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June 2024

J Paediatr Child Health. 1993 Aug; 29(4): 292-4.

An old traditional herbal remedy for neonatal jaundice with a newly identified risk.

Yeung CY, Leung CS, Chen YZ.

Department of Paediatrics, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital.

Yin-chen (Artemisia scoparia) is a very popular intravenous herbal preparation used for the treatment of neonatal jaundice in China. Bilirubin-protein titration studies with the horse radish peroxidase method have shown that the herb is highly effective in displacing bilirubin from its protein binding. Free bilirubin is liberated in this process and this could increase the risk of brain damage in jaundiced infants. With the present state of knowledge, the use of traditional herbal therapies should be strongly discouraged in neonates.

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