The approach of using alternative medicine through herbs to treat Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) has been widely used for thousands of years to replace conventional methods of bronchodilators and steroids. COPD is a progressive airflow limitation with daily symptoms hindering a patient’s ability to breathe. As stated by Zhen, Jing, & Fengsen, (2018), symptoms associated with COPD include coughing, sputum production, wheezing, chest tightening, and dyspnea. Conventional medicines have caused complications due to the constant use to treat daily symptoms of COPD. According to Coyle, et al., (2014), 20-43% of COPD symptomatic patients have turned to complementary medicine because of fewer side effects. Chinese herbal therapies have improved lung function and quality of life without adverse effects (Coyle, et al., 2014).
Nausea is the most common complaint and this side effect happens when CHM is paired with pharmacotherapies. Bronchodilators can cause heart arrhythmia issues such as palpitations and tachycardia. The corticosteroids put the patients at risk for pneumonia and skin bruising. The data has given individuals symptomatic of COPD hope of safe and effective alternative treatments such as Chinese herbal medications. Overall, the use of herbal therapies for COPD is well-tolerated among patients with minimal reports of adverse effects.