From: C.Health on

JACI Highlights - September 2005

Anti-asthma herbal medication found to be effective in treating adults
moderate-severe allergic asthma

In an article published in the September 2005 issue of the Journal of
Allergy and Clinical Immunology, a team led by Dr. Ming-Chun Wen, Weifang
Asthma Hospital, China and Dr. Xiu-Min Li, Mt Sinai School of Medicine, New
York reported that a mixture of traditional Chinese herbs (ASHMI) was as
effective as standard corticosteroid therapy in adults with moderate to
severe asthma. Adult patients in China with at least a one year history of
allergic asthma and daily asthma symptoms were divided into two groups. One
group was treated with ASHMI, and one group was treated with prednisone
tablets. Neither medical personnel nor patients participating in this study
knew which treatment was administered. Four weeks of treatment resulted in
significant and approximately equal improvements in lung function as well as
reduced symptom scores and use of bronchodilators in both groups. In
addition to improved lung function, blood levels of the allergy associated
immunoglobulin IgE and TH-2 cytokines, the chemical mediators of allergic
inflammation, were decreased by both treatments. This is the first
well-controlled study in which an anti-asthma Chinese herbal medicine has
been found to be as effective as a corticosteroid drug. Additional clinical
studies of ASHMI in the USA are planned.

From: Twittering One on
What's in the stuff, ASHMI?

BP elevations?

From: Twittering One on
I am in serious need of broncho-dilatory assistance.

From: Mark on
And we welcome well-designed clinical trials.

If, however, this ASHMI protocol contains ephedra, it is to be
questioned, given the known side effects thereof.

(And BTW, daily "prednisone tablets" are NOT the way one treats
allergic asthma.)

Mark, MD

From: C.Health on

"Twittering One" <twitteringfolly(a)> wrote in message
> What's in the stuff, ASHMI?
> Ephedra?
> BP elevations?
Wen MC, Wei CH, Hu ZQ, Srivastava K, Ko J, Xi ST, Mu DZ, Du JB, Li GH,

Wallenstein S, Sampson H, Kattan M, Li XM

Efficacy and tolerability of antiasthma herbal medicine intervention in

patients with moderate-severe allergic asthma.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2005 Sep;116(3):517-24.

PMID: 16159618 [PumMed - In-Data-Review]

BACKGROUND: Chinese herbal medicine has a long history of human use. A novel
herbal formula, antiasthma herbal medicine intervention (ASHMI), has been
shown to be an effective therapy in a murine model of allergic asthma.
OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to compare the efficacy, safety, and
immunomodulatory effects of ASHMI treatment in patients with
moderate-severe, persistent asthma with prednisone therapy. METHODS: In a
double-blind trial, 91 subjects underwent randomization. Forty-five subjects
received oral ASHMI capsules and prednisone placebo tablets (ASHMI group)
and 46 subjects received oral prednisone tablets and ASHMI placebo capsules
(prednisone group) for 4 weeks. Spirometry measurements; symptom scores;
side effects; and serum cortisol, cytokine, and IgE levels were evaluated
before and after treatment. RESULTS: Posttreatment lung function was
significantly improved in both groups as shown by increased FEV(1) and peak
expiratory flow findings (P < .001). The improvement was slightly but
significantly greater in the prednisone group (P < .05). Clinical symptom
scores, use of beta(2)-bronchodilators, and serum IgE levels were reduced
significantly, and to a similar degree in both groups (P < .001). T(H)2
cytokine levels were significantly reduced in both treated groups (P < .001)
and were lower in the prednisone-treated group (P < .05). Serum IFN-gamma
and cortisol levels were significantly decreased in the prednisone group (P
< .001) but significantly increased in the ASHMI group (P < .001). No severe
side effects were observed in either group. CONCLUSION: Antiasthma herbal
medicine intervention appears to be a safe and effective alternative
medicine for treating asthma. In contrast with prednisone, ASHMI had no
adverse effect on adrenal function and had a beneficial effect on T(H)1 and
T(H)2 balance.

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