A Cochrane database systematic review of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) for atopic eczema was not able to find conclusive evidence that CHM, taken orally or applied topically, could reduce the severity of eczema in children or adults. The Australian authors included 28 studies, most which were assessed to be at high risk of bias, involving a total of 2306 participants. Although some of the studies suggested a positive effect of CHM compared with placebo or conventional treatment, substantial inconsistency between studies was noted, and the authors therefore warn that any positive effect of CHM should be treated with caution. They conclude that well-designed, adequately powered RCTs are needed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of CHM for managing eczema. (Chinese herbal medicine for atopic eczema. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Sep 10;9:CD008642).