The potential of higher plants as sources of new drugs is well recognized, and current medical research is directed at exploring the biological and pharmacological properties of many of these plant species. Our CM is a decoction of 21 herbs that has been used in the treatment of rheumatic diseases for centuries in China. These herbs are from the genera Prubella, Lycium, Bletilla, Ligustrum, Dianthus, Myrrha, Eucommia, Rehmannia, Rosa, Rubia, Imperata, Curculigo, Panax, Astragalus, Codonopsis, Dioscorea, Nelumbo, Boswellia, Polygonum, Citrus, and Glycyrrhiza. Of these, Astragalus chinensis, Rehmannia glutinosa, and Eucommia ulmoides have been reported in the Chinese pharmacopeia to be active as antirheumatic agents. Our patient with SLE had long-standing nephrotic syndrome with severe proteinuria of 13.4 g/d per 1.73 m2. Although results of renal histological studies were not available, development of hypertension and a rising serum creatinine level accompanied by low serum complement levels were harbingers of progressive lupus activity. The patient's clinical and serological features improved dramatically after starting therapy with CM. At this time, she only received 10 mg/d of prednisolone. As the prednisolone dose was not increased during this period, it could not account entirely for the notable improvement in the nephrotic state of the patient. Although it is conceivable that the lupus nephritis went into spontaneous remission, this was unlikely in view of the chronicity of the nephrotic syndrome before the ingestion of CM. The CM may have a synergistic action with prednisolone in inducing clinical improvement of the nephrotic state and the lupus activity.