Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
• Chronic Bronchitis; COPD; Emphysema
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease that gets worse over time. It makes it hard to move air in and out of the lungs. This results in coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are two forms of COPD. Emphysema is damage to tiny air sacs of the lungs. Chronic bronchitis is damage to airways. The damage may be due to cigarette smoking, toxins, irritants, or genetics.
Treatment includes medicine to improving breathing and oxygen. In some cases, surgery may be needed to partially remove or replace the lung. Natural therapies may help to ease symptoms. They should only be used along with medical treatment. Let your care team know about any herbs or treatments you are trying.
May Be Effective
Unlikely to Be Effective
Not Enough Data to Assess
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:
References [ + ]
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Herbs and Supplements
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B3. Fuld JP, Kilduff LP, Neder JA, et al. Creatine supplementation during pulmonary rehabilitation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Thorax. 2005;60:531-537.
B4. Faager G, Soderlund K, Skold CM, et al. Creatine supplementation and physical training in patients with COPD: a double blind, placebo-controlled study. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2006;1:445-453.
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B6. Worth H, Schacher C, et al. Concomitant therapy with Cineole (Eucalyptole) reduces exacerbations in COPD: a placebo-controlled double-blind trial. Respir Res. 2009 Jul 22;10:69.
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B8. An X, Zhang AL, et al. Oral ginseng formulae for stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review. Respir Med. 2011 Feb;105(2):165-176.
B9. Matthys H, Pliskevich DA, et al. Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Eps 7630 in adults with COPD. Respir Med. 2013; 107(5): 691-701.
B10. Edwards L, Shirtcliffe P, et al. Use of nebulised magnesium sulphate as an adjuvant in the treatment of acute exacerbations of COPD in adults: a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Thorax. 2013 Apr;68(4):338-343.
B11. Tse HN, Raiteri L, et al. High-dose N-acetylcysteine in stable COPD: the 1-year, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled HIACE study. Chest. 2013 Jul;144(1):106-118.
B12. Chen X, May B, et al. Oral Chinese herbal medicine combined with pharmacotherapy for stable COPD: a systematic review of effect on BODE index and six minute walk test. PLoS One. 2014 Mar 12;9(3):e91830.
B13. Zheng JP, Wen FQ, et al. Twice daily N-acetylcysteine 600 mg for exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (PANTHEON): a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Lancet Respir Med. 2014 Mar;2(3):187-194.
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B16. Wang G, Liu B, et al. Effects of two Chinese herbal formulae for the treatment of moderate to severe stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a multi-center, double-blind, randomized controlled trial. PLoS One. 2014 Aug 13;9(8):e103168.
B17. Tse HN, Raiteri L, et al. Benefits of high-dose N-acetylcysteine to exacerbation-prone patients with COPD. Chest. 2014 Sep;146(3):611-623.
B18. Poole P, Chong J, et al. Mucolytic agents versus placebo for chronic bronchitis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jul 29;(7):CD001287.
B19. Cazzola M, Calzetta, et al. Influence of N-acetylcysteine on chronic bronchitis or COPD exacerbations: a meta-analysis. Eur Respir Rev. 2015 Sep;24(137):451-461.
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B22. Cazzola M, Rogliani P, et al. Impact of mucolytic agents on COPD exacerbations: a pair-wise and network meta-analysis. COPD. 2017 Oct;14(5):552-563.
B23. De Benedetto F, Pastorelli R, et al. Supplementation with Qter(®) and Creatine improves functional performance in COPD patients on long term oxygen therapy. Respir Med. 2018 Sep;142:86-93.
C1. Zanotti E, Berardinelli P, et al. Osteopathic manipulative treatment effectiveness in severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a pilot study. Complement Ther Med. 2012 Feb-Apr;20(1-2):16-22.
C2. Suzuki M, Muro S, et al. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of acupuncture in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): the COPD-acupuncture trial (CAT). Arch Intern Med. 2012 Jun 11;172(11):878-886.
C3. Coyle ME, Shergis JL, et al. Acupuncture therapies for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review of randomized, controlled trials. Altern Ther Health med. 2014 Nov-Dec;20(6):10-23.
C4. Feng J, Wang X, et al. Acupuncture for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): a multicenter, randomized, sham-controlled trial. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Oct;95(40):e4879.
Last reviewed May 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board