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Complementary and alternative medicine may give allergy and asthma sufferers new options for treating symptoms, according to allergists at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) in Phoenix.

Allergists discussed how using herbs for allergies may be integrated into conventional treatments, including a novel Chinese herbal formula for treating all types of food allergies. “Integrated therapies blend the art and science of medicine,” says allergist William Silvers, M.D., of the ACAAI Integrative Medicine Committee. “This exciting area of medicine offers a variety of complementary approachments, so each patient receives truly individualized care.”

One promising remedy is the Food Allergy Herbal Formula 2 (FAHF-2), a Chinese herbal formula currently being tested for use to treat food allergies. FAHF-2 consists of nine herbs chosen from the traditional formulations of Wu Mei Wan and Ling-Zhi, which have a long history of use in China.

Food allergy symptoms include:

  • Wheezing, nasal congestion.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Dizziness.
  • Itching or hives.

Early research of FAHF-2 showed significant reduction in peanut-induced anaphylaxis. Phase 1 clinical studies have shown that FAHF-2 is safe in humans. The Phase 2 trial currently in process is testing the formula to determine its ability to reduce food allergy symptoms associated with peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, and shellfish.

“FAHF-2 has been shown to have a prolonged preventative effect up to 40 weeks,” says allergist Helen Chan, M.D., of the ACAAI Integrative Medicine Committee. “It has also been shown to be safe, with very few side effects, and is a one-course treatment for all allergens.” The use of substances found in nature, such as herbs, foods and vitamins, can be helpful in treating various allergies when combined with traditional therapies.

Acupuncture & Massage College’s Community Clinic offers acupuncture, massage therapy and herbal medicine for the treatment of a wide range of health conditions as well as for overall wellness. To schedule an appointment call (305) 595-9500. For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs ask for Joe Calareso, Admissions Director.

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