British Lung Foundation
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Herbal and complementary treatments

Hi everybody,

I just wondered if anybody has ever had doctors opinion on "additional therapies"

I constantly come across various herbal and complementary treatments, some of which look interesting.

One example is a product called "Organic India Breathe Free capsules", but there are many others.

While I'd never stop my Symbicort, Spiriva and Ventolin, I often wonder if I'm missing other additional

benefits available from the vast range of herbal and complementary products.

I fully accept that many of them are nothing but snake oil, but some of them might have potential.

I know this to be true, because before I was diagnosed with COPD, and thought it was just age and a hard life catching up

with me, I used to use a Chinese herbal breathe easy remedy and the homeopathic remedy Lobelia. They both worked well at the time

but things have advanced since then.

I know the obvious answer is to ask my doctor. However, my doctors attitude is "if it's not a pharmaceutical then it's no good!"

My big fear is that some of these remedies might interfere with my regular meds.

I just wondered if any of you have had a more enlightened approach from their doctor, or is there a source of information

out there that provides information on the interaction between meds and these remedies?

Keep well everybody

Kindest wishes


10 Replies

I've also 'wondered' if there are herbal or homeopathic remedies that may help. I'd particularly like to know of any remedy for dizziness. It's not something that bothers me everyday but when it does it I can forget any plans I might have to go out. I've been prescribed a tranquilizer by my doctor but the list of possible side effects are 'worrying' to say the least. The least worrying is sleepiness, only I'm still unlikely to feel fit to do the shopping if I'm not not mentally alert. It would be good to hear what others have to say about alternative remedies.


You are wise to be wary of inter-action with pharmaceuticals...have you thought of asking your local pharmacist for advice?

They are often knowledgeable about herbals and would know more than a GP anyway about drugs...

It'll be interesting to hear what you find out.

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Many many thanks for the link, it seems excellent on first look.

Very much appreciated!

kindest wishes



Yes It will be interesting to see if there are any wise words from the community here!

Unfortunately my pharmacist is no better than my doctor!

I live in Ireland and there is a terrible prejudice against natural therapies.

(Most people here still think doctors are gods!!!)

Some years ago I studied Homeopathy with a view to going into practice.

I had to commute to London every month to study and planned to practice there

(until the dreaded COPD got me!)

The hostility and prejudice here was too much to cope with!

Magpuss, here's a few links that might help, but please please be warned, just because a medicine is "natural" does not mean it's safe for everyone. There can be risks, particularly for us "sick people"!

If you decide to go with anything you fine here, please check carefully that they do not affect your medication or your overall condition.

Best of luck!


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Thanks for all the links Jim, I'll take a look at all of them but I'll not try anything without getting some advice first.


Hi Jim,

I am suffering from ILD (Interstitial Lung Decease) and have been under treatment since March 2015 under a qualified Pulmologist. I w


I have the same worries -I used clear lung and breath easy from a local health food store. I was also told Vinpocine relieves mucus. As to the difference I didn`t notice any but also didn`t seem to hurt the regular meds. Been off of them all summer.


You mean vinpocetine:


Yes, this is it. I noticed memory improvement as well as less mucus production.


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