Q. I have been dealing with eczema and skin allergies for about two years. My arms, neck and face were always red and itchy.
I have used lots of prescription creams. They would work briefly but the problems always came back in a couple of days. The prescriptions also took the color out of my skin, so I had red and white patches on my arms.
In December I started drinking a cup or two of oolong tea daily after reading about it in the People’s Pharmacy. My skin hasn’t looked this good in years! So far the eczema has not returned and my skin doesn’t itch. I would absolutely recommend oolong tea for eczema.
A. Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea that falls somewhere between green tea and black tea. When leaves are plucked from the Camellia sinensis plant, they are either steamed quickly (green tea) or allowed to dry and turn black (oxidize) in the sun (black tea). Oolong is partially oxidized, providing its distinctive flavor.
Japanese researchers reported more than a decade ago that drinking oolong tea could help control eczema, also known to doctors as atopic dermatitis (Archives of Dermatology, Jan. 2001). We certainly wish that other researchers would confirm this finding, but many readers have written to report success:
“I went to some of the best dermatologists in the US, even flying from Florida to Harvard/Mass General. They gave me all sorts of remedies for eczema but I didn’t get the benefit I wanted.
I saw your recommendation and started drinking oolong tea. I went off all the other creams, etc. and it worked great. My eczema is 90 percent gone in ten days.”
“During a discussion of possible remedies for eczema on your public radio program, someone mentioned that drinking oolong tea reduced his symptoms. I suffered for years with a spot of eczema on my ankle about the size of a softball. At times it was raw and at other times it was a little better, but it was a constant presence for years.
“I had tried every over-the-counter treatment with no luck and had completely given up hope that it would ever go away. I had no expectation that oolong tea would work, but I started drinking it a couple of times a day for about a month. The eczema disappeared.
“That was over a year ago. I stopped drinking the oolong tea long ago, and the eczema has not returned. I am simply amazed, and I cannot thank you enough for that home remedy.”