National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health

Follow NCCIH Subscribe to our email update Subscribe to the NCCIH RSS feed Follow NCCIH on FacebookRead our disclaimer about external links Follow NCCIH on TwitterRead our disclaimer about external links


Chinese Herbal Formula May Be Helpful for Peanut Allergies

A study in mice shows that a Chinese herbal formula may help prevent dangerous reactions to peanuts. Peanut allergies affect as many as 6 percent of young children and are a major cause of anaphylaxis—a severe allergic reaction with respiratory symptoms that can be fatal.

Xiu-Min Li and colleagues at Mount Sinai School of Medicine conducted experiments in mice with established peanut allergies to see if a formula of nine Chinese herbs, called FAHF-2, could reduce sensitivity to peanuts. The peanut-sensitive mice received 7 weeks of oral treatment with FAHF-2 or water as a placebo treatment.

The mice were then exposed to peanuts to see if they would have anaphylactic reactions. They were exposed twice—once one day following the conclusion of FAHF-2 treatment and again 4 weeks after treatment finished.

The researchers found that FAHF-2 completely protected the mice from a dangerous reaction on both occasions—showing that protection lasted at least 4 weeks after the treatment finished. The mice treated with the placebo (water) had anaphylactic reactions. The researchers note that the protection of FAHF-2 may result from a shift in the immune balance away from the allergic response.

Publication Date: 
March 8, 2008

Sign up for one of our email or RSS notifications to learn when new complementary and integrative health-related information is available.