Chinese Medicine in the Treatment of COPD

COPD is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide; its economic and social burdens are substantial and increasing. Several systematic reviews have shown the therapeutic potential of herbal medicine for COPD.

Pulmonary function is the essential criteria for the diagnosis of COPD according to GOLD. Measure of pulmonary function include: FEV1, FEV%, FVC, and FEV1/FVC

However, pooled studies revealed that herbal medicine as an adjunct therapy had no advantage in the improvement of pulmonary function. Interestingly, the pooled arterial blood gas test showed an improvement of PaO2 and PaCO2 in COPD patients, but it remains inconclusive due to the heterogeneity among studies.

How Chinese Herbal Medicine improves QoL and clinical symptoms of COPD patients remain largely unexplored. However, from what we do know, Chinese herbs, when used to treat COPD, do the following:

  1. Anti-inflammation
  2. Immuno-regulation
  3. Sedation
  4. bronchodilation

Reference:

  1. Y. Zhong, B. Mao, G. Wang et al. “Tanreqing injection combined with conventional western medicine for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review,” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2010, vol. 16, no. 12, p.1309–1319.
  2. L. Wu, Y. Chen, X. Guoetal.“Oral Huangqi formulae for stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 705315, 14 pages, 2013.
  3. X. An, A. L. Zhang, A. W. Yang et al., “Oral ginseng formulae for stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review,”Respiratory Medicine 2011, vol. 105, no. 2, p. 165–176.
  4. X. An, A. L. Zhang, B. H. May, L. Lin, Y. Xu, and C. C. Xue. “Oral Chinese herbal medicine for improvement of quality of life in patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2012, vol. 18, no. 8, p.731–743.
  5. R. Wu, Z. Fengjie, Y. Li et al. “Modified dachengqi decoction combined with conventional treatment for treating acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review based on randomized controlled trials.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 323715, 8 pages, 2013.
  6. Y. Xie, J. S. Li, X. Q. Yu et al. “Effectiveness of Bufei Yishen Granule combined with acupoint sticking therapy on quality of life in patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.” Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine 2013, vol. 19, no. 4, p.260–268.
  7. Z. Gao, Y. Liu, J. Zhang, and H. Upur, “Effect of Jianpi therapy in treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review.” Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine 2013, vol. 33, no. 1, p.1–8.
  8. J. Vestbo, S. S. Hurd, A. G. Agusti et al., “Global strategy for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: GOLD executive summary.” American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2013, vol. 187, no. 4, p.347–365.

 

 

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