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Respitrol (Heat)



* Respiratory disorders with heat manifestations: infection and inflammation of the lungs with wheezing, dyspnea, shortness of breath, cough, chest distension

* Respiratory disorders with fever, thick yellow discharge from the nose or the lungs

* Wheezing and dyspnea with a choking sensation, coughing with chest distension, fever, irritability, flushed face, and yellow sputum



* Bronchodilating and antiasthmatic effects that relaxes the bronchial muscles and relieves wheezing and dyspnea

* Antitussive and expectorant functions to stop cough and eliminate sputum and phlegm

* Antihistamine effect to treat allergy-induced respiratory disorders

* Antipyretic action to reduce fever and body temperature

* Antibiotic effect to treat lung infections



* Clears Lung heat

* Dissolves phlegm

* Regulates qi circulation to relieve wheezing and dyspnea



Take 4 to 6 capsules three times a day with warm water on an empty stomach. Patients should begin taking Respitrol (Heat) with the first sign of respiratory discomfort for maximum effectiveness.



Da Zao (Fructus Jujubae)

Di Gu Pi (Cortex Lycii)

Gan Cao (Radix et Rhizoma Glycyrrhizae)

Hou Po (Cortex Magnoliae Officinalis)

Jie Geng (Radix Platycodonis)

Ku Xing Ren (Semen Armeniacae Amarum)

Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae)

Pi Pa Ye (Folium Eriobotryae)

Sang Bai Pi (Cortex Mori)

She Gan (Rhizoma Belamcandae)

Shi Gao (Gypsum Fibrosum)

Ting Li Zi (Semen Descurainiae)

Wu Wei Zi (Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis)



Lung inflammation and infection are two conditions that often occur together. Lung inflammation refers to swelling of the airways causing symptoms such as wheezing, dyspnea, chest tightness, cough, and presence of phlegm. Lung infection refers to invasion of the respiratory tract by micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. In Western medicine, specific disease names for lung inflammation and infection include asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, and lung abscess. In traditional Chinese medicine, the general description for this pattern of disharmony is Lung heat. Though the terminologies differ, they are essentially describing the same disorder.



Respitrol (Heat) is formulated to treat heat-type respiratory disorders, including but not limited to asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and other conditions characterized by inflammation and infection of the respiratory tract. Diagnostic signs and symptoms of heat include fever, cough, dyspnea, chest tightness, flushed face, perspiration, and yellow sputum. Respitrol (Heat) contains herbs with functions to clear Lung heat, dissolve phlegm, and regulate qi circulation.

        Shi Gao (Gypsum Fibrosum) clears Lung heat, reduces fever, and relieves coughing. Ku Xing Ren (Semen Armeniacae Amarum) stops coughing and calms wheezing. Sang Bai Pi (Cortex Mori) and Di Gu Pi (Cortex Lycii) clear Lung heat and stop coughing and wheezing. Jie Geng (Radix Platycodonis) clears Lung heat, expands the chest, and dissolves phlegm. Hou Po (Cortex Magnoliae Officinalis) helps Jie Geng (Radix Platycodonis) expand the chest and relieve congestion. She Gan (Rhizoma Belamcandae) and Pi Pa Ye (Folium Eriobotryae) clear heat, relieve toxicity, and eliminate sputum and phlegm from the upper respiratory tract. Ting Li Zi (Semen Descurainiae) drains the Lung, eliminates phlegm and reduces wheezing. Da Zao (Fructus Jujubae) minimizes the harsh effect of Ting Li Zi (Semen Descurainiae) to prevent damage to the Lung. Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae) clears Lung heat and detoxifies. A small amount of Wu Wei Zi (Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis) is used to inhibit the leakage of Lung qi to prevent qi loss. Gan Cao (Radix et Rhizoma Glycyrrhizae) relieves spasms, supplements qi, and harmonizes all the herbs in this formula.

        In summary, Respitrol (Heat) clears lung heat to treat various respiratory disorders with infection and inflammation.



* Patients with cold or deficient respiratory disorders should use Respitrol (Cold) or Respitrol (Deficient), respectively. See Supplementary Formulas for maintenance treatment of respiratory disorders.

* Patients with severe or acute asthma attacks may need additional herbal or drug treatment.

* This formula is contraindicated during pregnancy and nursing.

* This formula is contraindicated for long-term use. It should be discontinued when the desired effects are achieved. For long-term treatment, consider using Respitrol (Deficient) or Cordyceps 3.



* Respitrol (Heat) or Respitrol (Cold) should be taken for acute respiratory disorders with wheezing, dyspnea, and shortness of breath. When the condition stabilizes, use Respitrol (Deficient) and Cordyceps 3 during the remission stage of chronic respiratory disorders to strengthen the underlying constitution of the patient. Respitrol (Deficient) should not be taken during the acute stage of any respiratory disorder. Furthermore, Cordyceps 3 is also very beneficial to strengthen the Lung and the Kidney, the two organs that are responsible to control respiration. Therefore, it is extremely important to ensure that the patient is compliant with taking Respitrol (Deficient) and/or Cordyceps 3 to reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.

* Most cough during the day is due to heat or dryness. Cough at night is mostly due to Kidney deficiency, Spleen deficiency, or dampness.

* In cases where the patient is having an acute attack and the medication or inhaler is not readily available, two cups of coffee, hot cocoa, and chocolate bars are good alternatives to help alleviate symptoms of wheezing or dyspnea. Caffeine has similar effect as the popular asthma drug theophylline.5

* Respitrol (Heat) incorporates numerous antibiotic herbs for two important reasons. First, the use of multiple herbs within an herbal formula has been shown to increase the antibiotic effect more than tenfold. Second, isolated use of single ingredients is often ineffective and increases the risk of development of bacterial and viral resistance.[1] Given these two reasons, it is necessary to combine herbs with appropriate properties to ensure effectiveness in treating the infection and minimizing the potential risk of the micro-organisms developing resistance and/or mutation.


Pulse Diagnosis by Dr. Jimmy Wei-Yen Chang:

* Superficial and forceful pulse on the right cun.

* Yangwei pulse, a pulse extending distally from the right cun towards the thumb. It is one of the eight extra meridian pulses.



* To enhance the overall antibacterial function, add Herbal ABX.

* To enhance the overall antiviral function, add Herbal AVR.

* For sinus infections with yellow nasal discharge, combine with Pueraria Clear Sinus.

* For profuse, thick, yellow phlegm with chest congestion, combine with Pinellia XPT.

* With more underlying damp and phlegm accumulation with Spleen qi deficiency, add Pinellia Complex.

* For coughing, add Respitrol (CF).

* For infection of ear, nose and throat, add Herbal ENT.

* For thirst, dry mouth and throat, add Nourish (Fluids).

* For excess heat or fire, add Gardenia Complex.

* To boost the immune system, take Immune + after cold/flu symptoms subside.

* For dyspnea or chest tightness due to environmental or toxic poisoning, add Herbal DTX.

* For maintenance and prevention of asthma attack, use Cordyceps 3 and Respitrol (Deficient) during remission.

* With severe inflammation, combine with Astringent Complex.



Traditional Points:

* Feishu (BL 13), Lieque (LU 7), Hegu (LI 4), Taiyuan (LU 9), Taibai (SP 3), Fenglong (ST 40), Chize (LU 5)

* Ciliao (BL 32), Dazhui (GV 14), Feishu (BL 13), Kongzui (LU 6)


Classic Master Tung's Points:

* Dingke (T 44.28)*, Dajian (T 11.01), Zhongjian (T 11.05), Linggu (T 22.05), Dabai (T 22.04), Renshi (T 33.13), Dishi (T 33.14), Tianshi (T 33.15), Shuitong (T 1010.19), Shuijin (T 1010.20), Zhenjing (T 1010.08), Libai (T 44.12), Yunbai (T 44.11), Hegu (LI 4), Kongzui (LU 6), Quchi (LI 11), Chize (LU 5), Shousanli (LI 10). Bleed Sihuawai (T 77.14) or dark veins nearby. Bleed before needling for best result.

* Chest stuffiness: Linggu (T 22.05), Dabai (T 22.04), Tianshi (T 33.15), Dishi (T 33.14), Renshi (T 33.13), Zhenjing (T 1010.08), Shangli (T 1010.09)


Master Tung’s Points by Dr. Chuan-Min Wang:

* Common cold, flu

§ Cold type: Needle Fenjin (T 44.01), Huofuhai (T 33.07). Bleed Ganmaosan (T DT.12).

§ Heat type: Needle Dabai (T 22.04), Linggu (T 22.05), Sanchasan (T 22.17)*. Bleed Wuling (T DT.04).

* Asthma

§ Kidney type: Shuitong (T 1010.19), Shuijin (T 1010.20)

§ Heart type: Renshi (T 33.13), Dishi (T 33.14), Tianshi (T 33.15)

§ Lung type: Simazhong (T 88.17), Simashang (T 88.18), Simaxia (T 88.19)


Balance Method by Dr. Richard Tan:

* Left side: Chize (LU 5), Taiyuan (LU 9), Zusanli (ST 36), Xiangu (ST 43)

* Right side: Sanjian (LI 3), Quchi (LI 11), Taibai (SP 3), Yinlingquan (SP 9)

* Left and right sides can be alternated from treatment to treatment.


Ear Acupuncture:

* Bronchi, Lung, Adrenal Gland, Prostate Gland. Apply ear seeds to these points on both ears.


Auricular Medicine by Dr. Li-Chun Huang:

* Bronchial asthma: Bronchus, Trachea, Lung, Chest, Stop Asthma, Sympathetic, Adrenal Gland, Allergic Area, Endocrine. Bleed Ear Apex.

* Common cold: Lung, Internal Nose, Throat (Larynx, Pharynx)

§ For fever, bleed Ear Apex and Helix 1 to 6.

§ For dizziness, add Dizziness Area.

§ For pain and soreness all over the body, add Liver and Spleen. Bleed Helix 4.

§ For cough, add Trachea, Bronchus, Stop Asthma.

* Cough: Trachea, Bronchus, Lung, Shenmen, Occiput, Stop Asthma, corresponding points of pain. Bleed Ear Apex.

* Bronchitis: Bronchus, Trachea, Lung, Spleen, Stop Asthma, Sympathetic. Bleed Ear Apex.

* Bronchiectasis: Bronchus, Lung, Chest, Stop Asthma, Allergic Area, Sympathetic, Adrenal Gland, Spleen

* Emphysema: Sympathetic, Allergic Area, Chest, Lung, Bronchus, Stop Asthma, Spleen, Kidney, Endocrine

* Tracheitis: Bronchus, Trachea, Lung (Lower), Spleen, Stop Asthma, Sympathetic. Bleed Ear Apex.



* Eliminate all spicy, cold and raw foods and beverages from the diet as they constrict the bronchial tubes causing spasms.

* A diet low in spicy, raw, greasy and sweet foods is also recommended.

* To avoid infection, a diet high in garlic, onions, and water is recommended. Stay away from cigarette smoke, alcohol, seafood, food additives (MSG, metabisulfite), and phlegm-producing foods such as sweets, dairy products, and heavy or greasy foods.

* Supplying the body with vitamin C is important, as it is greatly consumed by white blood cells when fighting infections.

* Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to facilitate the elimination of heat, phlegm, and sputum.

* Since asthma may be allergy-related, eliminate foods from diet that commonly cause allergies, such as milk, eggs, shellfish, fish, and nuts. Sulfites – used commonly in restaurants to preserve salads, french fries, and avocado dips – are also linked to asthma attacks.

* White radish is an excellent food to relieve cough. Take 1 white radish, approximately the size of a fist and cut it into thin slices. Mix it with 1 tablespoon of maltose and 1 cup of water and cook for 20 minutes. Serve the radish and the juice when they cool to room temperature. Another easier method is to mix the slices of white radish with honey. Wait for 30 minutes and drink the fluids that are secreted from the radish.

* Lemon juice with honey is also very effective to relieve cough.

* Warm and hot natured foods that damage qi and yin should be avoided, such as:

§ certain fruits like mango and durian that produce heat.

§ stimulants like coffee, alcohol, and energy drinks.

§ spicy/pungent/aromatic vegetables such as pepper, garlic, onions, basil, rosemary, cumin, funnel, anise, leeks, chives, scallions, thyme, saffron, wormwood, mustard, chili pepper, and wasabi.

* Avoid food and drinks with artificial coloring.

* Consume as few meat products as possible. Do not eat processed meats, such as lunch meats, hot dogs, and sausages, as they contain nitrites that are associated with inflammation and chronic disease.


The Tao of Nutrition by Dr. Maoshing Ni and Cathy McNease:

* Asthma

§ Recommendations: apricot kernels, almonds, walnuts, basil, carrots, pumpkins, winter melon, sunflower seeds, loofah, squash, figs, and daikon.

§ Mix 1/2 cup fig juice with 1/2 cup lukewarm water and drink daily.

§ Cut the top out of a small winter melon, remove the seeds, fill with molasses. Close the top with cheesecloth, and steam. Consume daily for seven days.

§ Take an unpeeled orange, pierce with a chopstick and roast until the peel blackens. Remove the peel and eat the fruit; one orange daily for seven days.

§ Drink fresh fig juice three times daily.

§ Avoid mucus-producing foods, cold foods, fruits, salads, all shellfish, dairy products, watermelon, bananas, mung beans, salty foods, cold weather, and especially ice cream.

* Common cold (wind-heat)

§ Recommendations: mint, cabbage, chrysanthemum flowers, burdock root, cilantro, dandelion, apples, and bitter melon. Drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest.

§ Drink cabbage broth freely.

§ Drink cilantro and mint tea.

§ Drink mint, chrysanthemum, and dandelion tea.

§ Drink mint, dandelion, and licorice tea.

§ Avoid shellfish, meats, vinegar, and hot natured foods.

* Chronic bronchitis

§ Recommendations: carrots, apricot kernels, persimmons, white fungus, pears, honey jellyfish, ginger, water chestnuts, yams, sweet potatoes, daikon radish, walnuts, papaya, peach kernels, lotus roots, seaweed, and winter melon seeds. Always try to stay warm.

§ Cook carrots and apricot kernels in rice porridge. Eat three times daily for one month.

§ Remove cores of 2 to 3 pears and fill with honey, eat before bed every day for one month.

§ Mash together ginger, apricot kernels, pine nuts and walnuts; add rock sugar, and steam. Eat 2 to 3 tablespoons twice daily for at least two weeks.

§ Make juice from pineapple and lemon; drink before meals for immediate relief.

§ Peel a papaya, add some honey, steam and eat.

§ Cut banana into small pieces and cook with rock sugar until sugar melts. Eat 1 to 2 pieces of banana every evening for one week.

§ Avoid overworking, being chilled, stimulating foods, spicy foods, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, and cold drinks.



* Avoid exposure to pollen, dust, and drastic changes in temperature. Regular exercise with herbal therapy is the key to complete recovery.

* For patients with asthma, vacuum and central heating filters should be changed frequently to keep dust, mold, and dust mites to a minimum. Installation of an air purifier is recommended for patients who have family members with infectious respiratory disorders. It is recommended to replace carpets with hard surface floors to prevent dust, molds, and other allergens from being trapped in the carpet. Bleach such as Clorox can be used to clear mold and fungus. Animal dander is also a major factor in causing allergies in patients. All contact (direct and indirect) with allergens should be avoided if possible to prevent allergic reactions.

* Patients should be advised to stop smoking, and stay away from second-hand smoke.

* Patients should strengthen their immune system and body resistance in between asthma attacks. A balance of exercise and rest is important. Alternation of hot and cold water in the shower is also effective to desensitize the body to changes in temperature. Herbs that enhance the immune system, such as Immune + or Cordyceps 3, should also be taken on a regular basis.



* S.Z., a 59-year-old female, presented with asthma, shortness of breath (SOB), and other respiratory symptoms. Blood pressure was 110/22 mmHg and her heart rate was 67 beats per minute. An objective finding was red face and chest. The practitioner diagnosed this condition as Lung heat and prescribed Respitrol (Heat) at three capsules three times per day. After only two days of taking the herbs, the patient noticed a reduction in the thick yellow phlegm she had been experiencing. The patient had also reported that after three weeks of taking the herbs her SOB and wheezing had improved. Submitted by M.P., Muskego, Wisconsin.

* A 36-year-old female computer technician presented with chills and fever, dry mouth and throat, body aches, and thirst. The chills and fever only lasted for one day. Tongue body was red with a thin, white tongue coating. Her pulse was superficial. Although warm to the touch, the patient complained of cold sensations. The practitioner diagnosed her condition as wind-heat invasion. The practitioner prescribed a full dose of Respitrol (Heat) for the first three days until the patient’s symptoms subsided. The dose was subsequently reduced until all indications of the patient’s condition were resolved. Submitted by T.G., Albuquerque, New Mexico.

* D.C., a 50-year-old female, presented common cold symptoms of cough, chest congestion and difficult-to-expectorate phlegm. She had a slight fever. The tongue was red with yellow coating. The pulse was rapid and slippery. The doctor diagnosed her with Lung heat. The two formulas prescribed were Respitrol (Heat) and Pinellia XPT. In three days, the heat was relieved and the phlegm was cleared. Submitted by B.F., Newport Beach, California.

* S.O., a 3-year-old female, presented with constant coughing for two weeks. After being taken to the ER, she was diagnosed with whooping cough; however, no medication was prescribed. Other assessments included veins seen on her chest. The TCM diagnosis was Lung heat and the parents were instructed to give her Respitrol (Heat) and Herbal ABX mixed with juice. Initially there was no change noted. However after two days the symptoms began to lessen and she was back to normal within a week. Submitted by A.I., Hilo, Hawaii.



Respitrol (Heat) is formulated specifically to treat respiratory disorders with signs and symptoms of heat. From the traditional Chinese medicine perspective, Lung heat is closely associated with lung infection and inflammation, with signs and symptoms such as wheezing, dyspnea, cough, chest distension, and yellow sticky phlegm. Therefore, to address both the cause and the symptoms of this disorder, Respitrol (Heat) uses herbs with antibiotic effects to treat the infection, anti-inflammatory effects to reduce swelling and inflammation, bronchodilating effects to relieve wheezing and dyspnea, and antitussive and expectorant activities to relieve the associated symptoms.

        Respitrol (Heat) contains many herbs with significant antibiotic effects, including antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. Herbs with antibacterial effects include Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae), Hou Po (Cortex Magnoliae Officinalis), Gan Cao (Radix et Rhizoma Glycyrrhizae) and Wu Wei Zi (Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis). Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae) has a broad spectrum of inhibitory effects against Staphylococcus aureus, Diplococcus pneumoniae, Bacillus dysenteriae, α-hemolytic streptococcus, beta-hemolytic streptococcus, Neisseria catarrhalis, Salmonella typhi, E. coli, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Bacillus proteus, Bordetella pertussis, and Corynebacterium diphtheriae.[2] Hou Po (Cortex Magnoliae Officinalis) has an inhibitory effect against Streptococcus matuans, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Diplococcus pneumoniae, and Bacillus dysenteriae.[3],[4],[5] Furthermore, piperitylmagnolol and honokiol, two compounds from Hou Po (Cortex Magnoliae Officinalis), have antibacterial activities against vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in a time- and concentration-dependent manner.[6] Gan Cao (Radix et Rhizoma Glycyrrhizae) inhibits the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, E. coli, and Trichomonas vaginalis.[7] Lastly, Wu Wei Zi (Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis) has an inhibitory effect in vitro against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus anthracis, Salmonella typhi, Bacillus dysenteriae, Diplococcus pneumoniae, Vibrio cholerae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.[8] Herbs with antiviral effects include She Gan (Rhizoma Belamcandae), Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae) and Sang Bai Pi (Cortex Mori). She Gan (Rhizoma Belamcandae) and Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae) are most effective against influenza viruses.[9],[10] Sang Bai Pi (Cortex Mori) has potent antiviral activity against herpes simplex type 1 virus (HSV-1).[11] Finally, She Gan (Rhizoma Belamcandae) and Ku Xing Ren (Semen Armeniacae Amarum) have antifungal activities.[12],[13]

        Respitrol (Heat) has a marked effect to treat asthma, wheezing and dyspnea because many herbs in this formula have marked antiasthmatic and bronchodilating effects. For example, Ku Xing Ren (Semen Armeniacae Amarum) has an inhibitory effect on the respiratory center in the brain, thereby exerting its antiasthmatic effects.[14] Hou Po (Cortex Magnoliae Officinalis) has a stimulating effect on the respiratory system to dilate the lungs and relieve wheezing and dyspnea.[15] Magnolol and honokiol, two compounds from Hou Po (Cortex Magnoliae Officinalis), exert their antiasthmatic effects by relieving muscle spasms and inhibiting smooth muscle contraction in trachea.[16],[17] Wu Wei Zi (Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis) has been shown to stimulate the lungs to increase the rate and depth of respiration. It also reverses respiratory depression associated with morphine.[18] Most importantly, Gan Cao (Radix et Rhizoma Glycyrrhizae) has a remarkable anti-inflammatory effect to reduce swelling and inflammation in the lungs. The proposed mechanism of anti-inflammatory action includes decreased permeability of the blood vessels. The anti-inflammatory influence of glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhetinic acid is approximately 1/10th that of cortisone.[19]

        Respitrol (Heat) is formulated with herbs that treat the associated symptoms of lung infection and inflammation. For example, Pi Pa Ye (Folium Eriobotryae), Gan Cao (Radix et Rhizoma Glycyrrhizae) and Jie Geng (Radix Platycodonis) all have antitussive and expectorant effects to relieve coughing and chest congestion.[20],[21],[22] In addition, Pi Pa Ye (Folium Eriobotryae) showed antiallergic and anti-inflammatory effects through its inhibitory effect on the mast cells and the pro-inflammatory cytokines.[23] Jie Geng (Radix Platycodonis) illustrates significant antiallergic effect by inhibiting the inflammatory cytokines, suppressing the sensitivity for allergic reaction, and decreasing capillary permeability.[24],[25] Shi Gao (Gypsum Fibrosum) and Di Gu Pi (Cortex Lycii) have antipyretic effects to lower body temperature to treat fever.[26],[27] Lastly, Sang Bai Pi (Cortex Mori) and She Gan (Rhizoma Belamcandae) have demonstrated strong in vitro and in vivo anti-inflammatory effects to reduce swelling and inflammation.[28],[29]

        Clinically, the herbs in Respitrol (Heat) have been used with great success to treat various types of respiratory disorders. One study uses Wu Wei Zi (Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis) in a formula to effectively treat 50 patients with asthma.[30] Another study showed that use of Ku Xing Ren (Semen Armeniacae Amarum) in Xing Su San (Apricot Kernel and Perilla Leaf Powder) was effective to treat coughing due to wind-cold in 50 patients.[31] Ku Xing Ren (Semen Armeniacae Amarum) also illustrated a 96.8% rate of effectiveness for the treatment of chronic tracheitis in 124 patients (23 reported complete recovery, 66 reported marked effectiveness, 31 experienced some improvement, and 4 had no response). The rate of effectiveness was 96.8%.[32] Lastly, thirty children with cough and dyspnea from bronchitis were treated with a preparation of Ting Li Zi (6 to 15 grams) with a 96.7% success rate.[33]

        In summary, Respitrol (Heat) is an excellent formula to treat respiratory disorders with signs and symptoms of heat. Not only does it have good antibiotic effect to treat respiratory tract infection, it also contains many herbs to relieve the associated symptoms.



Treatment of wheezing and dyspnea is generally divided into acute and chronic management. In Western medicine, acute wheezing and dyspnea are treated by bronchodilators that open the airways and reverse obstruction. Chronic wheezing and dyspnea are managed by use of several categories of drugs, including bronchodilators, corticosteroids, theophylline, and cromolyn. Western medicine is extremely effective in treating acute wheezing and dyspnea, as use of bronchodilators [such as Proventil or Ventolin (albuterol) inhalers] generally reverses airway obstruction within minutes. However, Western medicine is not as successful in long-term management and prevention of wheezing and dyspnea. These drugs do not change the underlying condition of the disease, nor do they improve the constitution of the patient. Therefore, the long-term prognosis is often characterized by successful suppression of acute wheezing and dyspnea, but no change in frequency or severity of recurrent wheezing and dyspnea.

        In TCM, wheezing and dyspnea are treated based on the urgency of the disease presentation and the underlying condition of the patients. Urgency refers to the acute or chronic nature of the disease, while underlying condition refers to the fundamental constitution of the patients. By addressing both the disease and the fundamental constitution, the use of herbs achieves both immediate and prolonged effects.

        Both drugs and herbs are effective for the treatment of wheezing and dyspnea. Generally speaking, drugs are more effective for acute conditions, as they are more potent, and can be delivered via inhalation or intravenous injection to achieve a faster onset of relief. However, long-term treatment of wheezing and dyspnea with drugs is often less than optimal, as these drugs tend to create tolerance and dependence. Furthermore, they do not change the course of illness, and do not reduce the frequency and severity of recurrent attacks. On the other hand, herbs are better for long-term prevention and management of wheezing and dyspnea. Herbs strengthen the body and enhance its own ability to manage wheezing and dyspnea. However, use of herbs may not be appropriate for acute asthma because they are less immediately potent than some pharmaceuticals, and have a slower onset of action. In conclusion, optimal treatment of wheezing and dyspnea does not require choosing between drugs or herbs, but may be gained by embracing the benefits of both, by using drugs for acute treatment and herbs for long-term healing and prevention.



[1] Zhong Yao Xue (Chinese Herbology), 1988; 140:144

[2] Shan Xi Xin Yi Yao (New Medicine and Herbology of Shanxi), 1980; 9(11):51

[3] Planta med, 1982; 44(2):100

[4] Yao Jian Gong Zuo Tong Xun (Journal of Herbal Preparations), 1980; 10(4):209

[5] Xin Hua Ben Cao Gang Mu (New Chinese Materia Medica), 1988; 58

[6] Syu WJ, Shen CC, Lu JJ, Lee GH, Sun CM. Antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities of neolignans from Magnolia officinalis. Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan 112, Republic of China. Chem Biodivers. 2004 Mar;1(3):530-7.

[7] Zhong Yao Zhi (Chinese Herbology Journal), 1993; 358

[8] Zhong Yao Xue (Chinese Herbology), 1998; 878:881

[9] Zhong Yao Yao Li Yu Ying Yong (Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Herbs), 1990; 6(6):28

[10] Shan Xi Xin Yi Yao (New Medicine and Herbology of Shanxi), 1980; 9(11):51

[11] Du J, He ZD, Jiang RW, Ye WC, Xu HX, But PP. Antiviral flavonoids from the root bark of Morus alba L. Department of Biology and Chemistry and Institute of Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, PR China. Phytochemistry. 2003 Apr;62(8):1235-8.

[12] Oh KB, Kang H, Matsuoka H. Detection of antifungal activity in Belamcanda chinensis by a single-cell bioassay method and isolation of its active compound, tectorigenin. Natural Products Research Institute, Seoul National University, Jongro, Korea. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2001 Apr;65(4):939-42.

[13] Yiğit D, Yiğit N, Mavi A. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of bitter and sweet apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) kernels. Department of Science Education, Education Faculty, Erzincan University, Erzincan, Turkey. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2009 Apr;42(4):346-52.

[14] Life Sci, 1980; 27(8):659

[15] Zhong Yao Xue (Chinese Herbology), 1998; 320:323

[16] Chan SS, Zhao M, Lao L, Fong HH, Che CT. Magnolol and honokiol account for the anti-spasmodic effect of Magnolia officinalis in isolated guinea pig ileum. School of Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, P.R. China. Planta Med. 2008 Mar;74(4):381-4.

[17] Ko CH, Chen HH, Lin YR, Chan MH. Inhibition of smooth muscle contraction by magnolol and honokiol in porcine trachea. Planta Med. 2003 Jun;69(6):532-6.

[18] Zhong Yao Yao Li Yu Ying Yong (Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Herbs), 1983, 1983: 177

[19] Zhong Cao Yao (Chinese Herbal Medicine), 1991; 22(10):452

[20] Zhong Yao Xue (Chinese Herbology), 1998; 651:653

[21] Zhong Yao Yao Li Yu Ying Yong (Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Herbs), 1983; 264

[22] Zhong Yao Yao Li Yu Ying Yong (Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Herbs), 1983; 866

[23] Kim SH, Shin TY. Anti-inflammatory effect of leaves of Eriobotrya japonica correlating with attenuation of p38 MAPK, ERK, and NF-kappaB activation in mast cells. CMRI, IHBR, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 700-422, Republic of Korea. Toxicol In Vitro. 2009 Oct;23(7):1215-9.

[24] Han EH, Park JH, Kim JY, Chung YC, Jeong HG. Inhibitory mechanism of saponins derived from roots of Platycodon grandiflorum on anaphylactic reaction and IgE-mediated allergic response in mast cells. BK21 Project Team, Department of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Chosun University, Gwangju, South Korea. Food Chem Toxicol. 2009 Feb 4.

[25] Zhong Yao Yao Li Yu Ying Yong (Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Herbs), 1983; 866

[26] Hsu, HY. et al. Oriental Materia Medica, A Concise Guide. Oriental Healing Arts Institute. 1986

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