Asthma/AllergyChinese Medicine

Ten-Cha to treat house dust mite allergic rhinitis

In Japan and China, Ten-Cha is a commonly used complementary alternative medicine for allergic rhinitis.

Researchers in China studied Ten-Cha (Rubus suavissimus), which is commonly known as either Sweet Tea Extract or Chinese Blackberry Extract.

First, the details.

  • 89 people ingested 400 mg of Ten-Cha extract or placebo (3 capsules/day) daily for 4 weeks.
  • Evidence of mast cell-stabilizing was measured.
  • A nasal allergy diary-based symptom score and a quality of life score were also recorded.
  • Neither the patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

And, the results.

  • The improvement rates for sneeze, nasal discharge, nasal obstruction, and symptom scores were greater in the Ten-Cha group than in the placebo, and the effect tended to increase over time.
  • However, the differences between the groups were not significant.
  • Ten-Cha didn’t exhibit an effect equivalent to mast cell-stabilizing drugs
  • Quality of life was not significantly improved in either group.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Ten-Cha does not exhibit an effect equivalent to mast cell-stabilizing drugs at the dose used in this study.

An earlier study in mice suggested that Rubus suavissimus had potential anti-allergy effects, and the mechanisms might be partly related to an inhibitory effect on the release of histamine from mast cells.

4/24/11 23:24 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.