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Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Apr;9(2):161-7. doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e328329226f.

Complementary and alternative medicine in pediatric allergic disorders.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA. xiu-min.li@mssm.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

Allergic disorders represent a serious public health problem in children. The chronic nature of these diseases and the fear of known side effects of synthetic drugs influence many families to seek complementary and alternative medicine. This review focuses on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) herbal products and acupuncture for treating pediatric allergies.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Given the general safety profile and reputed efficacy, TCM are well received by the general population. However, compared with the long human history and popularity of the use of TCM, research into its efficacy and safety is still in its infancy. In the last 2-3 years, there have been more controlled studies of TCM for allergic asthma and allergic rhinitis. Several publications including ours indicate that some TCM herbal formulas are well tolerated and produce some level of efficacy. Some herbal formulas also showed beneficial immunomodualtory effects. Several preclinical studies demonstrated that the food allergy herbal formula-2 was effective in protecting against peanut anaphylaxis in animal models. Two TCM products have entered clinical trials in the United States for treating asthma and food allergy, respectively. Both of these trials include children.

SUMMARY:

Recent studies indicate that TCM therapy including herbal medicines and acupuncture for allergic disorders in children is well tolerated. There are also promising clinical and objective improvements. More controlled clinical studies are encouraged.

PMID:
19295428
PMCID:
PMC2770271
DOI:
10.1097/ACI.0b013e328329226f
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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