This study aimed to systematically evaluate the effect of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) for treating allergic rhinitis in children. We reviewed relevant studies retrieved from the following databases: MEDLINE (PubMed), Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure, the Cqvip Database, and the Wanfang Database. The analysis was conducted by Cochrane software Revman 5.3. Nineteen randomized, controlled trials were included.
Meta-analysis showed that CHM had advantages in the efficacy rate (odds ratio [OR] 3.32; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.32–4.76), recurrence rate (OR 0.30; 95% CI, 0.18–0.49), scores of symptoms, such as sneezing (mean difference [MD] −1.24; 95% CI, −2.33 to −0.14), running nose (MD −1.32; 95% CI, −2.58 to −0.05), and nasal congestion (MD −0.70; 95% CI, −1.05 to −0.36), but not nasal itching (MD −1.37; 95% CI, −3.96 to 1.22), compared with controls. CHM could also effectively decrease immunoglobulin E levels (MD −46.01, 95% CI, −57.53 to −34.48). The current evidence suggests that CHM is more effective in treating allergic rhinitis in children compared with controls. CHM may also decrease the recurrence and level of immunoglobulin E, and improve symptoms such as sneezing, running nose, and nasal congestion, compared with controls.
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