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2019-3-5 Case study | Acute asthma treated with Chinese herbal medicine

Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways that makes breathing difficult. With asthma, there is inflammation of the air passages that results in a temporary narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs. This results in asthma symptoms, including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.

Asthma was recorded as early as Han dynasty which was about 1800 years ago. In Shang Han Za Bing Lun, it was recorded that coughing with shortness of breath, wheezing, She Gan Ma Huang Tang shall be applied.

Here we are going to share one asthma case treated with herbal medicine.

Patient, M, 45yrs.

First consultation: 2019-2-23

Main complaint: Coughing comes and goes for 4 years, he didn’t use any medication regularly. The coughing happened every 1-2 months. Severe coughing with phlegm, oppressed chest and short of breath for 4 days. Pale tongue teeth mark with slippery coating, slippery pulse.

PE: Wheezing in both sides of lungs

Prescription: Mahuang 10 Xingren 10 Guizhi15 Gancao10

Shudihuang30 Jiegeng10 Danggui 10 Pipaye 15

Chuanbei 10 *7 days, 3 times a day.

Second consultation: 2019-3-1

Main complaint: Coughing and phlegm both reduced, no oppressed chest, no short of breath. PE: wheezing in right upper lung only.

Prescription: Mahuang 10 Xingren 10 Gancao 10 Guizhi 15

Shudihuang 30 Danggui 15 Baihe 10 Jiegeng 10

Pipaye 10 Chuanbei 10

*7 days. Twice per day

In asthma treatment, there are two different treatment plans depends on the patients’ condition. In a stable condition, the treatment plan will focus on tonifying kidney, spleen and lungs, improving immune system and preventing the acute onset of asthma. In a acute condition, the treatment will focus on relieving the symptoms as soon as possible.

In this case, Formula Zhen Yuan Yin was applied, which consists of Shudihuang, Danggui and Gancao. Although there are only three herbs in this formula, it has the function of both treating the cause and the manifestation. Shu di Huang benefit kidney and danggui relieving short breath. Gancao is used to harmonize the whole formula. Chuan bei is used to reduce the phlegm.

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