Chinese Medicine for Vitiligo – All you need to know

chinese medicine for vitiligo

Chinese treatment for vitiligo involves combining the topical and internal use of Psoralea seed extract, rich in psoralens. Additionally, Chinese food therapy, acupuncture, and moxibustion are used to adjust internal secretion function and regulate immunity function. Direct sun exposure, prolonged living in a damp environment, air conditioning when sweating, and potentially irritating foods (such as shrimp, crab, lamb, and chili) are prohibited during the treatment.

The lesions on the face usually quickly respond to the treatment. The effects of treatment are better in children. Patients with ease and stability of mind have better results than those with mental stress, melancholy, and insomnia. However, many people with extensive vitiligo often report no re-pigmentation. Many patients abort the treatment prematurely due to strict discipline and inconvenience.

How does Chinese treatment for vitiligo work?

The pathogenic factors of vitiligo are heat in the blood, and invasion by exogenous wind or damp. The primary therapeutic principle for treating vitiligo in Chinese medicine is nourishing the kidney, promoting blood circulation, and dispelling pathogenic wind.

The treatment relies on the ancient Chinese medicine system to regulate the qi and blood, unload the heat, activate the blood circulation, and dredge the channels and vessels to support the healthy energy and strengthen immunity.

After making lifestyle changes, getting acupuncture, engaging in food therapy, taking powerful herbal formulas, external ointments are considered as the final step to cure vitiligo.


A chief component of traditional Chinese medicine, Acupuncture can help some people produce some noticeable changes in their localized vitiligo. In this method, acupuncturists stick small needles into specific areas of the body to unblock healing energy. Acupuncture stimulates the local and surrounding melanocytes for selective reactivation of melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH).

Acupuncture for vitiligo works best when it is done more frequently. Anywhere from 5-20 sessions may be needed for instilling balance in the body (as per the principle of ancient Chinese medicine), at least at the beginning of treatment.


Acupuncture and moxibustion improve the blood circulation and metabolism on lesion positions. In a bid to treat vitiligo from the root, they are believed to promote the synthesis of melanophore and improve the melanophore activity.

Herbal Formulas

Chinese herbal formulas attempt to treat the autoimmune disorder via stimulating the interrupted melanin production. The most prescribed Chinese herbs to treat vitiligo include Tribulus, Spirodela, Ho-Shou-wu, Xanthium, Tang-Kuei, scorpion, Carthamus, and Cnidium. These herbs are usually crushed into fine powder to make tablets. Often, the usage of 10 grams of the mixture of these herbs is prescribed thrice in a day.

Other herbs decocted in water for oral administration are Astragalus, Tang-Kuei, Ho-Shou-wu, Lycium, Cuscuta, Cnidium, Tribulus, Angelica, Persica, and Carthamus, black sesame seed, peony, red peony, albizzia, raw Rehmannia, cooked Rehmannia, Prunella, astragalus seed, Gentiana, polygala, and salvia.

External application

The external therapy consists of applying a psoralen-rich tincture to the white patches, followed by short exposure to natural sunlight. Psoralens are chemicals found in Psoralea corylifolia, a Chinese herb. The chemical makes the skin more sensitive to the sun and stimulates the interrupted melanin production.

Please avoid self-medication with any of the medicines mentioned above. Always consult an expert before starting with a treatment.

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