Chinese herbal extracts improve the effects of budesonide in reducing asthma symptoms

Researchers from Capital University in China have found that a decoction of Herba Epimedii (HE) and Fructus Ligustri Lucidi (FLL) can improve the effects of the glucocorticoids budesonide. The study, published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, looked at how co-administering a combination HE and FLL with inhaled budesonide can improve asthma using an ovalbumin-induced rat model.

  • For the study, researchers used male Sprague-Dawley rats that have been repeatedly treated with ovalbumin for seven weeks.
  • During this time, the rats were treated with either:
    • Combined HE and FLL extract (100 mg/kg)
    • Budesonide (1 mg per 50 mL of saline or nebulized inhalation flow of 1.6 mL/minute for 30 minutes)
    • Co-administered HE and FLL extract with budesonide
  • Researchers took lung tissue and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid for further examination. In particular, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5 and IgE levels were assessed using ELISA, and transforming growth factor (TGF) -B1, TGF-B2, and Smads mRNA were subjected to quantitative real-time PCR.
  • Rats co-administered with HE-FLL extract and budesonide had lower serum levels of allergy biomarkers. These included IL-4, IL-5 and IgE, the number of eosinophils in BALF, goblet cell hyperplasia, Collagen III integral optical density (IOD) and the mRNA expression of TGF-B2 and Smad2.
  • The co-administered treatment also improved airway walls and decreased collagen deposition.

Researchers concluded that using budesonide with HE-FLL greatly improved symptoms of ovalbumin-induced asthma using a rat model.

Read the full study at this link.

Learn more about other herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat asthma at

Journal Reference:

Tang X, Nian H, Li X, Yang Y, Wang X, Xu L, Shi H, Yang X, Liu R. EFFECTS OF THE COMBINED EXTRACTS OF HERBA EPIMEDII AND FRUCTUS LIGUSTRILUCIDI ON AIRWAY REMODELING IN THE ASTHMATIC RATS WITH THE TREATMENT OF BUDESONIDE. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 1 August 2017;17(380). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-1891-0

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