Emerging treatments

Alternative/herbal medicines

Several natural products have been studied for the treatment of acute bronchitis. Based on a small number of studies conducted in Eastern Europe, Pelargonium sidoides (also known as EPs 7630) has been shown to reduce acute bronchitis symptom duration and intensity.[34][35][36][37][38] A single small placebo-controlled randomised trial in China indicated that use of Gankeshuangqing may decrease acute bronchitis (called wind-heat syndrome) symptoms, with no adverse events reported.[39] Further studies suggest that ivy extract may reduce coughing fits and overall cough in patients with acute bronchitis.[40][41] Cineole (eucalyptol), the main component of eucalyptus oil, has been observed to increase mucociliary beat rates and has bronchodilating effects. One randomised placebo-controlled trial found that it improved bronchitis symptoms scores, owing to a decrease in cough.[42] Similar results were obtained in another randomised controlled trial of a preparation containing cineole, in which patients had a reduction in several cough-related symptoms, including night cough, coughing fits, and overall impairment.[43] More trials are needed to assess the overall effectiveness and safety of these products. One small randomised controlled study using Spicae aetheroleum, an extract obtained from the flower portion of the Lavandula latifolia plant, showed a 25% reduction in symptom scores in patients with acute bronchitis along with improvements in quality of life scores. Patients in this study had no adverse side effects. Based on the small number of participants in this study, additional evidence is needed to determine how beneficial this supplement is for patients with acute bronchitis.[44]

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