O RIG INAL CON TR I BUT I O N Open Access
A herbal composition of Scutellaria
baicalensis and Eleutherococcus senticosus
shows vasocontrictive effects in an ex-vivo
mucosal tissue model and in allergic
, K. Van Crombruggen
, G. Holtappels
, F. A. Kuhn
, C. E. Fichandler
C. A. Kuhn-Glendye
, J. B. Anon
, C. T. Melroy
, B. Karanfilov
, T. W. Haegen
, I. Kastanioudakis
, C. Bachert
and N. Zhang
Background: This study aimed to investigate the nasal decongestive efficacy of an alternative to pharmacotherapy,
a herbal nasal spray composed of Scutellaria baicalensis and Eleutherococcus senticosus.
Methods: Scutellaria baicalensis and Eleuthrococcus senticosus and control solutions were applied separately to
isolated mucosal tissue from inferior turbinates. Vasoconstriction was measured as a change in isometric tension.
Moreover, twenty allergic rhinitis patients with nasal stuffiness participated in a randomized, placebo-controlled
clinical study with cross-over design; the same patients served as their placebo control group. Pre-and post-
treatment nasal congestion and smell test scores were evaluated for the test and placebo spray using two
validated questionnaires, the 5 question nasal congestion questionnaire and the 12 question Brief Smell
Identification Test-Version B.
Results: In the ex-vivo mucosal tissue, the herbal compounds were demonstrated to induce vasoconstriction
when applied at 10 mg/ml concentration. The combination of S. baicalensis and E. senticosus proved effective in
relieving patients’ nasal congestion and was statistically superior to placebo. No side effects were noted, and
there was no difference between the pre-and post-study smell test results.
Conclusions: The combined S. baicalensis and E. senticosus herbal nasal spray relieved nasal congestion
significantly better than placebo without any side effects.
Keywords: Herbal treatment, Scutellaria Baicalensis, Eleuthrococcus senticosus, Nasal congestion, Smell
The nose is the predominant contact point between the
respiratory system and the external environment. Its pri-
mary function is to prepare the inspired air for the lungs.
It acts not only as the primary low resistance conduit for
air to reach the lungs, but to humidify, cleanse and warm
the inspired air to protect the more delicate tissues of the
lower airways [1, 2]. As such, it is constantly exposed to
aeroallergens, chemicals, pollutants and viral or bacterial
organisms, which can induce inflammation that com-
monly manifests as nasal congestion or stuffiness [3, 4].
If the nose cannot perform its function, particularly as a
low resistance air conduit due to obstruction, it adversely
affects the entire organism. When the nose is obstructed,
the individual’s sleep is impaired, resulting in a deficit in
daytime wakefulness and physical functions . Chronic
upper airway obstruction is frequently the presenting
complaint in diseases such as allergic rhinitis (AR) and
* Correspondence: email@example.com
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Medical School, Democritus University
of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece
Full list of author information is available at the end of the article
© The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to
the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Katotomichelakis et al. Clinical Phytoscience (2017) 3:21