In the latest edition of Alternative Therapies has an article on treating atopic dermatitits with a Japanese botanical formula called "juzentaihoto."
Never heard of it before, but the research looks quite promising and the pictures used in the article are quite impressive.
Apparently, juzentaihoto has powerful immunomodulatory effects. The treatment involved a rather large amount of a juzentaihoto formula -- 7.5 grams per day. The formula, derived from Japanese Kampo medicine, contained ten botanicals: astragali radix, cinnamomi cortex, angelicae radix, paeoniae radix, cnidii rhizoma, rehmanniae radix, ginseng radix, attractylodis lanceae rhizoma, poria, and glycyrrhizae radix.
Researchers believe the juzentaihoto formula provides benefits largely because of the "physiochemical interactions" among the combined botanicals (taking some of the botanicals out eliminated the positive effects), so there's something quite special about the formulation.
In the atopic dermatitis study, it took about a month to get significant results (the 58-year old patient could bend his elbows again) and in four months his skin eruptions had almost completely disappeared.
This is not surprising because the formula has been studied for its ability to boost the intestinal immune system.
According to Dr. Rodier, most skin problems are a failure of the immune system, which is largely in the gut, so anything boosting intestinal health boosts immune system health and also, handily, skin health.