The treatment of allergies using Sanfujiu: A method of applying Chinese herbal medicine paste to acupoints on three peak summer days

Chen Jei Tai, Li Yin Chien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Sanfujiu is a method of applying herbal drug paste onto acupoints Fengmen and Feishu during the 3 hottest summer days, to treat patients with allergies using traditional Chinese medicine. The objectives of this study were to describe the immediate reactions (adverse effects and perceived efficacy) to the Sanfujiu treatment, and examine the variations in the prevalence of the reactions to and perceived efficacy of Sanfujiu among different sub-groups, based on patient age and diagnosis. The study subjects included 119 patients who completed Sanfujiu treatment at a regional hospital in Taipei. One week after treatment, trained interviewers conducted telephone interviews with the patients. More than 80% of the patients reported having reactive symptoms after using the Sanfujiu treatment. Younger subjects (≤16 years of age) were more likely to have reactive symptoms. Patients with rhinitis were more likely to have runny noses and nasal congestion after the treatment. Patients with allergic eczema were more likely to have skin itching all over the body. Overall, 44.6% of patients perceived the treatment as being effective, while 52.1% of patients did not notice any effects, either good or bad, from the treatment. The perceived efficacy of Sanfujiu treatment was not related to patient age, sex, or diagnosis. This study demonstrated that Sanfujiu treatment was moderately effective, as perceived by the patients, in treating their allergic symptoms immediately after the treatment. Symptoms reactive to the treatment were common but are usually mild. This information is essential for patient consultation, and serves as a reference for clinicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-976
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Chinese Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Allergy
  • Herba asari
  • Radix kansui
  • Reactive symptoms
  • Rhizoma Cordalis
  • Sanfujiu
  • Semen sinapis albae
  • Therapeutic effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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