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Traditional Chinese Medicine


Dr. Yan offers Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as an alternative medicine treatment for asthma, eczema and food allergies. Dr. Yan’s uses Dr. Xiu-Min Li’s researched methods to apply the use of herbal treatments for management of allergies with science and technology. TCM can be used as an alternative to western medicine or as an adjunct to work with your current medications and treatments to improve your conditions. Dr. Yan will create a comprehensive, individualized plan for each patient. The TCM remedies will be ordered through Columbia Allergy and will be available for pick-up in approximately 1 week from the date the order was placed. 

Eczema Management with TCM 

TCM can be used as an adjunct or alternative therapy for several types of eczema to manage symptoms and reduce the need for topical steroids. The types of eczema that can benefit from TCM include:

  • Infant with newly diagnosed eczema /young children with steroid-dependent eczema
  • Older children with steroid-dependent eczema (food allergy, asthma, environmental allergies, stress/anxiety)
  • Newborn eczema

Dr. Yan can offer an eczema treatment regimen that consists of internal and external regimens. The external treatment regimens use creams and bath additives to help control symptoms in active phases as well as recovering phases. The internal treatments consist of herbal teas that can be used for eczema and episodes of flares or excessive itching.

The goal of TCM interventions is to increase skin integrity and promote skin regeneration to reduce infection and reduce the thinning of skin, which is an adverse effect of topical steroids. TCM remedies work with topical steroids to improve the anti-inflammatory effect and decrease the use of or wean off topical steroids in patients with steroid-dependent eczema. 

Food Allergy Management with TCM

TCM can be used as an adjunct therapy with oral immunotherapy (OIT)or sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) for food allergies to help reduce common food allergy symptoms such as hives, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. The Food Allergy Herbal Formula-2 (FAHF-2) is composed of 9 herbs and FDA approved for clinical trial II study. Cellular and molecular research of this treatment has demonstrated efficacy against allergic-immune responses. Case reports have also shown a reduction in episodes of severe food-induced anaphylaxis while taking FAHF-2. 

Asthma Management with TCM

TCM can be used as an adjunct or alternative therapy for asthma to work towards preventing the frequency of cold-induced or upper respiratory infection-induced asthma exacerbations. The antiasthma simplified herbal medicine intervention (ASHMI) is a capsule that works by reducing inflammation in your respiratory tract. This treatment has the potential to allow a patient to reduce the number of illness-induced asthma flares which in result can decrease the frequency that an oral steroid is needed and reduce the use of a steroid inhaler or short-acting inhaler. Clinical trial I study for ASHMI has completed and it appears to be a safe and effective alternative medicine for treating asthma.

Labs Needed for TCM

In order to be eligible for TCM treatments, you will need to obtain baseline lab tests so that Dr. Yan can collect the data she needs to create your individualized treatment plan. The baseline labs include: 

  • CBC, CMP, total IgE, and environmental/food IgE (if applicable)
  • Patients with food allergies will also need to obtain a corn IgE at the initial visit since the capsules are corn-based

After the baseline labs are obtained and you are started on your TCM treatment, you will need to have your labs rechecked every 6 months to monitor the safety and efficacy of your treatment plan. 

Articles Supporting Use of TCM

  • Eczema
    • Thanik E, Wisniewski JA, Nowak-Wegrzyn A, Sampson H, Li XM. Improvement of skin lesions and life quality in moderate-to-severe eczema patients by combined TCM therapy. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2018 Jul;121(1):135-136.3.
  • Food Allergies
    • Srivastava K, Qu C, Zhang TF, Goldfarb J, Sampson HA, Li X-M. FAHF-2 silences peanut-induced anaphylaxis for a prolonged post-treatment period via IFN-g producing CD8+ T cells. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009;123:443-51.
    • Patil P, Wang J, Song Y, Noone S, Yang N, Wallenstein S, Sampson HA, and Li X-M. Clinical safety of FAHF-2, and inhibitory effect on basophils from patients with food allergy – extended phase I study. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011 
    • Srivastava K, Song Y, Yang N, Liu C, Nowak-Węgrzyn A, Sampson HA and Li X-M. B-FAHF-2 plus oral immunotherapy (OIT) is safer and more effective than OIT alone in a murine model of concurrent peanut/tree nut allergy. Clinical Experimental Allergy. 2017; 47(8):1038-1049.
  • Asthma 
    • Wen MC, Wei CH, Hu ZQ, Srivastava K, Ko J, Xi ST, Mu DZ, Du JB, Li GH, Wallenstein S, Sampson HA, Kattan M, Li X-M. Efficacy and tolerability of anti-asthma herbal medicine intervention in adult patients with moderate-severe allergic asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2005; 116(3):517-24. PMID:16159618.
    • Wei Z, Z Chen, W Li, Y Wang, X-M Li, P Ran, and Z Liu. Systems pharmacology uncovers the mechanisms of anti-asthma herbal medicine intervention (ASHMI) for asthma. J Funct Foods. 2019 Jan; 52: 611-619.

Dr. Xiu-Min Li’s Bio and Research

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