Editor's Note
In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase II clinical trial, children and adolescents with persistent asthma were randomly assigned to receive 30 mg/kg/day of C. longa  for 6 months, or placebo. Both groups experienced amelioration of their frequency of symptoms and interference with normal activity, but patients receiving C. longa experienced less frequent nighttime awakenings, less frequent use of short-acting  β-adrenergic agonists , and better disease control after 3 and 6 months.
Highlights
  • Roots of Curcuma longa L. are used as medicine for millennia, but was never studied for asthma treatment.
  • Children and adolescents with persistent asthma were given powdered roots of C. longa or placebo, for 6 months.
  • C. longa led to better disease control after 3 and 6 months, when compared to placebo.

Abstract

Ethnopharmacological relevance
Roots of  Curcuma longa  L. are used as medicine for millennia. They possess several pharmacological properties, including anti-inflammatory action, and can be suitable for asthma treatment.

Aim of the study
We aimed to test the hypothesis that, in children and adolescents with persistent asthma, the administration of powdered roots of C. longa  for 6 months, in addition to standard treatment, compared to placebo, will result in better disease control.

Patients and methods
We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase II clinical trial. Patients were randomly assigned to receive 30 mg/kg/day of C. longa  for 6 months, or placebo. Data were collected prospectively. All patients were categorized for asthma severity and control according to GINA-2016 and underwent pulmonary function tests.

Results
Overall, both groups experienced amelioration of their frequency of symptoms and interference with normal activity, but no differences were found between the two treatment groups. However, patients receiving C. longa experienced less frequent nighttime awakenings, less frequent use of short-acting  β-adrenergic agonists , and better disease control after 3 and 6 months.

Conclusion
The powdered roots of C. longa  led to less frequent nighttime awakenings, less frequent use of short-acting β-adrenergic agonists, and better disease control after 3 and 6 months, when compared to placebo.