March 6, 2012
A traditional Chinese herbal remedy may be significantly helpful in relieving daily symptoms of asthmatic patients, Japanese researchers say.
A study of more than 270 patients with asthma who either received a Chances mixture or standard treatment demonstrated that the herbal treatment worked better in removing symptoms compared to inhaled steroid and a bronchodilator.
After 16 days of treatment, 94 percent of those who took the herbal remedy became completely free from asthma symptoms while about three-fourths of those taking standard medications still had daily wheeze and other symptoms, says the report presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (AAAAI).
The herbal medicine used in the study was a remedy used in kampo, the Japanese study and adaptation of Traditional Chinese medicine.
The mixture included Scutellaria root, Coptis rhizome, gardenia fruit, hoelen, cinnamon bark, and Glycyrrhiza (aka licorice) root, said lead author and head of the Yoshiteru Shimoide Clinic of Internal Medicine in Kagoshima City Dr. Yoshiteru Shimoide.
Although the Japanese team did not study the possible side effects of the herbal treatment, a major problem facing kampo medicine is known to be the product’s quality, which may cause serious health outcomes.
Presence of some poisonous plants in the mixture, for instance, had led to kidney damage in some patients.
Health experts warned patients with asthma to avoid testing such treatments at home before their efficacy and safety are proven in large and long term clinical trials.