Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in the treatment of patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized-controlled clinical trial
Article first published online: 2 AUG 2004
Volume 59, Issue 9, pages 953–960, September 2004
How to Cite
Brinkhaus, B., Hummelsberger, J., Kohnen, R., Seufert, J., Hempen, C.-H., Leonhardy, H., Nögel, R., Joos, S., Hahn, E. and Schuppan, D. (2004), Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in the treatment of patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized-controlled clinical trial. Allergy, 59: 953–960. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2004.00540.x
- Issue published online: 2 AUG 2004
- Article first published online: 2 AUG 2004
- Accepted for publication 9 February 2004
- allergic rhinitis;
- Chinese herbal medicine;
- clinical trial;
- complementary medicine;
- quality of life
Background: Patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) increasingly use complementary medicine. The aim of this study was to determine whether traditional Chinese therapy is efficacious in patients suffering from seasonal AR.
Methods: Fifty-two patients between the ages of 20 and 58 who had typical symptoms of seasonal AR were assigned randomly and in a blinded fashion to (i) an active treatment group which received a semi-standardized treatment of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, and (ii) a control group which received acupuncture applied to non-acupuncture points in addition to a non-specific Chinese herbal formula. All patients received acupuncture treatment once per week and the respective Chinese herbal formula as a decoction three times daily for a total of 6 weeks. Assessments were performed before, during, and 1 week after treatment. The change in severity of hay fever symptoms was the primary outcome measured on a visual analogue scale (VAS).
Results: Compared with patients in the control group, patients in the active treatment group showed a significant after-treatment improvement on the VAS (P = 0.006) and Rhinitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (P = 0.015). Improvement on the Global Assessment of Change Scale was noted in 85% of active treatment group participants vs 40% in the control group (P = 0.048). No differences between the two groups could be detected with the Allergic Rhinitis Symptom Questionnaire. Both treatments were well-tolerated.
Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that traditional Chinese therapy may be an efficacious and safe treatment option for patients with seasonal AR.