If you suffer from asthma, you may want to swap your prescription medications for some powerful and effective Chinese herbs. Specifically, ASHMI asthma treatment. ASHMI stands for Anti-Asthma Herbal Medicine Intervention.
ASHMI is a combination of three Chinese herbal extracts: Lingzhi Mushroom (aka Reishi Mushroom), Kushen (aka Sophora Root), and Licorice Root (aka Gancao). ASHMI does not include Ma Huang, which is used globally as an asthma herbal remedy.
The original formulation of ASHMI was developed by Dr. Xiu-Min Li of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, in collaboration with Dr. Hugh Sampson, also from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, as a simplified version of a traditional Chinese herbal combination of 14 herbs known as MSSM-002. MSSM-002 was originally designed by Weifang Pharmaceutical Manufacturing.
My wife and I became interested in ASHMI after reading a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (vol. 116, issue 3) and from an article I found on Medscape.com titled: “AAAAI 2009: Chinese Herbal Preparations Show Efficacy Against Asthma, Atopy.”
The published study chronicles the results of an experiment conducted by researchers from Weifang Asthma Hospital and Weifang School of Medicine in China, along with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. The researchers reported that an oral combination of three Chinese herbs could be as effective as conventional asthma medicines — without the serious side effects!
The researchers were looking for an asthma treatment equally as effective as Corticosteroids, a common and conventional asthma treatment, minus the adverse side effects experienced by Corticosteroid users. Specifically, Corticosteroids have been shown to increase susceptibility to infection and slow growth rates in children.
91 patients with moderate to severe persistent asthma were admitted to the Weifang Asthma Hospital for a four week double-blind study. 45 of the asthma patients received 20mg of prednisone per day and placebo capsules resembling ASHMI. 46 of the asthma patients were given ASHMI along with placebo tablets resembling 20mg of prednisone.
ASHMI had a beneficial effect on both TH1 and TH2 cytokine levels and absolutely no adverse effects on adrenal function in the study participants
The results were very positive. ASHMI had a beneficial effect on both TH1 and TH2 cytokine levels and absolutely no adverse effects on adrenal function in the study participants. Additionally, the ASHMI group experienced significantly less gastric discomfort and no weight gain.
The effect of prednisone on lung function was reported by the researchers to be “slightly, but significantly greater” than that of ASHMI. But, the prednisone group experienced both significant weight-gain and gastric discomfort.
The researchers were “pleased” with the trial results and concluded that their findings “…show that ASHMI is effective and well-tolerated in nonsteroid-dependent patients with moderate to severe persistent asthma.”
As a result of the study findings, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) announced the funding of three “Centers of Excellence” which will explore therapies used in traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture and Chinese herbal mixtures.
One of the selected centers will be called the “Center for Chinese Herbal Therapy” located at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY and led by Xiu-Min Li, M.D. The researchers are responsible for investigating ASHMI as a therapy for allergic asthma. Studies of ASHMI will look at mechanisms of action in an animal model, characterize the herbs’ active components and investigate the formula’s use in human asthma patients.
As a result of my research and specifically because of the study I mentioned above, I decided to try and buy ASHMI. The problem was, I couldn’t find it!
I got frustrated pretty early on in my quest, so I went to my neighborhood “Vitamin Shoppe” (brick n mortar store), bought Lingzhi Mushroom and Licorice Root supplements and made my own “homemade” mixture. (Unfortunately, I have yet to find sophora root in supplement form, although I did find that I could buy it in bulk).
Anyway, my family and I began to take our homemade supplements (along with Olive leaf extract and wild oregano) and have never looked back. We have had some pretty remarkable results and are very happy and thankful for Dr. Li and her continued research!
I finally found something close!
Based on the original ASHMI study, the “Allergy Research Group,” which markets products under the name “Nutricology,” sell an asthma treatment supplement called Phytocort. Phytocort’s a proprietary blend of the Chinese herbs lingzhi mushroom, sophora root, and licorice root, found in Dr. Xiu-Min Li’s original ASHMI formulation described above, plus a fourth herb commonly known as noni (Morinda citrifolia), which wasn’t part of the original ASHMI formulation.
My wife and I have replaced our original homemade supplement mixture with the Phytocort supplements! (Better late than never, I guess!) 🙂
Where to buy Phytocort:
[UPDATE 10/23/10]: Below is a recent email exchange between Heather (my wife) and one of our readers. I thought you might be interested in reading it:
Hi – I read your article re ASHMI for asthma. Do you have asthma? How long did you try the Allergy Research Group Version? What we’re the changes (If any) you experienced? Would you use again? Why? Why not?
I am mother of 5 year old with multiple food allergies and asthma. Always seeking ways to healing.
My name is Heather. I’m Cody’s wife. I’m sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you, but I work in retail and have a very “uneven” schedule. Cody asked me to respond to your email personally, after he read it.
I suffer from severe asthma. At the end of 2004, I spent 4 days in the hospital because of a very severe asthma attack. The doctors tried everything for me: oxygen, nebulizer treatments, everything. They slowly raised my “blood oxygen level” over the course of those four days, but I never reached above the “60’s.”
I was very thankful to have made it out of the hospital alive and breathing, but I (& Cody even more) was also determined to do some research to see if I could find something natural that could help me breathe better and keep me out of the hospital better than the medication I was taking.
At the time I had my severe attack, I was taking advair everyday. I also used my albuterol inhaler once or twice a day, everyday and was administering nebulizer treatments to myself several times a month.
Then everything really changed! Cody discovered ASHMI, but hadn’t yet discovered phytocort. He put together a “homemade” recipe with supplements he bought from vitamin stores. That’s when I started taking lingzhi mushroom extract, licorice root extract, olive leaf extract and wild oregano supplements.
Since I began the supplementation about 3 years ago, I have received very dramatic benefits and no side effects (as far as my doctor and I can tell). I have not had to take any Advair. I have only used my albuterol inhaler two or three times a year over the past three years (during the fall of each year). I can’t remember the last time I’ve had to administer a nebulizer treatment, but it’s definitely been over 2 years.
I still carry my albuterol with me everywhere I go, because I’m scared to death of not having it, if I ever needed it.
I take two capsules of phytocort and one each of the olive leaf extract and wild oregano supplements, twice a day.
I’ve been taking the phytocort for almost a year. Before phytocort, I was taking my homemade supplement recipe for about two years. I like taking the phytocort because the ingredients are already packaged into one supplement and it’s cheaper to buy one bottle of phytocort than putting all of the supplements together myself. I honestly have not noticed a difference in my breathing between my homemade supplement mixture and the phytocort.
I tell everyone that asks me to NOT expect the same results I’ve experienced. I’ve learned that individuals experience different results and side effects from taking the same supplements and medications. So, please DO NOT expect the same results that I have experienced.
I hope that my email has answered some of your questions (I’ve tried my best). I also hope that you continue to research progressive asthma treatments and that you find one or more that may work for your child.
Thanks for visiting our site and all my best.