A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of Ten-Cha (Rubus suavissimus) on house dust mite allergic rhinitis



      Self-care with Ten-Cha is the most common complementary alternative medicine for allergic rhinitis in Japan, but evidence for an actual therapeutic effect is lacking. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of Ten-Cha (Rubus suavissimus) on house dust mite allergic rhinitis.


      The study was performed in the otolaryngology departments of 5 facilities (Chiba University, Kagoshima University, Fukui University, Okayama University, and Nippon Medical School) from July to December 2009. A randomized double-blind study was performed with central enrollment and allocation. The subjects ingested 400 mg of Ten-Cha extract or placebo (3 capsules/day) daily for 4 weeks as a food intervention. The number of subjects was chosen with anticipation of an effect equivalent to that of mast cell-stabilizing drugs. A nasal allergy diary-based symptom score and a QOL score were used for evaluation.


      The Ten-Cha and placebo groups included 47 and 42 subjects, respectively. The improvement rates for sneeze, nasal discharge, nasal obstruction, and symptom scores were greater in the Ten-Cha group than in the placebo group throughout the intervention period, and the effect tended to increase with time in the Ten-Cha group. However, the differences between the groups were not significant. QOL was not significantly improved in either group.


      Ingestion of Ten-Cha had an effect on allergic rhinitis, but the effect of Ten-Cha was limited and did not differ significantly from placebo. These results suggest that Ten-Cha does not exhibit an effect equivalent to mast cell-stabilizing drugs at the dose used in this study.


      HDM (house dust mite), JRQLQ (Japan rhino-conjunctivitis quality of life questionnaire)


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Auris Nasus Larynx
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


      1. Practical guideline for the management of allergic rhinitis in Japan – perennial rhinitis and pollinosis – 2009 edition (the sixth revision), Life Science Publishing Co., Ltd.; 2008.

        • Okamoto Y.
        Present situation and effect of complementary alternative medicine on allergic diseases.
        Infection, Inflammation and Immunity. 2009; 39 (Article in Japan): 163-165
      2. Li Z, Bencao gangmu; 1596.

        • Okuda M.
        • Ishikawa T.
        • Saito Y.
        • Shimizu T.
        • Baba S.
        • Kosaki H.
        • et al.
        Clinical effect of N-5′ on perennial allergic rhinitis; a multicenter randomized double-blind trial.
        Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Tokyo. 1983; 26 (Article in Japan): 2111-2150
        • Okuda M.
        • Okubo K.
        • Gotoh M.
        • Okamoto Y.
        • Imano A.
        • Baba K.
        • et al.
        Standard questionnaire for QOL of Japanese patients with allergic rhinitis.
        Arerugi. 2003; 52: 21-56
        • Okuda M.
        QOL questionnaire for allergic rhinitis.
        Arerugi. 2003; 52: 1-3
        • Okuda M.
        Grading the severity of allergic rhinitis for treatment strategy and drug study purposes.
        Current Allergy and Asthma Reports. 2001; 1: 235-241
        • Okuda T.
        • Yoshida T.
        • Hatano T.
        Classification of oligomeric hydrolysable tannins and specificity of their occurrence in plants.
        Phytochemistry. 1993; 32: 507-521
        • Yoshida T.
        • Chen X.M.
        • Hatano T.
        • Fukushima M.
        • Okuda T.
        Tannins and related polyphenols of rosaceous medicinal plants. IV. Roxbins A and B from Rosa roxburghii fruits.
        Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 1987; 35: 1817-1822
        • Nakahara K.
        The present situations and prospects of the study on the function of the Ten-Cha.
        A Technical Journal on Food Chemistry and Chemicals. 1995; 11 (Article in Japan): 44-48
        • Yang Z.
        • Ishikura Y.
        • Hirai K.
        • Fujii W.
        • Suwa Y.
        • Tanaka R.
        • et al.
        Effect of Rubus suavissimus extract on croton oil induction murine ear inflammation model.
        Japanese Journal of Inflammation. 1994; 14 (Article in Japan): 323-327
        • Ishikura Y.
        • Suwa Y.
        • Okada T.
        • Kohno S.
        Anti-allergic effects of Rubus suavissimus extract.
        Japanese Journal of Inflammation. 1995; 15 (Article in Japan): 167-173
        • Ukai K.
        • Amesara R.
        • Itakura Y.
        A clinical trial of Ten-Cha candy on perennial allergic rhinitis.
        Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Tokyo. 1995; 38 (Article in Japan): 519-532
        • Ukai K.
        • Itakura Y.
        • Takeuchi M.
        • Masuda S.
        • Yuta A.
        • Okawa T.
        • et al.
        A clinical trial of Ten-Cha beverage on cedar pollinosis.
        Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Tokyo. 1999; 42 (Article in Japan): 447-458