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Chinese Herbal Therapy for the Treatment of Food Allergy


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.

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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.

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Correspondence to Julie Wang.

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Wang, J., Li, XM. Chinese Herbal Therapy for the Treatment of Food Allergy. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 12, 332–338 (2012).

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  • Food
  • Allergy
  • Treatment
  • Chinese herbal medicine
  • Therapy
  • FAHF-2
  • Food allergy herbal formula-2