Japanese work has found that three cups of Oolong tea daily can be beneficial in stubborn eczema. One litre of tea divided among three meals was added to the regimens of 118 patients without changing any other medication. Around two-thirds showed significant improvement within a month, sometimes much sooner. After six months of tea therapy, 54% were still reporting improvement.
The authors suggest the polyphenols may be beneficial by their activity in reducing free radical levels. However, it should be noted that eczema has also been linked to essential fatty acid status, EFA deficiency being associated with eczematous skin lesions, and gamma-linolenic acid having shown benefit in some instances. Perhaps the polyphenols help by preventing the oxidative destruction of those lipids.
(everybody.co.nz, May 2004)