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Phytotherapy and anthroposophic medicine as a treatment option for bronchial asthma: A systematic review
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  • Céline Braunwalder,
  • Jana Ertl,
  • Matteo Wullschleger,
  • Eliane Timm,
  • Ursula Wolf
Céline Braunwalder
Universitat Bern Medizinische Fakultat

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Jana Ertl
Universitat Bern Medizinische Fakultat
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Matteo Wullschleger
no affiliation
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Eliane Timm
Universitat Bern Medizinische Fakultat
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Ursula Wolf
Universitat Bern Medizinische Fakultat
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Abstract

Bronchial asthma is a highly prevalent health condition associated with low quality of life and high economic costs. Treatments from traditional, complementary and integrative medicine (TCIM) are commonly used by individuals with bronchial asthma. However, a synthesis of the evidence on plant-derived medication is lacking. This review aims to systematically summarize the evidence on the efficacy, effectiveness and safety of European/Western phytotherapy (PT) and medications from anthroposophic medicine (AM) in individuals with bronchial asthma. Four electronic databases and additional references were screened for clinical trials published between 1990 and 2023. The findings of the included studies were qualitatively synthesized and study quality was assessed. Of 23 included studies, 19 examined European/Western PT and four investigated AM medications. Nine studies of sufficient quality reported beneficial effects of various plants (e.g., Nigella sativa) on asthma symptoms, pulmonary function and immunological parameters. The medications were considered safe in studies that reported on safety. Overall, this systematic review suggests several medications from European/Western PT and AM that may be beneficial and appear to be safe in the treatment of bronchial asthma. However, further rigorous studies are needed to provide evidence-based guidance on additional treatment options for individuals with bronchial asthma.