Asthma/AllergyChinese Medicine

Bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang treatment of patients with perennial allergic rhinitis

It’s one of the most commonly prescribed herbal formulas in Chinese medicine.

This study shows it has anti-inflammatory effects and reduces symptoms.

First, the details.

  • 60 patients allergic to house dust mite allergen confirmed by skin test and MAST test participated in a 3-month study.
    • Multiple radioallergosorbent (MAST) Test measures immunoglobulin E (IgE) and is used detect inhaled allergens (eg, pollens, molds, dust, mites, animal dander), foods, insect stings, and other allergens (eg, drugs).
  • The participants were randomly assigned to treatment with bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang or a non-effective formula, which served as a control.

And, the results.

  • The nasal symptom scores improved significantly after bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang treatment.
  • There was no change in the other group.
  • Blood levels of IgE were significantly lower in the bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang group vs the control group.
  • Production of IL-4 (interleukin-1; stimulates immune system cells that fight disease and is involved in inflammation) was significantly stimulated vs the control group.
  • Production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2; controls inflammation) and leukotriene C4 (LTC4; controls hypersensitivity and bronchoconstriction) were significantly suppressed by bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang vs the control group.
  • COX-2 mRNA expression (involved in allergic and inflammatory disease) in IL-4-stimulated white blood cells was also significantly suppressed after bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang treatment.

The bottom line
A very detailed study by Taiwanese researchers, which should stimulate more research and perhaps a more prominent role for bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang in the allopathic treatment of allergic rhinitis.

Bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang is also known as Tonify the Middle and Benefit Qi Formula.

1/20/08 21:04 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.