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Dermatrol (HZ)


* Shingles (herpes zoster)

* Shingles with skin lesions and nerve pain



* Antiviral effect to shorten the duration and suppress the severity of shingles

* Anti-inflammatory effect to reduce inflammation

* Analgesic effect to relieve pain



* Drains damp-heat

* Purges fire

* Eliminates toxins

* Tonifies the underlying deficiencies



Take 4 capsules three times daily during the entire course of infection. The herbal therapy should begin immediately upon the notice of the first warning signs. If necessary, the dosage may be doubled on the first two days of herbal therapy to achieve a faster onset of action. However, this formula should be discontinued when the course of infection is terminated.



Chi Shao (Radix Paeoniae Rubra)

Chong Lou (Rhizoma Paridis)

Dao Di Wu Gong (Rhizoma Heliminthostachytis)

Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae)

Gan Cao (Radix et Rhizoma Glycyrrhizae)

Huang Bo (Cortex Phellodendri Chinensis)

Huang Lian (Rhizoma Coptidis)

Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae)

Jin Qian Cao (Herba Lysimachiae)

Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae Japonicae)

Jing Jie (Herba Schizonepetae)

Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae)

Long Dan (Radix et Rhizoma Gentianae)

Mu Dan Pi (Cortex Moutan)

Niu Bang Zi (Fructus Arctii)

Pu Gong Ying (Herba Taraxaci)

Zhi Zi (Fructus Gardeniae)

Zi Hua Di Ding (Herba Violae)



Shingles, also known as chickenpox, herpes zoster, zona zoster, is caused by re-activation of the varicella-zoster virus (human herpes virus type 3). Shingles is an acute viral inflammation of the sensory ganglia of spinal and cranial nerves associated with a vesicular eruption and neuralgic pain. Optimal treatment requires use of medicinal substances to treat both the cause and the symptoms. Treating the cause requires use of antiviral agents to suppress the virus and shorten the duration of infection. Treating the symptoms requires use of medicines to reduce inflammation and pain.



Dermatrol (HZ) is an herbal formula specifically formulated to treat shingles (herpes zoster). In traditional Chinese medicine, the history of treating shingles is well-documented, with the first recorded treatment in Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic) from the second century A.D. Shingles is generally diagnosed as the presence of damp-heat, fire and toxins, accompanied by underlying deficiencies. Therefore, Dermatrol (HZ) incorporates herbs specifically to drain damp-heat, purge fire, eliminate toxins, and tonify the underlying deficiencies.

        In this formula, Dao Di Wu Gong (Rhizoma Heliminthostachytis) is used as the principle herb as it has a unique effect to clear heat and eliminate toxins. The use of this herb has been documented to effectively treat shingles, both in internal and topical formulations. Long Dan (Radix et Rhizoma Gentianae) and Jin Qian Cao (Herba Lysimachiae) clear damp-heat from the Liver and Gallbladder channels. Together, they drain damp-heat through urination. Huang Lian (Rhizoma Coptidis), Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae), Huang Bo (Cortex Phellodendri Chinensis) and Zhi Zi (Fructus Gardeniae) clear damp-heat from upper, middle and lower jiaos, and enable this formula to treat shingles affecting different parts of the body. Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae Japonicae), Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae) and Jing Jie (Herba Schizonepetae) clear heat and toxins from the exterior to treat lesions and sores. Niu Bang Zi (Fructus Arctii), Pu Gong Ying (Herba Taraxaci), Zi Hua Di Ding (Herba Violae) and Chong Lou (Rhizoma Paridis) clear heat and eliminate toxins from the interior to treat lesions and sores. Chi Shao (Radix Paeoniae Rubra) activates blood circulation and relieves pain. Adequate blood circulation will ensure proper healing of the lesions. Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae) and Mu Dan Pi (Cortex Moutan) nourish yin and clear deficiency heat. They also prevent all the bitter and cold herbs from consuming the yin and fluids of the body. Lastly, Gan Cao (Radix et Rhizoma Glycyrrhizae) harmonizes all the herbs in this formula.

        In short, Dermatrol (HZ) is an herbal formula that utilizes thousands of years of clinical experiences to treat shingles. It shortens the duration and reduces the severity of illness by using herbs to drain damp-heat, purge fire, eliminate toxins and tonify the underlying deficiencies.



* This formula is bitter and cold, and may cause nausea and vomiting in individuals who have a sensitive stomach. Therefore, it may be taken with food to minimize such adverse reactions.

* This formula should be stopped once symptoms are cleared. It is not recommended for long-term use.



* Dermatrol (HZ) is a potent herbal formula that treats shingles. It should be used immediately with the first warning signs of herpes outbreak, and continued until the remission. However, it should not be taken indefinitely as this formula is relatively strong, and may weaken the overall constitution if taken for a long period of time. Discontinue use after symptoms have cleared. However, if there is still pain, herbs can be continued for a few more days. Acupuncture is a more effective method for treating the pain after herpetic lesions have cleared.

* Herbal therapy is most effective if it is started immediately, upon experiencing the first warning signs. The dosage may be doubled on the first two days to speed up the initial onset of action. The herbal therapy should be continued until the course of infection is terminated. Possible warning signs and symptoms may include: headache, flu-like symptoms (usually without a fever), and sensitivity to light, followed by itching, tingling, or even severe pain in the area of the rash.

* Herpetic lesions can also be treated topically, in conjunction with taking herbs orally. There are two topical treatments that are quite effective:

§ The first topical treatment uses an herbal paste made from mixing the extract granules of 2 parts Da Huang (Radix et Rhizoma Rhei), 2 parts Huang Bo (Cortex Phellodendri Chinensis), 1 part Wu Bei Zi (Galla Chinensis), and 1 part Mang Xiao (Natrii Sulfas) with petroleum jelly. The herbal paste is to be applied topically and covered with gauze. The herbal paste should be changed on a daily basis.

§ The second topical treatment uses Hai Jin Sha (Spora Lygodii) as an herbal wash. Mix 1 tablespoon of the extract granule of Hai Jin Sha (Spora Lygodii) with 1 cup of water and apply topically as a wash after shower.

* It is important to see an ophthalmologist if the shingles lesions appear near the eyes. If untreated, herpes zoster infection of the eye may lead to blindness.



* To enhance the overall effect to treat genital herpes, combine with Gentiana Complex.

* To enhance the overall effect to treat oral herpes, combine with Lonicera Complex.

* To enhance the antiviral effect, add Herbal AVR.

* For post-herpetic nerve pain, combine with Flex (NP).

* To strengthen the immune system and minimize the recurrences of shingles, use Immune + and Nourish on a regular basis at low doses.

* For chronic pain without blisters but dark appearance at the place of the lesions, add Circulation (SJ).

* For fever, add Gardenia Complex.



Bleeding technique is very effective in the treatment of shingles. Wear gloves and bleed the local area with a lancet needle. Finish by applying Zi Yun Gao (Purple Cloud Ointment).


Traditional Points:

* Hegu (LI 4), Zhigou (TH 6), Yanglingquan (GB 34). Insert needles 0.5 cun deep all along the sides of the shingles (use between 4 and 16 needles).

* Tap plum-blossom needles all along the sides of the shingles. Be careful not to tap directly on the lesions. Tap until there is slight bleeding from the skin.

§ Shingles with more itching (wind): Quchi (LI 11), Fengchi (GB 20), Hegu (LI 4), Waiguan (TH 5), Yanglingquan (GB 34), Xuehai (SP 10)

§ Shingles with more burning sensations (toxic heat): ah shi points, Huatuojiaji, Quchi (LI 11), Waiguan (TH 5), Yanglingquan (GB 34)

§ Shingles with more pain (qi and blood stagnation): Zhangmen (LR 13), Yifeng (TH 17), Zhigou (TH 6), Yanglingquan (GB 34)

§ Shingles with wet lesions (dampness and Spleen deficiency): Zusanli (ST 36), Qimen (LR 14), Yuanye (GB 22), Fenglong (ST 40), Zhigou (TH 6), ah shi points


Classic Master Tung's Points:

* Herpes zoster: Linggu (T 22.05), Tianhuang (T 88.13), Minghuang (T 88.12), Qihuang (T 88.14), Simashang (T 88.18), Simazhong (T 88.17), Simaxia (T 88.19), Shuitong (T 1010.19), Shuijin (T 1010.20)

* Herpes of the eyes: Shangbai (T 22.03), Tianhuangfu [Shenguan] (T 77.18), Huoying (T 66.03), Simazhong (T 88.17)

* Bleed the LU area below the knees. Bleed before needling for best result.


Master Tung’s Points by Dr. Chuan-Min Wang:

* Shingles: Bleed Zhiwu (T 11.26) or around shingles area, 1 cun away from the border of the shingles rash. Needle around shingles area, 0.5 cun away from the border of the shingles rash.


Balance Method by Dr. Richard Tan:

* Shingles on the rib cage: Needle bilaterally ah shi points from Chize (LU 5) to Kongzui (LU 6), Tongli (HT 5) to Shaohai (HT 3), and from Waiguan (TH 5) to Sidu (TH 9), and Yanggu (SI 5) to Xiaohai (SI 8)


Ear Acupuncture:

* Herpes zoster: Lung (three needles), Subcortex, Endocrine, affected area. Strong stimulation should be applied for two hours every other day. Ten to fifteen treatments equal one course of treatment.


Auricular Medicine by Dr. Li-Chun Huang:

* Herpes zoster: Allergic Area, Endocrine, Adrenal Gland, Shenmen, Occiput, Liver, Gallbladder, Spleen, Lung, corresponding point (to the area affected). Bleed Ear Apex.

§ For herpes zoster with insomnia, add Neurasthenia Area, Neurasthenia Point, and Nervous Subcortex.



* There are many nutrients that are essential for preventing, fighting, and healing of shingles. Some examples include garlic, L-lysine, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B, C, and E.

* The following foods are also beneficial: brewer’s yeast, brown rice, garlic, raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and foods rich in vitamins.

* Avoid foods that are spicy, fried or greasy. Refrain from foods that are high in L-carnitine, such as peanuts, chocolate, and corn. Shellfish and seafood are also contraindicated. Foods high in L-arginine should also be avoided, as there is a correlation between L-arginine consumption and herpetic viral activity.

* Avoid spicy/pungent/aromatic vegetables such as pepper, garlic, onions, basil, rosemary, cumin, funnel, anise, leeks, chives, scallions, thyme, saffron, wormwood, mustard, chili pepper, and wasabi.


The Tao of Nutrition by Dr. Maoshing Ni and Cathy McNease:

* Apply grated, raw yam locally or mix with a pinch of borax.



* Shingles attack may be triggered by many factors, including but not limited to emotional or physical stress, spinal cord injuries, and conditions that cause immunodeficiency. All these conditions and situations should be avoided, if at all possible.

* Individuals with shingles should avoid direct skin contact with others, as the fluid from shingles blisters is contagious, and exposure to it can cause chickenpox (but not shingles).

* It is important to take good general care of skin sores, such as not scratching blisters and keeping the skin clean and dry.

* Be careful at the gym, as the virus may be transmitted through physical contact, such as via exercise mats.

* Wet and cold compresses are helpful and soothing.

* Avoid alcohol and tobacco products.



* A 65-year-old male farmer complained of shingles lesions that started one week ago at the left chest area, which then spread throughout the ribs and the back. The pain was described as burning, stabbing, and extremely painful. The patient had yellow urine, normal bowel movement, and a wiry-forceful pulse. This condition was diagnosed as damp-heat and Liver fire. The patient was treated with Dermatrol (HZ) orally. The patient was also instructed to use Hai Jin Sha (Spora Lygodii) as an herbal wash topically to the affected area once daily. After four days of internal and external treatments, the shingles lesions decreased in size, and the pain was reduced significantly. After seven days, the patient reported complete recovery. Anonymous.

* E.S., a 58-year-old female, presented with itching and severe burning on the right side of her face as well as other parts of her scalp. Objective findings included red discoloration at the sites of pain. Allopathic antiviral and analgesic medicines had been taken, yet unsatisfactory results were obtained. The practitioner diagnosed this condition as deficiency of yin and blood with rising damp/heat/fire/toxins. For treatment, Dermatrol (HZ) was prescribed. After the second acupuncture treatment, pain was reduced by 50%. Her pain was nearly eliminated after one month of treatment, with the addition of Dermatrol (HZ) having a synergistic effect as well. Submitted by J.B., Camarillo, California.



Dermatrol (HZ) is formulated with many herbs that address the overall condition of herpes infection, including use of herbs to treat the virus, reduce the inflammation, relieve pain, and facilitate the healing of lesions and sores. Proper use of herbs has been shown to decrease the severity of symptoms, shorten the duration of infection, and reduce the frequency of recurrences.

        Since herpes is a viral infection, Dermatrol (HZ) is formulated with many herbs that have marked antiviral effects. Pharmacologically, both the ethanol and water extract of Huang Bo (Cortex Phellodendri Chinensis) has been shown to have specific antiviral activity against the herpes virus.[1] Extracts of Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae) have displayed a wide spectrum of antiviral activity. Specifically, baicalein and wogonin, two compounds from the herb, boost innate antiviral immunity by stimulating the production of cytokines and increasing the resistance to viral infection in human leukocytes.[2] Pu Gong Ying (Herba Taraxaci) has been described as “highly effective” against the herpes virus, according to a study that evaluate 472 traditional medicinal herbs for their antiviral effect.[3] Clinically, topical application of herbs is also effective for treatment of herpes zoster, such as with topical application of Dao Di Wu Gong (Rhizoma Heliminthostachytis) and Long Dan (Radix et Rhizoma Gentianae).[4] Other herbs with antiviral effects include Huang Lian (Rhizoma Coptidis), Chi Shao (Radix Paeoniae Rubra), Gan Cao (Radix et Rhizoma Glycyrrhizae), and Zi Hua Di Ding (Herba Violae). These herbs have been shown to effectively suppress the replication of the virus and reduce the duration of viral infections.[5],[6],[7],[8]

        To reduce inflammation and relieve pain, Dermatrol (HZ) incorporates many herbs with excellent anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae), Huang Lian (Rhizoma Coptidis) and Huang Bo (Cortex Phellodendri Chinensis) all have significant anti-inflammatory effects, and have been used to treat different skin disorders.[9] Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae) exerts its anti-inflammatory effect via inhibition of nitric oxide, cyclo-oxygenase-2, prostaglandin E2, and proinflammatory cytokines.[10] Huang Lian (Rhizoma Coptidis) illustrates its anti-inflammatory effect through suppression of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β and nitrite oxide.[11] Huang Bo (Cortex Phellodendri Chinensis) reduces inflammation by inhibiting the production of proinflammatory cytokines in a dose-dependent manner.[12] Together, these three herbs have an excellent synergistic effect to treat many inflammatory disorders. In addition to these three herbs, Gan Cao (Radix et Rhizoma Glycyrrhizae) is also used to reduce inflammation, though its mechanism of action is completely different. Gan Cao (Radix et Rhizoma Glycyrrhizae) enhances the overall duration of effect of cortisone and decreases sensitivity to stimuli. The anti-inflammatory influence of glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhetinic acid, two compounds in this herb, is approximately 1/10th that of cortisone.[13],[14] Furthermore, Dermatrol (HZ) uses herbs with analgesic effects to relieve pain. Jing Jie (Herba Schizonepetae) has been shown to reduce inflammation and relieve pain by decreasing levels of cyclo-oxygenase and nitric oxide synthase.[15] Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae) has both anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.[16] Zhi Zi (Fructus Gardeniae) has a marked analgesic effect to relieve pain, and may be used either internally or externally.[17],[18] Clinically, one study reported a marked effect to treat neuralgia affecting various parts of the body by using an herbal formula that contains Chi Shao (Radix Paeoniae Rubra), Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae) and others.[19]

        Lastly, Dermatrol (HZ) uses many herbs to facilitate the healing of herpetic lesions and sores and to shorten the duration of illness, such as Dao Di Wu Gong (Rhizoma Heliminthostachytis), Zi Hua Di Ding (Herba Violae), and Chong Lou (Rhizoma Paridis). Jing Jie (Herba Schizonepetae) is also added for its function to relieve itching and general skin discomfort.[20]

        In summary, Dermatrol (HZ) is an herbal formula that treats both the cause and the symptoms of shingles. It contains herbs with antiviral effects to treat the herpes infection. Furthermore, it contains herbs with anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects to treat the symptoms of shingles.



Shingles, also known as chickenpox or herpes zoster, is a viral infection with an acute inflammation of the sensory ganglia of spinal and cranial nerves associated with a vesicular eruption and neuralgic pain. There is no specific treatment in Western medicine. However, certain drugs may be used to treat the symptoms. Wet compresses are soothing when applied topically. Aspirin and Elavil (amitriptyline) are sometimes used to relieve pain. Antiviral drugs, such as Zovirax (acyclovir) and Valtrex (valacyclovir), are recommended only in individuals with weakened immune systems, such as geriatric and pediatric patients. In short, most of these drugs relieve symptoms, but do not change the course of infection or reduce its severity.

        Herbs are very effective to treat the cause and the symptoms of shingles. As described above, many herbs have been shown via in vitro and in vivo studies to effectively treat viral infections by reducing its severity and duration. Furthermore, many herbs have excellent analgesic effects to relieve pain and anti-inflammatory effects to reduce inflammation. Though there is no cure, herbs do offer excellent short- and long-term relief. Finally, after the shingles are resolved, patients should follow the guidelines established in Nutrition and Lifestyles Instructions sections to strengthen the body and reduce recurrences.


[1] Wang W, Zu Y, Fu Y, Reichling J, Suschke U, Nokemper S, Zhang Y. In vitro antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-herpes simplex virus type 1 activity of Phellodendron amurense Rupr. from China. Key Laboratory of Forest Plant Ecology, Northeast Forestry University, Hexing Road 26, 150040 Harbin, China. Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(1):195-203.

[2] Błach-Olszewska Z, Jatczak B, Rak A, Lorenc M, Gulanowski B, Drobna A, Lamer-Zarawska E. Production of cytokines and stimulation of resistance to viral infection in human leukocytes by Scutellaria baicalensis flavones. Ludwik Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wrocław, Poland. J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2008 Sep;28(9):571-81.

[3] Zheng M. Experimental study of 472 herbs with antiviral action against the herpes simplex virus. Dept. of Microbiology, Jiangxi Medical College, Nanchang. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 1990 Jan;10(1):39-41, 6.

[4] Zhong Yao Lin Chuan Xin Yong (New Clinical Applications of Chinese Medicine), 2001; 183.

[5] Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi (Journal of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine), 1989; 9(8):494.

[6] Zhong Yao Xue (Chinese Herbology), 1998; 162:164.

[7] Kuo KK, Chang JS, Wang KC, Chiang LC. Water extract of Glycyrrhiza uralensis inhibited enterovirus 71 in a human foreskin fibroblast cell line. Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(2):383-94.

[8] Wang CK, Colgrave ML, Gustafson KR, Ireland DC, Goransson U, Craik DJ. Anti-HIV cyclotides from the Chinese medicinal herb Viola yedoensis. Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Australian Research Council Special Research Centre for Functional and Applied Genomics, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. J Nat Prod. 2008 Jan;71(1):47-52.

[9] Cuéllar MJ, Giner RM, Recio MC, Máñez S, Ríos JL. Topical anti-inflammatory activity of some Asian medicinal plants used in dermatological disorders. Departament de Farmacologia, Facultat de Farmàcia, Universitat de València, Avda. Vicent Andrés Estellés, s/n. 46100 Burjassot, Valencia, Spain. Fitoterapia. 2001 Mar;72(3):221-9.

[10] Kim EH, Shim B, Kang S, Jeong G, Lee JS, Yu YB, Chun M. Anti-inflammatory effects of Scutellaria baicalensis extract via suppression of immune modulators and MAP kinase signaling molecules. Department of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Republic of Korea. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Nov 12;126(2):320-31.

[11] Zhang Q, Piao XL, Piao XS, Lu T, Wang D, Kim SW. Preventive effect of Coptis chinensis and berberine on intestinal injury in rats challenged with lipopolysaccharides. State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, China Agricultural University, No. 2, West Road Yuanmingyuan, Beijing 100193, China. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Oct 25.

[12] Hsiang CY, Wu SL, Cheng SE, Ho TY. Acetaldehyde-induced interleukin-1beta and tumor necrosis factor-alpha production is inhibited by berberine through nuclear factor-kappaB signaling pathway in HepG2 cells. Graduate Institute of Medical Science, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan. J Biomed Sci. 2005 Oct;12(5):791-801.

[13] Zhong Yao Zhi (Chinese Herbology Journal), 1993; 358.

[14] Zhong Cao Yao (Chinese Herbal Medicine), 1991; 22(10):452.

[15] Ge WH, Guo JY, Shen YJ, Chen ML, Shi SL, Han YH, Lin J. Effects of volatie oil of Schizonepeta tenuifolia Briq herb and Saposhnikovia divaricata Schischke root on proinflammatory cytokine expression and regulation. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2007 Sep;32(17):1777-9.

[16] Ozaki Y, Rui J, Tang Y, Satake M. Antiinflammatory effect of Forsythia suspensa Vahl and its active fraction. Biol Pharm Bull. 1997 Aug;20(8):861-4.

[17] Zhong Yao Zhi (Chinese Herbology Journal), 1984; 578.

[18] Zhong Yi Za Zhi (Journal of Chinese Medicine), 1964; 12:450.

[19] Zhong Yao Lin Chuan Xin Yong (New Clinical Applications of Chinese Medicine), 2001; 318.

[20] Zhong Yi Za Zhi (Journal of Chinese Medicine), 1964; 12:18.