Chinese herbal medicine for the treatment of allergic diseases
- Xiu-Min Li, MD
Xiu-Min Li, MD
- Professor of Pediatrics and Immunobiology
- Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) includes herbal therapy, acupuncture, massage, and dietary therapy. These practices originated in China and have been used in East Asia for centuries as a part of mainstream medical care. TCM is beginning to play a role in Western health care as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
This topic will discuss Chinese herbal therapy for asthma, atopic dermatitis (AD), and food allergy. These therapies are considered experimental from the standpoint of conventional medicine. Overviews of herbal medicine and use of CAM in pediatrics are presented separately. Acupuncture for the treatment of asthma and allergic rhinitis is also discussed separately. (See "Overview of herbal medicine and dietary supplements" and "Complementary and alternative medicine in pediatrics" and "Pharmacotherapy of allergic rhinitis", section on 'Adjunctive and other therapies' and "Complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies for asthma", section on 'Acupuncture'.)
The prevalence of allergic disorders such as asthma, atopic dermatitis (AD), and food allergy has increased dramatically in industrialized countries over the past several decades. Atopic diseases are a serious public health problem, particularly in children. Conventional therapies, such as glucocorticoids, are widely used in controlling asthma and AD. However, these therapies are not completely effective in all patients, and there are concerns about side effects, especially in children. In addition, there is no curative treatment for food allergy, just rescue treatment of reactions. These and other issues have led patients and their families to seek complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a long history of use in China and other Asian countries, such as Japan and Korea. TCM has several features that differ significantly from Western medicine:
●TCM practice does not focus only on the disease or a single organ. Rather, it also focuses on establishing and maintaining the balance of yin-yang (two opposite, but complementary forces), the homeostasis of organ systems in the body, and interactions with the environment . The concepts and terminology of TCM cannot be easily translated to Western medicine.To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:
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- THERAPY FOR ASTHMA
- Antiasthma herbal medicine intervention (ASHMI) formula
- - Indications for use
- - Clinical response
- - Immunologic response
- - Enhanced adrenal function
- - Possible mechanisms of action
- - Side effects and interactions
- Modified Mai Men Dong Tang (mMMDT) formula
- STA-1 formula
- Ding Chuan Tang (DCT) formula
- THERAPY FOR ALLERGIC RHINITIS AND CONJUNCTIVITIS
- THERAPY FOR FOOD ALLERGY
- Food allergy herbal formula-2 (FAHF-2)
- - Indications for use
- - Response
- - Mechanisms of action
- - Side effects and interactions
- THERAPY FOR ATOPIC DERMATITIS