Acupuncture for Nasal Congestion
Sertel S, Bergmann Z, Ratzlaff K, Baumann
I, Greten HJ, Plinkert PK.
BACKGROUND: Nasal congestion is one of the most common complaints dealt with in
otorhinolaryngology. Side effects of decongestants are frequently seen in
patients with chronic nasal congestion. This leads to an increasing demand of
alternative treatments such as acupuncture. Future studies on acupuncture should
aim at objectifying effects by both physical measuring and double blinding.
Therefore, we were interested in whether these effects can potentially be
measured as increase in nasal airflow (NAF) in ventus ("wind") disease of
traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). METHODS: Twenty-four patients with a history
of nasal congestion due to hypertrophic inferior turbinates or chronic sinusitis
without polyposis were additionally diagnosed according to the Heidelberg model
of TCM. They were asked to score the severity of their nasal congestion on a
visual analog scale(VAS). The acupuncturist was blinded according to the
Heidelberg blinding assay. NAF was measured by using active anterior
rhinomanometry (ARM). Specific verum acupoints according to the Chinese medical
diagnosis were tested against nonspecific control acupoints. VAS and NAF were
scored and measured before and 15 and 30 minutes after acupuncture. RESULTS:
Control acupuncture showed a significant improvement in VAS and a deterioration
of NAF. Verum acupuncture showed highly significant improvements in VAS and NAF.
In addition, verum acupuncture improved NAF and VAS significantly over time.
CONCLUSION: Our control and verum acupoints fulfill the condition of a control
and verum treatment, respectively. Measuring NAF by RRM and scoring VAS are
possible and reflect acupuncture effects in vivo.
Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2009 Sep
Clinical and Endocrinological Changes after
Electro-Acupuncture Treatment in Patients with Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Ahsin S, et al. Department of Physiology, Army Medical College
Rawalpindi, Pakistan; Department of Natural Sciences, School of Health and
Social Science, Middlesex University, UK.
Neurobiological mechanisms invoking the release of endogenous opioids and
depression of stress hormone release are believed to be the basis of acupuncture
analgesia. This study compared plasma beta-endorphin and cortisol levels with
self assessment scores of intensity of pain, before and after 10 days of
electro-acupuncture treatment in patients suffering from chronic pain as a
result of osteoarthritis knees. Forty patients of either sex over 40 years with
primary osteoarthritis knee were recruited into a single-blinded,
sham-controlled study. For electro-acupuncture group the points were selected
according to the Traditional Chinese Medicine Meridian Theory. In the sham
group, needles were inserted at random points away from true acupoints and no
current was passed. Both groups were treated for 10 days with one session every
day lasting for 20-25min. Pre- and post-treatment Western Ontario and McMaster
Universities (WOMAC) index of osteoarthritis knee and Visual Analogue Scale
(VAS) for pain were recorded and blood samples were taken for the measurement of
plasma cortisol and beta-endorphin levels. Following electro-acupuncture
treatment there was a significant improvement in WOMAC index and VAS (p=0.001),
a significant rise in plasma beta-endorphin (p=0.001), and a significant fall in
plasma cortisol (p=0.016). In conclusion, electro-acupuncture resulted in an
improvement in pain, stiffness and disability. Of clinical importance is that an
improvement in objective measures of pain and stress/pain associated biomarkers
was shown above that of a sham treatment; hence demonstrating acupuncture
associated physiological changes beyond that of the placebo effects.
Pain. 2009 Sep 17.
Antiproliferative Activities of Five Chinese Herbs and
Active Compounds in Elephantopus Scaber (Tu Gong Ying)
Su M, et al. Department of Biology, The Chinese University
of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
Extracts and fractions prepared from five medicinal herbs used to treat cancer
in Chinese folk medicine were tested for their antiproliferative activities on
five cancer cell lines using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl
tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The MTT results revealed that the ethanolic
extracts possessed stronger antiproliferative activities than the corresponding
aqueous ones. The bioactive fractions of the ethanolic extracts were mostly
found in n-hexane and/or ethyl acetate fractions, which by TLC analysis were
shown to contain terpenes and/or phenolic compounds. The ethyl acetate fraction
from the ethanolic extract of Elephantopus scaber showed the highest effect with
IC50 values of less than 25 microg/mL on three susceptible cell lines, namely,
PC-3 (human prostate carcinoma cell), CNE (human nasopharyngeal carcinoma
epithelial cell) and HL-60 (human acute promyelocytic leukemia cell). Further
isolation and analysis of this fraction led to the identification of three
sesquiterpene lactones, two flavonoids and five triterpenes. MTT results showed
that the sesquiterpene lactones were the most effective group with IC50 values
ranging from 0.9 to 7.5 microM while the flavonoids possessed moderate to strong
effect with IC50 values ranging from 17.3 to 42.6 microM. However, the
triterpenes displayed weak effect with IC50 values larger than 50 microM. Among
the active compounds, deoxyelephantopin, a sesquiterpene lactone, exhibited the
strongest effect on the PC-3, CNE and HL-60 cells, with IC50 values of 4.6, 2.6
and 0.9 microM, respectively. Flow cytometric analysis showed that treatment
with deoxyelephantopin caused subG-1 population augmentation in PC-3, CNE and
HL-60 cells, suggesting apoptosis was induced in these cells.
Nat Prod Commun. 2009 Aug;4(8):1025-30.