Jaundice, which is caused by accumulation of bilirubin, is extremely common in newborn infants. Phototherapy is an effective treatment, but a drug therapy would also be desirable. A Chinese herbal remedy for jaundice called Yin Zhi Huang is now shown to activate a liver receptor that enhances the clearance of bilirubin (see the related article beginning on page 137). This discovery could lead to improved pharmaceutical treatments for neonatal jaundice.
Mitchell A. Lazar