Traditional Chinese medicine for the therapy of allergic disorders

Xiu Min Li, Kamal Srivastava

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The trend of increasing prevalence of allergic diseases in westernized countries poses a significant health problem and lasting cures for them are often not available. Many suffering from allergies and asthma seek alternative therapies including traditional Chinese medicines, fueling a surge in western interest in traditional Chinese herbal remedies. Information regarding the efficacy and safety of traditional Chinese herbal remedies is scant but studies appearing in English language journals are on the rise. This review summarizes the important publications focusing on traditional Chinese medicine therapies for allergic disorders in the year 2005. RECENT FINDINGS: Very few studies describing well controlled clinical trials testing traditional Chinese herbal therapies for allergic diseases appeared in PubMed in 2005. Food allergy specifically does not seem to be a disorder traditionally recognized in the traditional Chinese medicine literature. Most in-vitro studies for anti-allergic properties of traditional Chinese herbs and formulas focus on mast cell inhibition. SUMMARY: Clinical trials for anti-asthma traditional Chinese medicine formulas, anti-asthma herbal medicine intervention, anti-asthma herbal medicine intervention, and modified Mai Men Dong Tang, show promise as efficacious treatments for asthma. Food Allergy Herbal Formula-2 is a traditional Chinese medicine formula with good potential for a long-lasting treatment for food allergy. More rigorous studies are needed to fully elucidate the benefits and safety of traditional Chinese herbal medicines and the mechanisms that mediate their effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-196
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Allergy
  • Asthma
  • Food allergy
  • IgE
  • Traditional Chinese medicines


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