Traditional Chinese herbal remedies are widely available in the United Kingdom for the treatment of chronic skin disorders. Their benefits are considerable, but their use is completely unregulated. Two patients are described here who suffered an acute hepatitic illness related to taking traditional Chinese herbs. Both recovered fully. The mixtures that they took included two plant components also contained within the mixture taken by a previously reported patient who suffered fatal hepatic necrosis. These cases high-light the need for greater awareness of both the therapeutic and toxic potential of herbal remedies, as well as greater control of their use.
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