An extract of the plant Zataria multiforma is associated with a decrease in inflammatory cytokines in COPD patients, according to a study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology

Zataria multiforma has been used in Iranian traditional and folk medicine as an antiseptic, carminative, diuretic, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, and analgesic herbal medicine. It has also been used to relieve the cough associated with the common cold and respiratory tract infections. Building upon prior animal and clinical studies reporting on the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Zataria multiforma in respiratory tract disorders, the researchers of the current study sought to evaluate the use of Z multiforma extract in individuals with COPD.

The researchers enrolled 41 participants with COPD into 3 study groups: (1) placebo group (P; n=13), (2) Z multiforma 3 mg/kg/day (Z3; n=14), and (3) Z multiforma 6 mg/kg/day (Z6; n=14). For all study participants, inflammatory cytokines, PFT values, and respiratory symptoms were evaluated prior to treatment (stage 0), 1 month after treatment (stage I), and 2 months after treatment (stage II).

With respect to respiratory symptoms, the researchers found that in stages I and II, cough and modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) scores were significantly decreased in both Z3 and Z6, compared with stage 0 (P <.01 and P <.001, respectively). In the placebo group, the researchers observed no significant changes in respiratory symptoms across the 3 stages of the study. 

Further, cough in the Z6-treated arm and mMRC score in the Z3-treated arm in stage II were both significantly decreased compared with stage I (P <.05 for both). A significant reduction in chest tightness was reported after 1 month and 2 months of treatment with low-dose Zataria multiforma (P <.05 and P <.01, respectively), but only after 2 months of treatment with high-dose Z multiforma (P <.01). 

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