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

    This blog is 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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