The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    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.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    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

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