Short-course administration of a traditional herbal mixture ameliorates asthma symptoms of the common cold in children

Document Type: Original Research Article

Authors

1 Department of Pediatric. Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Allergy Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

4 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Islamic Azad University of Medical, Mashhad, Iran.

Abstract

Objective: Asthma is an increasing chronic respiratory disease affecting over 300 million people worldwide. Several studies have shown that herbal remedies may improve asthma control and reduce asthma symptoms. In this study, the effects of short-course administration of an herbal mixture (ASMATUSTM) in asthmatic children during viral respiratory tract infection, were evaluated.
Materials and Methods: Forty-six children (7-12 years old) with intermittent asthma were enrolled in this double-blind randomized clinical trial. At the onset of common cold symptoms, the patients were randomly assigned to daily receive either the herbal mixture (comprised of Matricaria chamomilla, Althaea officinalis, Malva sylvestris, Hyssopus officinalis, Adiantum capillus-veneris, Glycyrrhiza glabra and Ziziphus jujube) or placebo for 5 days. Primary outcomes included day symptoms, night symptoms, and asthma attacks.  Secondary outcomes included Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR), the need for β-agonist administration, oral prednisolone usage, necessity for re-visit due to uncontrolled or insupportable symptoms, as well as the number of hospital admissions and days absent from school.
Results: the herbal mixture significantly decreased the severity of coughs (p=0.049) and nighttime awakenings (p=0.029) in comparison to placebo. There was no significant reduction in wheezing, tachypnea, respiratory distress, PEF rate, absence from school, outpatient visits, asthma exacerbation, oral prednisolone or β-agonist usage and hospitalization.
Conclusion: Short-course of herbal mixture this traditional herbal mixture, starting at the onset of signs of a viral respiratory tract infection in children with intermittent asthma, reduced cough and nights awakening. Further studies should be done to determine the most effective herbal admixture, as well as dose and duration of treatment.

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