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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Related Terms

  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • COPD
  • Emphysema

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease that gets worse over time. It is damage to the lungs over time, caused by cigarette smoking, toxins, irritants, or genetics. COPD makes it hard to move air in and out of the lungs. This results in coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are two forms of COPD.

CODP gets worse over time. Medicine and oxygen can help to ease breathing and improve symptoms. Natural therapies may be tried to help to ease symptoms. They should only be used along with medical treatment. Let your care team know about any herbs or treatments you are trying.

Natural Therapies

Likely Effective

  • Acupuncture is thought to be help improve breathing for those with COPD.
  • N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is an amino acid supplement. It is thought to reduce the risk of flare-ups. (Note: NAC may slow blood clotting.)
  • Mind body exercises, such as Qigong and Tai Chi. They include movement, breathing exercises, and meditation that are known to help decrease stress. They may also improve quality of life.

May Be Effective

  • Chinese herbal formulas, such as Bushen Fangchuan or Bushen Yiqi may reduce symptoms. It was studied to to help improve exercise tolerance, lung function, and quality of life.
  • Cineole (the main part of eucalyptus oil) may reduce symptoms.
  • Ginseng is an herb that may improve lung function and quality of life.
  • Osteopathic Manipulation may increase ability to exercise.
  • Pelargonium sidoides is a supplement that may reduce flare ups when used with standard treatment.
  • supplements may improve how lungs deliver oxygen to the body.
  • supplements may improve how lungs deliver oxygen and increase quality of life.

Unlikely to Be Effective

  • Magnesium is a mineral supplement that is unlikely to ease symptoms.

Not Enough Data to Assess

EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:

  • Creatine causes the muscles to hold water. It can cause dehydration in the rest of the body. It is important to drink extra water. Talk to your doctor if you have bipolar disorder, kidney disease, or diabetes. It may make your condition worse.
  • NAC may slow blood clotting. Talk to your doctor if you have a bleeding disorder.