Immunological effect of 24-herb liangcha : a pilot study

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Immunological effect of 24-herb liangcha : a pilot study

 

Author: Huang, Kam-lung Paul
Title: Immunological effect of 24-herb liangcha : a pilot study
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2006
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Herbal teas -- China -- Immunological aspects
Department: Dept. of Health Technology and Informatics
Pages: xvi, 127 leaves : col. ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1968120
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/201
Abstract: 24-herb liangcha is the most famous and commonly used liangcha in Hong Kong and southern China. It is widely believed to have a potent effect in clearing of heat and elimination of toxic substances inside the body. People drink the liangcha when they have some minor health problems such as acne, sour throat, buccal ulcer etc. They believed that the liangcha is helpful in remedy of these problems. Although the 24-herb liangcha has a bitter taste unwelcome by most of the people, they drink it because of its effectiveness. These adverse symptoms and health conditions that the liangcha used to tackle with are mostly related to infections. The liangcha may exert its effect through a modulation of immunity of the body. However, few studies have been done to investigate the hypothesis. This study aimed to investigate the effect of 24-herb liangcha on human immunity. An in vivo, placebo controlled pilot study of the effect of 24-herb liangcha was performed. Eight people were requested to drink 250 ml of 24-herb liangcha daily for two weeks and selected immunological parameters (total and differential white blood cell counts, immunoglobulin {IgA, IgG, IgM} levels, complement {C3, C4} levels, neutrophils phagocytotic activity, CD4/CD8 subset percentages, interleukin 6 and interferon gamma levels were assayed by using blood samples taken before and after the drinking of liangcha to test for the change in the immune system. Result showed that the liangcha had no significant effect on the production and composition of different white cells and secretory parameters of the immune system. However, a significant decrease of the phagocytotic activity of the neutrophils and percentage of eosinophils were observed. The mechanism of such a decrease is not known but may be related to the liangcha's effect of reduction of inflammation since both parameters are related to the inflammation and allergic response of the body. The reduction of inflammatory response may relieve some of the symptoms of infection. Also the decrease was slight and not affects the protective role of immune system. The study showed that the 24-herb liangcha did not stimulate the immunity for the combat of infectious diseases. However, it had some immunomolulatory effects that might relieve symptoms of minor infection. Further studies are required to verify the findings and also its mechanism remains to be explored.

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