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.
- Refractory asthma
- Plantago major
- Almond gum
- Traditional Persian medicine
- Integrative medicine