TCM Asthma Treatment – 5 Untapped Ways to treat Allergic Asthma!

TCM Asthma Treatment will help if you are suffering from Allergic Asthma aka Asthmatic Bronchitis.

Allergic Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease with the following characteristics

  • airway obstruction which is reversible
  • airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR)
  • infiltration of inflammatory cells
  • mucus hypersecretion
  • airway remodeling.

There above characteristics are important to know because we will discuss further on how TCM is able to address them

How is Allergic Asthma usually treated?

The standard therapeutics these days include the inhaler aka puff to manage the milder symptoms like shallow breathing. Prescribed inhalers mostly include steroids in combination with long-acting beta2 agonists (LABA).

TCM asthma treatment allergic asthma inhaler

How Allergic Asthma is managed by TCM Herbs

Below, we lay out the scientific basis for how TCM herbs are effective in treating Allergic Asthma. TCM herbs target five different aspects that regulate immunity and reduce inflammation in the lungs!

Read on to find out more!

One: TCM Herbs target Th1/Th2 Imbalance

It is common knowledge that Th1/Th2 imbalance is the basis for the “allergic” part of allergic asthma. What happens is a Th2 dominance where Th2 cells are secreting more IL4, IL5 and IL13 cytokines, which aggravate the histamine as well as other inflammatory responses:

  1. IL4 and IL13 together create more IgE, which then trigger a histamine response which is an integral component of an allergic response.
  2. IL13 alone directly affects the lining of the airway, causing hyper-responsiveness and mucus secretion.
  3. IL5 activates eosinophils which congregate in the lungs to secrete numerous cytokines as well as chemokines.

We know that GATA-3 is critical in aggravating a Th1/Th2 imbalance.

We also know that the following herbs are able to reduce GATA-3 protein expression:

  • Radix Astragali and Panax Ginseng are known adaptogens for treating Qi Deficiency Asthma
  • Fructus Psoralea is a rising star in the treatment of allergic asthma. Psoralen and Bavachinin are key ingredients in Fructus Psoralea that inhibiting GATA-3.

Another herb, called Fructus Cnidii Monnieri, is often used in the treatment of eczema itch. Now we know that its active ingredient Osthol also reduces IL4 induced eotaxin, hence evening out Th1/Th2 imbalance.

allergic asthma inflammatory condition TCM treatment

Two: TCM Herbs target MAPK and NF-kB Signaling Pathways

If you suffer from Allergic Asthma, MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinases) is not your friend, because it triggers activation of inflammatory cells.

Nor will you like NF-kB (nuclear factor kappa B), because it facilitates expression of pro-inflammatory genes. In asthmatic patients exposed to an allergen, there is an increased activation of NF-kB in the lungs and in the lining of the airways

Some studies (Zhang et al, 2013 and Yang et al, 2015) have shown that allergic asthma can be improved by regulating the activation of MAPK and NF-kB signaling pathways.

Chinese herbs that target MAPK include:

  • Scutellaria Baicalensis
  • Panax Ginseng
  • Flos Magnolia
  • Crocus Sativus
  • Artemisia Annua

Chinese herbs that target NF-kB include:

  • Scutellaria Baicalensis
  • Radix Astragali
  • Artemisia Annua

Three: TCM Herbs raise Treg/Th17 Ratios

Treg cells are the good guys we want to have alot of, because they maintain a certain level of immune tolerance to non-harmful triggers.

Th17 cells are critical participants in chronic lung conditions. When you suffer from Allergic Asthma and you enter the chronic phase, Th17 levels are likely to be elevated. If more severe conditions like Steroid-resistant Asthma or Neutrophilic Asthma, Th17 levels are possibly elevated.

In many chronic conditions, the Treg/Th17 ratio is depressed. For example, in Primary Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP), characterized by reduce platelet count, Treg levels fall while Th17 level are elevated during the acute phase. The same is true for other inflammatory conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Gouty Arthritis.

In general, we want to raise Treg levels, and this is usually done through the Foxp3 pathway. The following herbs raise Treg level, which (all else equal) results in increased Treg/Th17 levels:

  • Radix Astragali
  • Panax Ginseng
  • Crocus Sativus
  • Ligusticum Chuanxiong
tcm asthma treatment children

Four: TCM Herbs inhibit Mast Cell Degranulation

When treating Allergic Asthma, Scutellaria is a herb that must be included. You can think of it as an anti-allergy herb!

Mast cells play an important role in asthma. When mast cells explode, they release a cascade of inflammatory mediators like histamine, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, etc.

Scutellaria contains Oroxylin A, which stabilizes the mast cell, preventing it from exploding and exacerbating inflammation in the lungs.

You will learn more in the following video.

Five: TCM Herbs slows down Airway Remodeling in Lung Inflammation

Airway remodeling refers to the structural changes that occur in airways to a person suffering chronically from Allergic Asthma. These people often have airway structural changes that include include sub-epithelial fibrosis, increased smooth muscle mass, gland enlargement, neovascularization and epithelial alterations.

Astragalus and Scutellaria Baicalensis are known to attenuate allergen-induced airway remodeling. How they do so is via the inhibition of TGP-╬▓1.

If airway remodeling is slow down, this means there will be less lung damage over the longer term.

allergic asthma toddler tcm treatment

In Conclusion, TCM helps Asthma

It is worth your while to use TCM to treat your Asthma.

  • TCM herbs help by targeting Th1/Th2 imbalance to reduce the allergic response.
  • TCM herbs reduce inflammation in the lungs by reducing MAPK and NF-kB levels.
  • TCM herbs balance out further inflammation that may happen in chronic lung damage.
  • TCM herbs reduce inflammatory damage by inhibiting mast cell degranulation.
  • TCM herbs reduce lung damage by slowing down airway remodeling.

TCM medicine can be used in conjunction with prescriptive drugs. Read on find out more about 12 herbs that are critical in TCM Asthma treatment.

These are lesser-known and untapped reasons why TCM is so effective. Asthma is not just an allergic condition, it is also an inflammatory condition that becomes chronic. If you need help in treating Asthma for yourself or your child, feel free to drop us a line!