The clinical efficacy of two herbs S. xanthocarpum and S. trilobatum in a dose of 300 mg tds for 3 days was investigated in mild to moderate bronchial asthma. Their effect was compared with standard bronchodilator drugs, salbutamol (4 mg) and deriphylline (200 mg). The respiratory function was assessed by measuring the peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) using a mini peak flow meter. In addition, improvement in lung function was assessed by physical examination (rhonchi and crepitation) and other symptoms such as cough, breathlessness and sputum. S. xanthocarpum and S. trilobatum produced a progressive improvement in the ventilatory function of asthmatic individuals over 3 days. The scores for rhonchi, cough, breathlessness and sputum were decreased by these drug treatments. The improvement in PEFR and the reduction in other symptom scores clearly indicate a bronchodilator effect, a decrease of oedema and secretions in the airway lumen. The response to these herbs can be considered to be equivalent to that of deriphylline but less than salbutamol. No untoward effects were reported during the study. The present study further confirms the traditional use of these herbs in bronchial asthma.
Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.