The effect of Plantago major seed and Almond gum on refractory asthma: a proof-of-concept study

Majid Anushiravani, Farahzad Jabbari Azad, Ali Taghipour, Majid Mirsadraee, Jalil Tavakol Afshari, Roshanak Salari, M. Javad Najafzadeh, Maryam Khoshkhui, Roger M. Engel, Masoumeh Kaboli Farshchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects more than 300 million people worldwide. Refractory asthma (RA) is characterized by poor control despite adequate treatment. Conditions like RA have led to a renewed interest in non-conventional approaches to managing asthma such as those used in Traditional Persian medicine (TPM). The aim of this trial was to test a TPM formulation including Plantago major seed and Almond gum powder for asthma. 

Methods: Current patients with RA received 5 g of herbal combination (2 g of Plantago major and 3 g of Almond gum powder) which was added to their conventional treatment 3 times a day for 4 weeks. Outcome measures were taken at baseline and 4 weeks including lung function testing and asthma questionnaires: the Asthma control test (ACT) and Asthma quality of life questionnaire (AQLQ). 

Results: 28 participants with average age of 54.7 ± 11.2 years were enrolled in the study. 4 participants withdrew from the trial due to reactions to the herbal formulation. There were increases in FEV1 and FVC post-intervention compared to baseline (p < 0.01). The number of participants with wheezing decreased compared to baseline (p < 0.01). There were also improvements in cough, dyspnea, sleep quality and ACT. AQLQ results showed improvements in total, physical, emotional and social impact scores (p < 0.01). 

Conclusion: The results demonstrate that a combination of Plantago major seed and Almond gum is well-tolerated and potentially beneficial for patients with RA. Further research is warranted to ascertain the mechanisms and therapeutic effects of these ingredients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100297
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Herbal Medicine
Early online date8 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Refractory asthma
  • Plantago major
  • Almond gum
  • Traditional Persian medicine
  • Integrative medicine

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