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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 11:28 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
By Christine Haran from Science Daily some excerpts:

It's estimated that allergies affect 40 to 50 million Americans, and about 20 million have asthma. While herbal supplements and other complementary and alternative therapies, such as hypnosis and acupuncture, may ease some symptoms, experts say people have to be careful about which complementary and alternative (CAM) treatment they choose. Not only are some people with allergies particularly susceptible to adverse drug reactions, but there is also a chance that some alternative remedies may interact with other medications.

Bielory found that the most common side effects were various forms of allergic reaction like hives or contact dermatitis, which usually appears as an itchy rash. But is the possibility of more serious side effects. Specifically, Bielory found that echinacea, used for the common cold and for upper respiratory tract allergies, carries some risk of liver toxicity. There have also been some reports linking echinacea to asthma attacks, life-threatening anaphylactic reactions, and worsening of asthma and allergies symptoms. People with pollen allergies or sensitivity to sunflower seeds or melons may be more likely to have an adverse reaction to echinacea.

Likewise, bee pollen, a CAM therapy sometimes used for asthma and allergies, has been shown to trigger sore throat and breathing problems. It should never be used by people who are allergic to bee pollen since it could lead to anaphylactic shock.

For full article: ... icle39.htm

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