Preliminary Research Suggests Herbs Can Fight Asthma


Preliminary Research Suggests Herbs Can Fight Asthma



The number of people in the U.S. with asthma is growing. One in 12 people had asthma in 2009, compared with 1 in 14 in 2001, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


There is no cure, but most people can control their symptoms, reduce the severity of their disease, and prevent asthma attacks by avoiding asthma triggers and correctly using prescribed medicines, such as steroid inhalers, the CDC said.


Recently, Japanese researchers reported a traditional Chinese herbal remedy known as kampo was found to help relieving daily asthma symptoms in nearly all of more than 200 people studied.


Yoshiteru Shimoide, MD, head of the Yoshiteru Shimoide Clinic of Internal Medicine in Kagoshima City, Japan, also presented the results at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (AAAAI).


His team studied 278 people with asthma who suffered daily symptoms of the disease. Of those, 52 were given standard treatment (typically an inhaled steroid and a bronchodilator), and 226 were treated with kampo herbs. Herbs used in the current study include Scutellaria root, Coptis rhizome, gardenia fruit, hoelen, cinnamon bark, and Glycyrrhiza (aka licorice) root.


Symptoms completely disappeared in 94% of patients taking kampo herbs after an average of 16 days, Shimoide said. In contrast, about three-fourths of those taking standard asthma medications still had daily wheeze and other symptoms.


When asked to comment on the findings, Peter Creticos, MD, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore said: "This is a fascinating observation. We now need further study.


Also, don't try this at home, he cautioned. Until there is further study looking at the safety of the herbal formula, people should only take the herbs as part of a clinical trial, Creticos said.


The AAAAI does think there is evidence for herbal therapy having an anti-inflammatory effect that would fight asthma's underlying cause and is supporting research in the field, said William Silvers, MD, former head of the group's committee on complementary and alternative medicine.




Research on Asthma Using Sun Ten Products




Pin Yin Name

Pharmaceutical Name/English Name

Journal Name and

Research Summary



Zhu Ru

Caulis Bambusae in taenia

Journal of Ethnopharmacology - Study results indicated that Bambusae Caulis (BC) extract reduces OVA-induced airway inflammation and Th 2 response in mice, suggesting that BC extract can be a therapeutic candidate for allergic airway disease, including asthma. (Link)



Mu Dan Pi

Cortex Moutan

Journal of Ethnopharmacology - Findings indicated that suppressed eotaxin secretion by Moutan Cortex Radicis (MCR) treatment is due to the inhibition of NF-kappaB activation. Therefore, MCR might be of therapeutic value in treating asthma.



Ding Chuan Tang

Ma Huang & Ginkgo Combination

Pediatric Allergy and Immunology - Study results showed that Ding Chuan Tang could improve airway hyper-responsiveness in stabilized asthmatic children. (Link)



Mai Men Dong Tang

Ophiopogon Combination

Pediatric Allergy and Immunology - This formula provided improvements in lung function and relieved asthma symptoms in our sample of patients. Given its efficacy and safety, we consider it a credible treatment regimen for persistent, mild-to-moderate asthma. (Link)

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