Complementary and alternative therapy (CAM) in the treatment of allergic rhinitis

Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2014 Dec;14(12):479. doi: 10.1007/s11882-014-0479-8.


CAM is any therapeutic intervention that exists outside traditional allopathic medicine. The utilization in the US population is increasing up to 4 out of 10 patients in some surveys. Given this increasing prevalence, it is essential that clinicians have the resources to advise their patients in the utilizations, benefits, and potential harms of these alternative therapies. Recent literature was reviewed in regard to traditional Chinese medicine [TCM], acupuncture, homeopathy, and herbal therapy in the treatment of allergic rhinitis limited to randomized controlled trials. Several complementary treatment studies demonstrated statistically significant benefits to patients' quality of life and symptom scoring without providing duration of effect. Alternative therapy studies have revealed mixed results in regard to efficacy. Although the adverse effect profile is low, additional studies will be required to further promote integration into the standard of care for the routine treatment of allergic rhinitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Complementary Therapies / methods*
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Rhinitis, Allergic / therapy*