Chinese Herbal Therapy for the Treatment of Food Allergy
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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.