Complementary integrative medicine in atopic diseases – an overview
Version of Record online: 17 MAY 2013
© 2013 Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies
Volume 18, Issue 2, pages 77–84, June 2013
How to Cite
Pfab, F., Schalock, P. C., Napadow, V., Athanasiadis, G. I., Ring, J. and Huss-Marp, J. (2013), Complementary integrative medicine in atopic diseases – an overview. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 18: 77–84. doi: 10.1111/fct.12026
- Issue online: 17 MAY 2013
- Version of Record online: 17 MAY 2013
- Allergic rhinitis;
- atopic eczema;
- complementary medicine
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a conservative and increasingly popular approach to atopic diseases for both patients and medical providers. Over the past few decades, there has been increased research activity into the use of CAM therapies for allergy. In this overview, current evidence, possible mechanisms of action and clinical approaches for treating the triad of atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis and asthma with CAM techniques are summarised and discussed.
The information for this overview was gathered from a literature search in the databases Medline and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from 1 January 1951 to 1 December 2012.
Results and conclusion
Promising therapies include Petasites hybridus and acupuncture for allergic rhinitis; probiotics during pregnancy; the herbal product Zemaphyte and acupuncture (to control itch) for atopic dermatitis; and physical training, weight reduction, physiotherapy, correct intake of vitamins A, C and D as well as different Chinese herbal formulas for asthma. However, further research is needed to more clearly identify the mechanisms of action of these therapies, and whether these clinical effects are above and beyond any placebo effect.