Research: Gamus D and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 159

Abstract

Gamus D and colleagues, Israel reviews the published literature regarding complementary treatment approaches to asthma and respiratory tract infections. 

Background

Patients with respiratory tract infections are frequently treated by complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities.

Methodology

The authors review current literature on the most popular CAM modalities used by these patients: acupuncture, herbal therapy, vitamins and homeopathy.

Results

Several good quality trials in acupuncture, herbal therapy and homeopathy have reported positive effects in allergic rhinitis and asthma.

Conclusion

Overall mixed results and methodological flaws, when analyzed by systematic reviews, lead to the conclusion that, as yet, there is insufficient evidence to reliably assess the possible role of these treatments for rhinitis and asthma. Safety issues of herbal therapies require special attention. Further good quality research and subsequent meta-analysis of the trials are required.

References

Gamus D and  Kokia I. Complementary medicine in treatment of asthma and respiratory tract infections. [Hebrew]   Harefuah.  147(10):777-8, 838, Oct. 2008.

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