Phytother Res. 2008 Apr 3 [Epub ahead of print]


Pharmacological and immunological effects of individual herbs in the Food Allergy Herbal Formula-2 (FAHF-2) on peanut allergy.


Kattan JD, Srivastava KD, Zou ZM, Goldfarb J, Sampson HA, Li XM. Department of Pediatrics, Jaffe Food Allergy Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.



It was previously shown that a Chinese herbal formula, Food Allergy Herbal Formula 2 (FAHF-2) composed of nine herbs, blocked peanut-induced anaphylaxis in a murine model. The current study was designed to investigate the pharmacological actions of individual herbs comprising FAHF-2 on peanut-induced anaphylactic reactions in a murine model of peanut allergy and to determine if all nine herbs are necessary to prevent an anaphylactic reaction, or if a simplified formula containing fewer herbs would be equally effective. Some individual herbs reduced peanut-induced anaphylactic symptoms but no single herb offered full protection from anaphylactic symptoms equivalent to FAHF-2. The herbs had highly variable effects on histamine release, as well as peanut-specific serum IgE and IgG2a levels. The herbs also had variable effects on IL-4, IL-5 and IFN-gamma levels. A simplified formula comprising the most efficacious tested individual herbs showed only partial efficacy and was not able to reproduce comparably the effects of FAHF-2, suggesting that component herbs of FAHF-2 may work synergistically to produce the curative therapeutic effects produced by the whole formula, which appears to be the best option for future clinical trials.



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