A herbal formula for prevention of influenza-like syndrome: A double-blind randomized clinical trial.
ABSTRACT To investigate the efficacy of a herbal formula in the prevention of influenza or influenza-like syndrome among elderies residing in old-people's home in Hong Kong. The secondary objectives are to investigate the quality of life (QOL) and symptomology changes among the herbal users and to evaluate the safety of this formula.
In ten old people's home or community centres in New Territories, Hong Kong, 740 eligible subjects agreed to join the study and were randomized to receive a herbal formula or a placebo on alternate days over 8 weeks. Among those 740 participants, 113 had provided blood samples for immunological assessments before and after the study drug. Assessments were done at 0, 4, 8 and 12 weeks. Participants were instructed to keep a daily record of body temperature and any symptoms as sore throat, myalgia, running nose or cough, and to report to assessor accordingly. Those reporting body temperature of 37.8 °C and above would be visited and a proper nasopharyngeal swab be taken for viral study.
Seventy-two participants developed influenza-like-symptoms but none of them was proven influenza in their nasopharyngeal swabs, 40 of these patients belonged to the herbal group and 32 to the placebo group, without significant differences between groups. The difference on the changes in QOL between the two groups was not statistically significant. However, in the immunological study, the natural killer cell absolute count was significantly increased in the herbal group compared with the placebo group (463±253 vs 413±198, P<0.05).
The herbal preparation was not effective compared with placebo in the prevention of influenza-like syndrome. It was however safe and possibly supporting immunological responses.
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ABSTRACT: To investigate Chinese medicine (CM) patterns and epidemiological characters of patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) syndromes in clinics in China. A prospective multi-center observational epidemiology survey on the clinical CM patterns of ILI and its prevalence was conducted from September 2009 to April 2010. A unified survey questionnaire was developed for data collection of ILI symptoms and CM patterns. Totally 45 hospitals from 22 provinces, municipality cities and autonomous regions of China participated this study. The collected data were input by EPI-data v3.1 and analyzed by SPSS 18.0, which included descriptive analysis and Chi-square test for group comparison. A total of 5,967 ILI patients were included in the study. The proportion of the 18-34 aged group (56.2%) was the largest; students (41.0%) were more than other occupations. Majority of the patients had the wind-heat invading Lung (Fei) syndrome (76%), while in Southwest China mainly wind-heat invading Lung syndrome and wind-cold tightening the exterior syndrome occurred. The typical symptoms of ILI were ranked as fatigue (80.9%), cough (72.2%), sore throat (67.2%), muscular soreness (67.1%), headache (65.4%), aversion to cold (60.1%), thirst (55.1%) and nasal obstruction (48.1%). The ILI patients in clinics were mainly teenagers and young adults. In regard to CM syndrome, wind-heat invading Lung syndrome prevailed in all regions except the Southwest China. The characteristics of CM syndrome of ILI patients may be relevant to age and region distribution.Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine 02/2014; 20(2):101-6. DOI:10.1007/s11655-013-1582-8 · 1.40 Impact Factor