Herbal treatment in asthma and COPD – current evidence
Research output: Research - peer-review › Article
Asthma and COPD are chronic inflammatory respiratory diseases affecting millions of people worldwide and increasing in prevalence. Current treatment options for both conditions aim to alleviate symptoms, improve patient quality of life and prevent disease progression rather than cure the underlying condition itself. Treatments available to patients include anti-inflammatory therapies, bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids. While these treatments have been deemed effective at alleviating disease symptoms and exacerbations they are not without their limitations. Overuse of some therapies can induce adverse effects in some patients such as increased risk of developing pneumonia and cardiac co-morbidities. Along with the risks of side effects not all patients will respond to the current treatment options and therefore there is an unmet need for additional or alternative treatments for asthma and COPD. One such area showing good promise in providing an alternative or add-on therapy is that of phytomedicine. Phytomedicine is defined as a plant-based traditional medical practice that uses various plant materials in modalities considered both preventive and therapeutic. This review focuses on recent human clinical trials using plant-based medicines for the treatment of asthma and COPD.