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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 790792, 9 pages
Research Article

Clearance of Free Silica in Rat Lungs by Spraying with Chinese Herbal Kombucha

1Tropical Crops Genetic Resources Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Hainan 571737, China
2Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Institute for Chemical Toxicity Testing, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Academy for the Prevention and Treatment of Occupational Disease, Guangxi 530021, China

Received 25 March 2013; Accepted 4 June 2013

Academic Editor: Tzeng-Ji Chen

Copyright © 2013 Nai-fang Fu 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.


The effects of spraying with kombucha and Chinese herbal kombucha were compared with treatments with tetrandrine in a rat silicosis model. Silica dust (50 mg) was injected into the lungs of rats, which were then treated with one of the experimental treatments for a month. The rats were then killed and the effects of the treatments were evaluated by examining the extent and severity of the histopathological lesions in the animals’ lungs, measuring their organ coefficients and lung collagen contents, determining the dry and wet weights of their lungs, and measuring the free silica content of the dried lungs. In addition, lavage was performed on whole lungs taken from selected rats, and the numbers and types of cells in the lavage fluid were counted. The most effective treatment in terms of the ability to reduce lung collagen content and minimize the formation of pulmonary histopathological lesions was tetrandrine treatment, followed by Chinese herbal kombucha and non-Chinese herbal kombucha. However, the lavage fluid cell counts indicated that tetrandrine treatment had severe adverse effects on macrophage viability. This effect was much less pronounced for the kombucha and Chinese herbal kombucha treatments. Moreover, the free silica levels in the lungs of animals treated with Chinese herbal kombucha were significantly lower than those for any other silica-exposed group. These preliminary results indicate that spraying with Chinese herbal kombucha preparations can effectively promote the discharge of silica dust from lung tissues. Chinese herbal kombucha inhalation may thus be a useful new treatment for silicosis and other pneumoconiosis diseases.