Chinese Herbal Therapy for the Treatment of Food Allergy
- 383 Downloads
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been widely used in China to treat various diseases for thousands of years. Given its reputed effectiveness, low cost, and favorable safety profile, TCM is attracting great interest in Western societies as a source of therapy for an array of illnesses, including allergies and asthma. Although food allergy has not been described in the TCM literature, a novel treatment for food allergy, named the food allergy herbal formula-2 (FAHF-2), was developed using TCM principles. Using a well-characterized murine model of peanut allergy, FAHF-2 has been shown to be highly effective in providing long-term protection against peanut-induced anaphylaxis, with a high safety margin. Phase 1 human trials have demonstrated the safety of FAHF-2 in food allergic individuals. Currently, a phase 2 trial examining efficacy of FAHF-2 is on-going. Other TCMs also show a potential for treating food allergies in preclinical studies.
KeywordsFood Allergy Treatment Chinese herbal medicine Therapy FAHF-2 Food allergy herbal formula-2
Julie Wang, MD is funded in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (K23 AI083883).
Xiu-Min Li, MD is funded in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health/National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (1R01AT001495-01A1 and 2R01AT001495-05A1), Food Allergy Initiative, and the Winston Wolkoff Integrative Medicine for Allergy and Immunology Foundation.
No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
- 1.• Gupta RS, Springston EE, Warrier MR, et al. The prevalence, severity, and distribution of childhood food allergy in the United States. Pediatrics. 2011;128:e9–17. This study shows that food allergy is estimated to affect 8% of U.S. children, with over 1/3 having a history of severe reactions.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 2.•• Boyce JA, Assa'ad A, Burks AW, et al. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy in the United States: summary of the NIAID-sponsored expert panel report. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;126:1105–18. These guidelines provide recommendations for the diagnosis and management of food allergy, as well as identify gaps in knowledge to inform future research.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 9.Bensky D, Gamble A. Chinese herbal medicine. In: Materia medica. Revised ed. Seattle: Eastland Press; 1993.Google Scholar
- 10.Huang KC. The pharmacology of Chinese herbs. 2nd ed. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 1999. p. 118–20.Google Scholar
- 12.He FH, Wu WP. Clinical application of Wu-Mei-Wan. Zhong Gui Yi Yao Xue Ba. 2004;19:748–50.Google Scholar
- 13.Hu KM, He YM. Correlation between complex prescription with lucidum ganoderma in treating rhinoallergitus and constitution. Shanghai J Trad Chinese Med. 2000;8:39–41.Google Scholar
- 23.• Wang J, Patil SP, Yang N, et al. Safety, tolerability, and immunologic effects of a food allergy herbal formula in food allergic individuals: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, dose escalation, phase 1 study. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2010;105:75–84. This was the first clinical trial investigating the safety of TCM for the food allergy.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 24.• Patil SP, Wang J, Song Y, et al. Clinical safety of food allergy herbal formula-2 (FAHF-2) and inhibitory effect on basophils from patients with food allergy: Extended phase I study. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011;128:1259–1265.e2. The results from this extended phase 1 trial demonstrate the long-term safety of FAHF-2 and shows early mechanistic data in humans.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 25.• Srivastava K, Yang N, Chen Y, et al. Efficacy, safety and immunological actions of butanol-extracted food allergy herbal formula-2 on peanut anaphylaxis. Clin Exp Allergy. 2011;41:582–91. Butanol extracted FAHF-2 achieves the same level of protection against peanut induced anaphylaxis in a murine model as 1/5 the total dose of FAHF-2. Retreatment with B-FAHF-2 re-establishes the protective effects.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar