Tylophora (Tylophora indica/asthmatica)

Tylophora is a perennial climbing plant native to the plains, forests, and hills of southern and eastern India. The portions of the plant used medicinally are the leaves and root.


This plant has been traditionally used as a folk remedy in certain regions of India for the treatment of bronchial asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism, and dermatitis.

Active Ingredients

The major constituent in tylophora is the alkaloid tylophorine. Laboratory research has shown this isolated plant extract exerts a strong anti-inflammatory action. Test tube studies suggest that tylophorine is able to interfere with the action of mast cells, which are key components in the process of inflammation. These actions seem to support tylophora’s traditional use as an antiasthmatic and antiallergic medication by Ayurvedic practitioners.

Patients using tylophora may experience temporary nausea and vomiting, soreness of the mouth, and loss of taste for salt, particularly with the fresh leaf and tincture. The herb’s safety for use during pregnancy and breast-feeding has not been established. At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions.


Tylophora (Tylophora indica/asthmatica) can help with the following



One clinical trial with asthma sufferers found that tylophora leaf (150mg of the leaf by weight) chewed and swallowed daily in the early morning for six days led to moderate to complete relief of their asthma symptoms. [J Allergy 1969;43:145–50] In a follow-up trial with asthma patients, an alcoholic extract of crude tylophora leaves in 1gm of glucose had comparable effects to that of chewing the crude leaf. [Ann Allergy 1972;30: pp.407-12]

Another trial found similar success in reducing asthma symptoms using a tylophora leaf powder at 350mg per day. [J Indian Med Assoc 1978;71: pp.172-6] However, the tylophora was not as effective as a standard asthma drug combination. One double-blind trial failed to show any effect on asthma for tylophora. [Ind J Med Res 1979;69: pp.981-9]

Tylophora leaf at 200-400mg of the dried leaf per day or 1-2ml of tincture per day can be used to treat asthma.[Clinical Applications of Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbs. Warwick, Queensland, Australia: Phytotherapy Press, 1996: pp.134–6]


May do some good



A lung disorder marked by attacks of breathing difficulty, wheezing, coughing, and thick mucus coming from the lungs. The episodes may be triggered by breathing foreign substances (allergens) or pollutants, infection, vigorous exercise, or emotional stress.


Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bronchial tubes, frequently accompanied by cough, hypersecretion of mucus, and expectoration of sputum. Acute bronchitis is usually caused by an infectious agent and of short duration. Chronic bronchitis, generally the result of smoking, may also be known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Emphysema.


General term applied to conditions of pain, or inability to articulate, various elements of the musculoskeletal system.


A general term used to refer to eruptions or rashes on the skin.


Type of alternative medicine in which diet and therapies, such as herbal inhalation and massage, are dictated by individual's body type; 4,000 year-old traditional Indian system believed to be helpful to those suffering insomnia, hypertension and digestive problems.


Symptoms resulting from an inclination to vomit.


An alcohol or water-alcohol solution, usually referring to a preparation from herbal materials.


Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, teas should be made with one teaspoon herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Tinctures may be used singly or in combination as noted. The high doses of single herbs suggested may be best taken as dried extracts (in capsules), although tinctures (60 drops four times per day) and teas (4 to 6 cups per day) may also be used.

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