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Pine tree powder for hay fever

Thursday June 30th, 2011

A powder from pine trees can help protect children from hay fever, according to Swedish researchers.

The powder is widely used in Scandinavia - in spite of limited medical evidence to back it.

Now a small-scale study in Gothenburg has shown that it seems to work well at moderate levels of pollen.

The powder is made from cellulose from pine trees and is puffed into the nose.

The Swedish paediatricians say the powder may form a barrier against pollen within the nose.

Some 53 children and teenagers took part in the research in the spring of 2009 - and were randomly assigned to use the powder or a placebo.

The findings, reported in the journal Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, show improvements in the children's symptoms of hay fever, especially during moderate concentrations of pollen.

Paediatrician Nils Åberg, of the Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital, Gothenburg, said: "The cellulose powder has no adverse effects, and this fact makes it a particularly attractive treatment for children.

“The complete absence of adverse effects makes this treatment admirably suited to self-care, and particularly for the treatment of children.

"Controlled scientific studies such as the present also provide the healthcare system a basis for testing this product as a supplement to other treatments."

Åberg N, Dahl Å, Benson M., A nasally applied cellulose powder in seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) in children and adolescents; reduction of symptoms and relation to pollen load., Pediatric Allergy and Immunology June 6 2011

Tags: Allergies & Asthma | Child Health | Europe

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