Complementary and alternative medicine in allergy, otitis media, and asthma
- Cite this article as:
- Blazek-O’Neill, B. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep (2005) 5: 313. doi:10.1007/s11882-005-0072-2
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There is growing interest on the part of both patients and providers in the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies to treat allergy, otitis media, and asthma. Research efforts investigating CAM are increasing in frequency and quality. Studies suggest possible efficacy for some vitamin and mineral supplements for allergic diseases; results are less clear in asthmatic patients. The use of polyunsaturated fatty acids appears particularly promising for treatment and even prevention of allergy and asthma conditions. Studies also suggest that probiotic preparations have a role in the treatment of allergic conditions. Xylitol gum, syrup, and lozenges have shown efficacy in treatment of acute otitis media, as have some naturopathic herbal remedies. Preliminary results with studies of yoga and various relaxation therapies for treatment of asthmatics suggest that these therapies may have a role, but further work would be needed to document efficacy and delineate the specific types of interventions most appropriate for particular asthmatic populations.