Recurrent nasal polyps treated by Chinese herbal decoction and acupuncture: a case report

J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jun;16(6):691-5. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0294.


Background: Nasal polyps are a common debilitating condition. Complications and the socioeconomic cost of nasal polyps and chronic rhinosinusitis means that the current medical treatment protocol is not satisfactory. Herbal decoction and acupuncture treatment for nasal polyps are rarely seen in the current English literature.

Objective: The objective is to review this topic and to share the experience of treating a case involving recurrent nasal polyps.

Patient data: An Australian patient suffering from nasal polyps and chronic rhinosinusitis had four surgical excisions of nasal polyps. However, the polyps kept recurring.

Method: A Chinese herbal decoction plus acupuncture was the method of approach. The decoction was focused on the inflammatory mechanisms of nasal polyps. The decoction had additional antibacterial and antifungal properties, which may have played important roles in the treatment.

Results: Large amounts of mucus disappeared. Nasal polyps did not recur. A recurrence has not occurred for 3(1/2) years.

Outcome measurement: The outcome measured the patient's symptoms and his quality of life.

Conclusions: The application of the herbal decoction plus acupuncture effectively prevented the recurrence of nasal polyps in this case. Therefore, further research is warranted in this classic method of treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucus / drug effects
  • Nasal Polyps / therapy*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Secondary Prevention


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal