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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 673145, 9 pages
Research Article

A Herbal Composition of Scutellaria baicalensis and Eleutherococcus senticosus Shows Potent Anti-Inflammatory Effects in an Ex Vivo Human Mucosal Tissue Model

1Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Upper Airway Research Laboratory (URL), Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
2Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Zhongshan City Peoples's Hospital, Zhongshan 528403, China

Received 7 August 2011; Revised 4 October 2011; Accepted 10 October 2011

Academic Editor: Senthamil R. Selvan

Copyright © 2012 Nan Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Patients seek an effective alternative to pharmacotherapy including herbal treatment options for allergic rhinitis and rhinosinusitis. Material and Methods. Nasal mucosal tissue was obtained from 12 patients, fragmented, preincubated with tissue culture medium, S. baicalensis and/or E. senticosus and/or vitamin C (each compound 0.2 μg/mL and 2 μg/mL) for 1 hour at 37°C/5% CO2, and stimulated with anti-IgE for 30 minutes and 6 hours to imitate the allergic early and late phases. Furthermore, Staphylococcus aureus superantigen B (SEB) stimulation for 6 hours was used to imitate T-cell activation. Results. The combination of S. baicalensis and E. senticosus had a more potent suppressive effect on the release of PGD2, histamine, and IL-5 than S. baicalensis alone. The combination also resulted in a significant inhibition of SEB-induced cytokines comparable or superior to an established topical corticosteroid, fluticasone propionate. Vitamin C increased ciliary beat frequency, but had no anti-inflammatory effects. Discussion. The combination of S. baicalensis and E. senticosus may be able to significantly block allergic early-and late-phase mediators and substantially suppress the release of proinflammatory, and Th1-, Th2-, and Th17—derived cytokines.