Are any alternative therapies effective in treating asthma?
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Yes, some are. Acupuncture relieves subjective symptoms of asthma and reduces medication use in mild to moderate asthma (strength of recommendation [SOR]: A, based on systematic review of randomized controlled trials [RCTs] of variable quality). Herbal medications, such as Ginkgo biloba, appear to improve lung function, while herbs such as Tylophora indica and Tsumura saiboku-to may decrease asthma symptoms (SOR: B, based on systematic review of RCTs with poor methodology). No evidence, however, supports the use of room air ionizers, manual therapy, homeopathy, or mind-body therapy for treatment of asthma (SOR: A, based on systematic reviews and meta-analyses of RCTs and individual RCTs).
Journal of Family Practice, 56(5) 2007: 385+.