A new scientific study has found that traditional Chinese medicine is effective and safe for the treatment of recurrent respiratory tract infections (RRTIs) in children.
In the report published in the journal Pediatric Investigation, a research team from China identified the formula Yupinfeng (YPF), which purportedly aids in treating kids suffering from RRTIs.
The study involved a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of 351 children with RRTIs divided into three groups. YPF was administered to the first group, conventional allopathic respiratory infection treatment pidotimod was given to the second, and a placebo was given to the third.
After eight weeks, the scientists reviewed the proportion of patients per group whose infection frequency and respiratory infection events were significantly reduced.
At the 52-week mark, the researchers discovered that 73% of children in the YPF group had their RRTIs return to normal standard while only 67% in the pidotimod group had the same improvement. Meanwhile, 39% of the placebo group returned to normal.
In a press release, study author Kunling Shen said the experiment was intended to “understand the therapeutic benefits of YPF.”
“This is why we conducted a large-scale RCT, the gold standard of clinical studies, and enrolled patients not from a single center but from multiple hospitals,” he added.
The study showed that YPF was not only superior to pidotimod in treating RRTIs but is also safe to use for children.
“The strength of our study lies in its rigorous design. It is the largest multicenter study to prove that YPF, a TCM, can be as effective as an allopathic drug in treating RRTIs. It is a major step forward in sharing the benefits of TCM with the world,” study co-author Rong Ma explained.
YPF has long been used as an accepted treatment for RRTIs in China, where the condition is common. Based on the findings, traditional Chinese medicine “can be as effective and safe as allopathic drugs, even though we may not fully understand the biological mechanisms underlying their effects.”
Renowned pulmonologist Dr. Julian Allen, who serves as director of the Asthma Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the associate editor of Pediatric Investigation, called the research an “excellent step toward addressing western skepticism.”
In an editorial piece for the journal, Allen further wrote: “Just because we don’t understand how a drug works, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work. This well-designed RCT could be an important step in addressing western skepticism surrounding TCM and reaping the benefits of its holistic effects.”