Herbal Treatment for Perennial Allergic Rhinitis


Allergic rhinitis(AR) is one of the most common allergic disorders throughout the world.The conventional therapies are effective in alleviating symptoms but the efficacy are limited and not persistent. Furthermonre, the cost and side-effect are known defects. A classical Chinese herbal formula, has been used for AR for centries. Our study purpose is to evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of this formula verus placebo in perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR). Hypothesis: the classical herbal formula would improve the symptoms of PAR patients and change some immunological parameters in the peripheral blood when comparing with the placebo.

Full Title of Study: “A Herbal Formula (SBL) for the Treatment of Perennial Allergic Rhinitis: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: April 2006

Detailed Description

It is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.


  • Drug: Shi-Bi-Lin
    • 4 weeks of treatment, dose of 1 g (two capsules), twice daily
  • Other: Placebo
    • 4 weeks of colormatched placebo capsules, dose of 1 g (two capsules), twice daily

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Active Comparator: Shi-Bi-Lin
    • Consist of 6 herbal. 7.5 g Xanthium sibiricum Patrin ex Widder (Asteraceae, Fructus), 20 g Angelica dahurica (Fisch. ex Hoffm.) Benth. (Apiaceae, Radix), 7.5 g Saposhnikovia divaricata (Turcz.) Schischk. (Apiaceae, Radix),15 g Magnolia biondii Pamp., (Magnoliaceae, Flos), 5 g Gentiana scabra Bunge (Gentianaceae, Radix) and 5 g Verbena officinalis L. (Verbenaceae, Herba).
  • Placebo Comparator: Placebo
    • The placebo contained brown colored starch resembling the SBL powder

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Allergic Rhinitis Symptom Score Including Rhinorrhea, Nasal Obstruction, Sneezing, Itchy Nose and Itchy Eyes at Week 4
    • Time Frame: 4 week
    • The severity of PAR was evaluated by means of a daily symptom diary chart. Patients were instructed to grade retrospectively everyday before bedtime, their generalwell-being, nasalsymptoms (nasal blockage, rhinorrhea, nose itching, sneezing) and non-nasal symptoms(itching eyes, tearing eyes, redness of eyes, itching of ears or palate) on the diary chart. A 4-point severity scale from no symptoms (0), mild (1), moderated (2) to severe (3) was used.

Secondary Measures

  • Quality of Life (Difference Between Baseline and Week 4)
    • Time Frame: 4 week
    • SF-36 QOL questionnaire administrated before and after treatment. It has eight domains: general health (GH), physical functioning (PF), social functioning (SF), role limitation caused by physical problems (RP), bodily pain (BP), role limitations caused by emotional problem (RE), mental health (MH), and vitality (VT). Each domain was started from 0 (worst health) to 100 (best health).

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Aged from 18 to 65 years old – Have typical symotoms of PAR including rhinirrhea, sneezing, nasal obstruction and itching in nose and eyes for at least 2 previous consecutive years. – Postive skin prick test(SPT) to hose dust mite, mold, animal dander and cockcroach with regular AR medications withould for 3 days prior to the test Exclusion Criteria:

  • Pregnant women and women at risk of conception – Received allergen injections in previous 2 years – Regular medications for AR or cold and other allergic disorder – Seasonal allergic rhinitis, vasomotor rhinitis and rhinitis medicamentosa – Nasal structure deformities, nasal polyps and hypertrophic rhinitis – Systematic cortisosteroid used within recent 3 months or nasal cortisosteroid with 15 days – Other active respiratory disorders – Active medical disorders: cancer, infection, hematology, renal, hepatic, cardiovascular, metabolic and gastrointestinal diseases

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: 65 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Zhao Yu, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Institute of Chinese Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Zhao Yu, PhD, Principal Investigator, Department of ENT, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


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