Table 3

Traditional Indian medicine and asthma

Reference No, definition, duration of trialTreatment (n) Control (n)Primary measuresResultsJadad score
Doshiet al 10 72 bronchial asthmatics, 14 weeks2 wks of placebo followed by 12 weeks ofP kurroa (24)(a) 2 wks placebo, 3 wksP kurroa, 9 wks placebo (26)
(b) 2 wks placebo, 3–6 wks
P kurroa, 9–12 wks placebo (22)
Lung function tests; daily diaryNo significant differences between treatment and placebo3
Govindanet al 11 60 bronchial asthmatics, 2 hours S xanthocarpum(20) or
S trilobatum (20)
Salbutamol (10) or deriphylline (10)Lung function testsSignificant increase in FEV1 in both herb preparation groups (p≤0.01) but less than standard drugs1
Gupta et al18 135 bronchial asthmatics, 3 weeksPowdered T indica (71) Powdered placebo (64)Lung function tests; symptom scoreNo differences between treatment and placebo4
Gupta et al 13 80 bronchial asthmatics, 6 weeksEncapsulated powdered B serrata gum resin (40)Encapsulated lactose (40)Lung function testsFEV1 significantly increased with treatment vs. control (p<0.0001) but % increase could not be calculated from data given2
Mathew and Shivpuri16 123 bronchial asthmatics, 12 weeksAlkaloid extract fromT indica in glucose Glucose coloured with spinach Lung function tests; symptom score% patients with >15% increase in FEV1 : test> control at all times peaking at 4 wks (p<0.01); symptom score: test > control at all times (p<0.05)4
Shivpuri et al 14 110 bronchial asthmatics, 12 weeks T indica leaves chewed and swallowed (53)Spinach leaves chewed and swallowed (57)Daily diarySymptom relief at 6 days: test 62%, control 28%; at 12 wks: test 16% , control 0% (no statistics)2
Shivpuriet al 15 195 bronchial asthmatics, 12 weeks T indica powder (179)Placebo powder (166)Diary of symptom scores Complete to moderate relief at 1 wk: test 56%, control 31% (p≤0.01), 12 wk: test 14.8%, placebo 7.8% (NS)3
Thiruvengadamet al 17 30 bronchial asthmatics, 16 days(a) T indica/7 days, 2 day break, placebo/7 days
(b) placebo/7 days, 2 day break,T indica/7 days
(c) T indica/7 days, 2 day break, standard drugs/7 days
(d) standard drugs/7 days, 2 day break, T indica/7 days
Lung function tests; symptom score No statistics given for lung function; noctural dyspnoea significantly better with T indica than placebo (p<0.01)3
  • FEV1 = forced expiratory volume in one second; NS = not statistically significant.