Background: Conventional therapies using herbal medicine to treat asthma are employed by practitioners in Iran. The use of herbal medicine for asthma is rooted in traditional knowledge. Scientific evaluation of these historical documents could be valuable to find new potential applications in conventional medicine. Traditional Persian Medicine (TPM), which is widely known with the manuscripts of Avicenna and Rhazes, is one of the most ancient medical sets of beliefs.
Methods: In this study, firstly we introduce a series of medicinal plants that would be enormously valuable for treating asthma on the basis of Avicenna (The Canon of Medicine by Avicenna). After that, we review medicinal plants properties found in the pharmacological studies from electronic databases and then discuss their mechanism of action in asthma.For a detailed review, relevant abstracts and articles related to the above-mentioned areas were selected, including review articles on the subjects, along with clinical trial studies on animals and humans.
Results: The physicians of ancient Iran such as Avicenna treated asthma patients with a variety of medicinal herbs including Hyssop, Galangal, Zataria, Myrrh, Turpeth, Aristolochia, Cinnamon, Saffron, Ginger, Fennel and Anise. Some of these herbs are currently used, while others have the potential to be used in the future of asthma management. Various activities such as anti-inflammatory, bronchodilator, antitussive and etc. have been proposed by scientific studies on traditionally applied antiasthma plants.
Conclusions: According to the reviewed studies the Hyssop, Saffron, Ginger, Anise and Fennel have the highest pharmacological effects and role in the treatment of asthma. The effectiveness of the investigated plants is, further, confirmed in recent medical studies; therefore, different components of these herbs can be investigated for being utilized in manufacturing new drugs.