Main component of eucalyptus oil cineol improves asthma control
According to current surveys, 5.2 percent of men and 6.1 percent of women in Germany suffer from bronchial asthma, and the trend is rising. In 2010, doctors prescribed 15 million prescriptions - mostly with medications containing cortisone - for these patients. As a recent study shows, however, asthma control could be improved in a patient-friendly manner with the help of cineol preparations.
Cineol is a major component of eucalyptus oil and a precursor to herbal steroids. The essential oil has anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant and expectorant properties. Scientific studies have shown it to be an effective substance for treating upper respiratory tract inflammation and chronic bronchitis.
Prof. Dr. Heinrich Worth, chief physician of the Medical Clinic I at the Fürth Clinic and chairman of the German Respiratory League presented a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study at the last congress of the German Society for Pneumology in Dresden, which demonstrated the benefits of concomitant medication with cineol in asthma patients.
The study included 247 patients with persistent asthma (mean age: 53 years). 126 of them took 200 mg of cineol three times a day for six months, the control group (121 patients) received a placebo instead. Asthma symptoms, lung function and the asthma-related quality of life were examined. The evaluation showed:
- Additional therapy with cineol led to highly significantly better results than placebo for all three parameters.
- The patients treated with the cineol preparation reported significantly less breathing difficulties at rest and under stress than test subjects in the control group.
- The frequency of cough and sputum also decreased significantly with cineol compared to placebo.
- Quality of life and lung function also improved after six months.
- Undesirable effects were reported equally rarely in both groups.
Professor Worth's conclusion: "Cineol, as an accompanying medication, can also contribute to better control with less symptoms and better quality of life in patients with asthma." (KFN 06/2011 - 10.05.2011)