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October 2021

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1980 Nov; 10(5): 487-90.

The clinical pharmacology of a herbal asthma cigarette.

Elliott HL, Reid JL.

1 Herbal preparations containing atropine-like alkaloids are marketed as proprietory asthma remedies, typically in the form of cigarettes. 2 This randomised, cross-over study compares in six healthy volunteers the pharmacological effects caused by smoking a standard, medium tar, tobacco cigarette or a herbal cigarette. 3 Smoking a herbal cigarette is associated with a significant fall in heart rate consistent with the systemic response to atropine-like alkaloids and a significant increase in peak expiratory flow rate consistent with the bronchodilator effect of reduced cholinergic activity. 4 Smoking a herbal cigarette seems analogous to the inhalation of ipratropium by aerosol for a local bronchodilator effect.

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