Review on herbal drugs used in treatment for Asthma


Kalantri M. R.  , Aher A. N

NDMVP College of Pharmacy, Nashik

*Corresponding Author E-mail: mmbihani@



Asthma is  common disease that found in world wide. Asthma affects 300 million people worldwide and will be affect more 100 million in 2025. Many drugs are available for asthma now a days.They are directly or indirectly derived from plants only. This synthetic drugs by continuous using causes some side effects. In India 45,000 plants species and among them, several are claimed medicinal property. Now research has been focused on scientific evaluation of herbal drug which are used as antiasthmatic with efficient theraupatic property. An attempt has been made to review antiasthmatic medicinal plants in this present article.


KEYWORDS: Antiasthma, antiallergy, extracts, bronchospasm, inflammation.




Asthma is chronic condition; Symptoms are due to endogenous and intrinsic mediator like histamine, leukotriens, bradykinine, prostaglandin, nitric oxide, platelet activation factor, chemokines and endothelline from mast cell during allergic reaction and inflammation of air passage in lungs. Asthma is characterized by coughing, dyspnoea, wheezing, and chest tightness. Other features of asthma are airway inflammation and bronchial hyper-responsiveness.Asthma attacks are triggered by allergen such as dust, mites, mold, spores, animal hair or feathers and also caused by cold air, environmental tobacco smoke, emotional stress.1


Asthma affects 7 % of total population and approximate 300 million worldwide. During attacks the smooth muscle cells in bronchi constrict and the airway inflamed swollen and breathing become difficult.2


Asthma comes from a Greek word meaning gasping or breathless is chronic lung disorder that occurs commonly in both children and adult in economically developed as well as developing countries. It is increasing pervasiveness and severity especially in allergic patient.All medicine used for the organization of asthma  proves to be beneficial in acute condition and act as life saving remedies. But long term use of all these medicine can cause serious, toxic side effect like muscle tremors, restlessness, hypertension, delirium, convulsion, mood changes, growth retardation etc. Now a day’s herbal medicines are the major components in Ayurvedic, Homeopathic, Naturopathy and other medicinal systems.The medicinal value of these plants lies in some chemical substances that produce definite pharmacological action on human system. The graceful advantage of herbal medicines like ecofriendly nature, less cost, great strength, less toxic and ready availability.3

Asthma is a global problem. Most synthetic drugs are used to treat acute symptoms of asthma but they are not completely safe for long term use. Currently available treatment for asthma most medication works by relaxing bronchospasm, or reducing inflammation. These available treatments are not sufficient for treating asthma as they have many side effects. 4, 5


Synthetic drugs may give instant relief from symptoms of asthma, but have lot of undesirable effects (like those of steroids). Synthetic drugs used for conventional medical treatment of asthma include-Bronchodilators (Sympathomimetics: Albuterol, Formoterol, Terbutaline; Methylxanthines: Aminophylline, Dyphylline; Antimuscarinics: Ipratropium, Tiotropium) Mast cell stabilizers (Cromolyn sodium, Nedocromil sodium) Corticosteroids (Aerosols: Beclomethasone, Budenoside, Triamcinolone; Systemic: Betamethasone, Prednisolone) Leukotriene inhibitors (Montelukast, Zafirlukast, Zileuton). 6


Hence search has been started once again to look back to traditional medicine which can be used to treat asthma. The following table gives brief review of medicinal plant used as antiasthmatic.



Type of Extract


Acacia xanthophloea

Methanol and aqueous

Stem bark7

Achyranthus  aspera

N hexane, methanol

Whole plant2

Acorus calamus



Adhatoda vasica


Leaves 9

Agastache rugosa


Aerial parts10

Ailanthus excels


Stem bark 11

Alangium lamarkii


Leaves  12

Anchomanes difformis


Leaf  13

Asystasia gangetica


Leaves 14

Azina tetracantha


Leaves 15

Balanites aegyptiaca

N butanol

Fruit pulp 16

Balanites roxburghi


Stem 17

Bauhinia racemosa


Leaves 18

Boerhvia procumbens


Whole plant 19

Bryonia lasiniosa


Aerial part 20

Bryophyllum pinnatum


Leaf   21

Bulbus fritillariae


Bulbs 22

Bytteneria herbaceae


Root 23

Cassia occidentalis


Seed  24

Calendula officinalis


Whole plant 25

Cassia sophera


Leaves 26

Cassia tora


Leaves 27

Citrullus colocynth


Fruits  28

Clerodendron phlomidis


Leaves  29


Clerodendrum serratum


Root 30

Cordia subcordata


Bark 31-

Cressa cretica

Ethyl acetate,methanol

Whole plant 32

Crocus sativus


Flower 33

Cuculigo orchioides


Rhizome 34

Cucumis trigonus


Fruits 35

Curcuma longa


Rhizome 36

Cyamopsis tetragonoloba

Aqueous and alcohol

Leaves 37

Cyclea peltata

ethanol and aqueous

Whole plant 38







Type of Extract


Elaeagnus  rungens


Leaves 39

Elaeagnus henryi


Leaves 39

Elaeagnus lanceolata



Elephantous scaber


Leaves 40

Ephedra geradiana


Whole plant 41

Euphorbia hirta


Leaves 42

Gastrodia elata


Root 43

Hemidesmus indicus


Root 44

Ixora coccinea


Leaves  45

Kalanchoe integra


Leaves 46

Labisia pumila


Leaves 47

Leptadenia reticulate


Leaves 48

Leucas  aspera


Whole plant 49

Microglossa pyrifolia

Methanol and aqueous

Leaves 5

Mimosa pudica


Roots  50

Myrica sapida


Stem bark 51




Nyctanthes arborstris

Ethanol and aqueous

Bark    52

Nyctanthes arbortristis


Leaves5 3

Ocimum gratissimum


Leaf 54

Passiflora incarnate


Leaves 55

Physalis angulata


Leaves 56

Piper longum

Pet ether,ethanol,decoction

Fruit 57

Pistacia integerima


Galls 58

Pluchea ovalis


Root 59

Polyscias fruiticosa


Leaf 60

Portulaca oleracea


Leaves,stem,root 61

Punica granatum


Flowerbud 62

Ricinus communis


Root 63

Saururus chinensis


Herbs 64

Sphaeranthus indicus


Aerial part 65

Stephania japonica

Aqueous and alcohol

Leaves 66

Stereospermum suaveolens


Stem bark 67

Strychnas heninningsii

Methanol and aqueous

Leaves 5

Symplocas racemosa


Bark 68

Tephrosia purpurea


Whole plant69

Tephrosia purpurea


Leaves 70

Vitex negundo


Leaves 71

Ziziphus xylopyrus

Aqueous and alcohol

Stem 72

In- vivo models

1) Histamine induced bronchospasm in conscious guinea pig.

2) Passive paw anaphylaxis in rat.

3) Milk induced leucocytosis and eosinophilia in mice.


In- vitro models

4) Degranulation of rat mesenteric mast cells.

5) Histamine and Acetylcholine induced contractions on isolated guinea pig tracheal chain and ileum preparation.


Histamine induced bronchospasm in conscious guinea pig.

Symptom like asphyctic convulsion resembling bronchial asthma can be induced by inhalation of histamine or other bronchospsmogen in guinea pig. The occurrence of these symptoms can be delayed by bronchodilator drugs.


Passive paw anaphylaxis in rat

Anti allergic model involves Passive immunization with serum containing IgE antibody and second antigen exposure cause immediate hypersensitivity in form of paw edema.


Milk induced leucocytosis and eosinophilia in mice

Leukocyte recruited during asthmatic inflammation release the inflammatory mediators like cytokines, histamine, and major basic protein which promote ongoing inflammation. The eosinophils are the most characteristic inflammatory cells in the sub-mucosal and epithelial layers. The involvement of eosinophil  in bronchial mucosa, in which allergic inflammation occurs, is a critical contributor to the late asthmatic reaction of congestion and mucus hypersecretion. Eosinophil secretes mediators such as eosinophil cationic protein, tumor necrosis factor, eosinophil-derived neurotoxin, and prostaglandin, which results in epithelial shedding, bronchoconstriction, and promotion of inflammation in respiratory tract often allergic.



4) Degranulation of rat mesenteric mast cells

Degranulation of rat peritoneal mast cells can be induced in vitro by different stimuli egg albumin, sodium cromoglycate and compound 48/80. This involves microscopic examination of rat mesenteric mast cells


Histamine and Acetylcholine induced contractions on isolated guinea pig tracheal chain and guinea pig ileum preparation.


To detect antispasmodic and bronchodilator activity, the test compound was first added alone and washed out. The response of spasmogens like Histamine and Acetylcholine were taken and at the height of contraction and the treatment drug was added. It causes relaxation in dose dependant manner 49



As the synthetic drugs give instant relief from symptoms of asthma, but cause lot of side effect, their efficacy goes on decreasing with their continuous use .herbal drugs have lots of availability and easy of cultivation when compared with synthetic drugs makes herbal plants best choice for treatment of asthma .Although purity of extract, selectivity, toxicity, is matter of concern for use of herbal drugs.



The authors are thankful to the authorities of M.V.P. college of pharmacy Nashik  (India) for providing support to the study and other necessary facility like internet surfing, library and other technical support to write an article.



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Received on 11.05.2017          Modified on 11.06.2017

Accepted on 21.08.2017       ©A&V Publications All right reserved

Res.  J. Pharmacognosy and Phytochem. 2018; 10(1): 63-67.

DOI: 10.5958/0975-4385.2018.00010.9