Finding Food Allergy Answers in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Finding Food Allergy Answers in Traditional Chinese Medicine

By Yael Kozar, Food Allergy Advocate

If you are interested in complementary and alternative therapies, you may want to read Food Allergies: Traditional Chinese Medicine, Western Science, and the Search for a Cure, by Henry Ehrlich. The bookdescribes the work of Dr. Xiu-Min Li and her colleagues at Mount Sinai Hospital over the past couple of decades to adapt certain Chinese formulas to treat food allergies (which are not described in classical literature on traditional Chinese medicine) as well as other allergic diseases and to prove these medicines by Western scientific standards.

For the past two decades, Dr. Li has collaborated with Dr. Hugh Sampson at Mount Sinai to research potential treatments for allergic disease through Western methods as well as traditional Chinese medicine, which led to development of FAHF-2 (Food Allergy Herbal Formula-2), currently under phase II investigation. The book also describes the love of science and surprise unfolding of a woman who started medically treating people in China when she was in her mid-teens.

In a recent interview I conducted with Ehrlich, he states, “The biggest breakthrough for asthma was 40 years ago with the introduction of corticosteroid inhalers. But what the medical researchers realized over time was that it was not going to be a cure for all. And just like asthma and what we are seeing from other research on food allergy, there is not a definitive ‘one size fits all’ cure in the near future. Immunity is complex.”

This book examines the background for FAHF-2’s long road to its present clinical investigations. But it also shows us the dedication of a physician and scientist in thinking about innovative approaches to understanding and treating allergic diseases.