Chinese Herbal Medicine for allergic rhinitis(AR):A systematic review and meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials


Chinese Herbal Medicine has commonly been used in China, either alone or in combination with Western medicine, to treat Allergic rhinitis(AR). But There is lack of sufficient evidence-based medicine proof of the treatment effects of Chinese Herbal Medicine for Allergic Rhinitis yet.


To evaluate the effect of the Chinese Herbal Medicine for alleviating the symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis, and summarize the previous reviews to gain more evidence of Chinese Herbal Medicine for Allergic Rhinitis.


Extensively seek for Chinese Herbal Medicine to treat Allergic Rhinitis RCTs, and 12 Chinese trails was included up to April,2016. After important information were reviewed by two authors independently, the data was abstracted and gathered by our 3 members.


12 trials involved 814 total participants (9-63 years old), and the sample sizes ranged from 60–185. The risk of bias of those trails was assessed based on the Cochrane Handbook, version 5.1.2. ( Assessment of the methodological quality of the studies identified weaknesses in all 12 studies. 11 studies were judged as having a high risk of selection and performance bias. The attrition bias was high in 6 studies. Incompleteness bias was low in 6 studies. Reporting bias was unclear in all studies.


Chinese Herbal Medicine was beneficial for treating Allergic Rhinitis not only the short term clinic efficacy but also the follow-up clinic efficacy and the major 4 symptoms VAS score improvement and the recurrence rate matched with the control group. While the interventions of Chinese Herbal Medicine combined the Western Medicine was insufficient quality data to show that the routine is beneficial for AR. Chinese Herbal Medicine alone for Allergic Rhinitis might be a feasible alternative to Western Medicine for Allergic Rhinitis. However, the low-level quality and poor study-design of those included trials, the conclusion should be support by more high-level studies. Besides, Existing evidence showing that CHM for AR is a safety practicable method, but the safety evidence about Chinese Herbal Medicine for Allergic Rhinitis remains to inadequate due to further more adverse events reported in the future.


Key words: Allergic rhinitis; Chinese Herbal Medicine; systematic review and meta-analysis.

Posted by: Juan Zhong, Audiologist, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, China (15-Aug-2016)
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