Medicine: Cold Shoulder for a Burn Cure

A touted Chinese treatment earns mostly skepticism in the U.S.

The claims were little short of miraculous. A simple herbal ointment from China was allegedly accomplishing what the most sophisticated medical technology in the U.S. could not. Victims of severe burns, charred beyond recognition, recovered almost unblemished. Damaged skin that would normally require extensive surgery healed on its own. The searing pain of a blistering wound suddenly disappeared, without the aid of narcotics.

Those were the astonishing reports that appeared in the past year in a variety of publications -- from newsletters to Newsweek magazine -- concerning a substance developed in China called the Moist Burn Ointment. The stories raised hope...

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