2009年7月28日 星期二

A Cup Of Tea For A Clearer Nose

A Cup Of Tea For A Clearer Nose

Stuffed up and miserable from allergies? A traditional Chinese mix of 11 herbs called Biyan Pian can relieve congestion and help you breathe easier, according to companies that sell it. Western scientific evidence for the formula is scant, though one recent preliminary study found it effective.

Biyan Pian literally means 'nose inflammation pill.' In the U.S., it is sold in supermarkets and natural-food stores and through acupuncturists either as tablets or as a strongly flavored tea. Its ingredients include Xanthium fruit, magnolia flower, wild chrysanthemum and Chinese licorice root. It is marketed to allergy sufferers and to people with inflamed nasal passages from a cold or the flu.

There is little published Western evidence for Biyan Pian. Natural Standard Research Collaboration, a Cambridge, Mass., scientist-owned group that evaluates natural therapies, says it didn't find enough evidence to even grade it. One of the few Western studies was published earlier this year. In a January study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a tea containing Biyan Pian was found to be effective in treating symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis, a long-lasting and often miserable inflammation of the nasal passages.

In the study, researchers at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta found that the 27 study patients who drank four cups a day of tea enjoyed a better quality of life, including fewer headaches, relief from nasal congestion and less trouble falling asleep. The study didn't have a placebo group for comparison, generally considered necessary for a conclusive result. The study was funded in part by Traditional Medicinals Inc., the Sebastopol, Calif., company that sells the tea.

Terry Courtney, dean of Bastyr University's School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Seattle, says she has found in her patients that Biyan Pian tablets work well as a mild herbal decongestant. It is appropriate for 'dry' congestion, a condition in which phlegm and mucus seems stuck and the person may feel headachy or hot, she adds. 'Within 20 minutes of ingesting it, people begin to blow their nose. Inflamed and swollen passages start to calm down,' Ms. Courtney says. If you see no effect, Biyan Pian may not be the best treatment for you, she adds. The treatment isn't best suited for people with runny noses and sneezing, she says.

The herb mix is considered fairly safe, though one of its components, licorice root, has been linked to high blood pressure in large amounts. In the traditional formula sold in most tablets, licorice is present in only small quantities and shouldn't be a problem, clinicians say. Traditional Medicinals' Breathe Easy tea, in which additional licorice root has been added to the Biyan Pian formula, carries a warning that it shouldn't be used in patients with high blood pressure.

In some people, says Roger Batchelor, an assistant professor at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Ore., the herb mix can create excessive sinus drying and should be discontinued.

Laura Johannes

2009年 07月 28日 14:56
喝茶解鼻塞 呼吸更順暢



西 方很少有關於鼻炎片的效用研究報告。馬薩諸塞州劍橋的天然標準研究協會(Natural Standard Research Collaboration)是一家評估天然療法的科學家組織﹐該協會稱﹐沒有發現足夠的證據﹐連評級都不夠。為數不多的關於鼻炎片的西方研究結果之一今 年早些時候發表。在《替代和補充醫學雜誌》(Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine)今年1月的一篇論文中﹐一種含有鼻炎片成份的茶飲被發現對於治療慢性鼻竇炎的症狀起到了效果﹐這是一種持續時間很長、常常十分痛苦的鼻 腔炎症。

在論文中﹐亞特蘭大的Morehouse醫學院研究人員發現﹐27名接受研究的病患每天喝下四杯茶﹐他們的生活質量因此有所提高 ﹐包括頭痛減少、鼻塞現象減輕、入睡也更容易。研究沒有設置服用安慰劑的對照組﹐通常要得出決定性的結論﹐對照組是必不可少的。這項研究的部分資金由位於 加州塞瓦斯托波爾的Traditional Medicinals Inc.提供﹐該公司經銷這種茶。

位 於西雅圖的巴斯蒂爾大學(Bastyr University)針灸和東方醫學學院(School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine)院長考特尼(Terry Courtney)說﹐她從自己的病人身上發現﹐鼻炎片作為一種溫和的緩解鼻塞的中藥效用很好。她補充道﹐這種藥適用於“干性”鼻塞﹐也就是鼻涕就像堵住 的症狀﹐患者可能會感覺頭痛或發熱。考特尼說﹐用藥20分鐘內﹐患者就可以擤鼻涕了﹐發炎腫脹的鼻腔也開始緩解。她還說﹐如果你感覺沒有效果﹐那說明鼻炎 片可能不適合你﹔這種藥對於流涕不止、老是打噴嚏的患者來說並不是最適用的。

這種復方中藥被認為是相當安全的﹐不過其成份中的甘草被認為 如果用量過高有可能導致高血壓。臨床醫師說﹐在大多數藥劑所使用的傳統配方中﹐甘草的劑量很小﹐應當不會造成問題。Traditional Medicinals公司的“呼吸舒暢”茶在鼻炎片配方的基礎上加大了甘草的劑量﹐這種茶的包裝上有警示﹐說明高血壓患者不可飲用。

位於俄勒岡州波特蘭的美國自然醫學院(National College of Natural Medicine)助理教授巴切勒(Roger Batchelor)說﹐這種復方中藥可能會導致一些人鼻竇過於干燥﹐在這種情況下應當停用。

Laura Johannes