What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Tylophora?

Tylophora indicais a climbing perennial plant indigenous to India, where it grows wild in the southern and eastern regions and has a long-standing reputation as a remedy for asthma (hence the name, T. asthmatica).

The leaves and roots of tylophora have been included in the Bengal Pharmacopoeiasince 1884. It is said to have laxative, expectorant, diaphoretic (sweating), and purgative (vomiting) properties. It has been used for the treatment of various respiratory problems besides asthma, including allergies, bronchitis and colds, as well as dysentery and oseteoarthritis pain.

Tylophora has become an increasingly popular treatment for asthma , based on its traditional use for this purpose, and several studies performed in the 1970s. However, the studies that found it effective were poorly designed, and a better designed study found no benefits.

Tylophora is also still recommended for some of its other traditional uses, including hay fever , bronchitis and the common cold .

Safety Issues

In the second study mentioned above, tylophora caused nausea, vomiting, mouth soreness, and alterations in taste sensation in more than half of the participants. The other two studies found similar side effects, but far less frequently. The difference may have been because the second study had people chew the whole leaves from the plant, whereas other studies have used dried leaves or powdered extract in capsule form.

Preliminary studies on animals have found tylophora extracts to be toxic only in extremely high doses; these extracts were apparently safe in the far smaller doses needed to produce a therapeutic effect. 1 Due to the lack of comprehensive safety studies on tylophora, the herb should not be used by children, pregnant or nursing women, or individuals...