampicillin or oxacillin against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. J Med Food. 2005 Winter;8(4):454-61.