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Complementary medicine update

Herbal medicines, probiotics and functional foods for allergic rhinitis

Anthony L Zhang, Brian H May, Charlie CL Xue

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Abstract

Many of the studies that show herbal medicines, probiotics and functional foods can improve the symptoms of allergic rhinitis are small, and the results should be interpreted with caution.

Article Extract

Patients with allergic rhinitis frequently use complementary medicines. In this article, the clinical research on herbal medicines (including extracts), probiotics and other functional foods is reviewed to provide a summary of the evidence for the efficacy and safety of these products and assist readers in locating relevant studies so they can form their own conclusions. The review excludes studies concerning vitamin or mineral supplements, homeopathy and manual therapies.

Of 29 studies included in this review, 24 provided quality control data and 14 used a specific commercial product (Tables 1 to 3). Some of the products currently marketed under the name Aller-7 have ingredients in addition to the seven herbs used in the studies mentioned here.

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