Ghandi Root (Homalomena aromatica), an evergreen perennial, belongs to the Family Araceae, which is the most diverse plant family in the New World Tropics! This essential oil-bearing plant’s native range occupies the tropical and subtropical forests from Assam to China, and is identifiable by its heart-shaped leaves and orange yellow berries (Kew RBC, 2020) (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Ghandi Root (Homalomena aromatica)
This plant’s rhizome (a modified plant stem below the ground) has been used in traditional herbal medicine for over 3000 years to treat a range of conditions based on its reported analgesic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, sedative, and antifungal properties (Policegoudra et al., 2012; Rhind, 2019).
The source of Ghandi Root steam-distilled essential oil is also the rhizome, so its use in traditional medicine may overlap with its use...
Among the respiratory conditions for which essential oils show promise is bronchial asthma.
Asthma affects some 339 million people worldwide and is the most common chronic disease among children (Morales, 2018). Asthma is characterized by chronic inflammation of the airways of the lungs with symptoms that include wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness of the chest, excessive mucus production, and cough. Asthma may also be classified as atopic (extrinsic) or non-atopic (intrinsic), based on whether symptoms are precipitated by allergens (atopic) or not (non-atopic) (Kumar at al, 2010). Allergic mechanisms are involved in about half of people with asthma.
Atopic asthma commonly involves an infiltration of the airways by components of the immune system such as eosinophils, mast cells, and lymphocytes together with a thickening of the bronchial walls and hypertrophy/ hyperplasia of the smooth muscle of the airways (Cheng et al, 2018). (Hypertrophy refers to an increase in the...