Information paper

Asthma & Complementary Therapies

Use of complementary therapies (also known as complementary and alternative medicine) for asthma is common in the Australian population. 

This information paper provides an evidence-based summary of the effectiveness of various complementary therapies used by people with asthma. 


This information paper was prepared in consultation with the following health professionals:

  • Adjunct Professor Raymond Mullins, clinical immunology and allergy physician
  • Associate Professor Hubertus Jersmann, respiratory and sleep physician
  • Associate Professor Treasure McGuire, pharmacist and senior lecturer
  • Dr Jonathan Burdon, adult respiratory physician
  • Dr Vicki Kotsirilos, general practitioner
  • Dr Lisa Wood, nutritional biochemist
  • Ms Adrienne James, asthma educator

And with the assistance of Ms Lesh Karan, medical writer.

The NAC also wishes to thank:

Ms Sarah Thorning (trials search coordinator, Bond University) Associate Professor Hiran Selvadurai, paediatric respiratory physician.

Supported through funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.

Recommended citation

National Asthma Council Australia 
Asthma and Complementary Therapies: An information paper for health professionals 
Melbourne: National Asthma Council Australia, 2013.

Erratum (May 2013)

A production error was identified after this information paper was printed. The error has been corrected in the online version of the resources. If you have a printed version, please amend your copy accordingly.

The overall ranking symbol for Qigong (page 13) should be square as seen in the updated table below:


A PDF copy of the references is available here.

Patient brochure

A corresponding version of this information paper has been developed for people with asthma and their carers: Asthma & Complementary Therapies: A guide to the use of complementary therapies for those living with asthma


Printed copies of our resources, including this information paper and patient brochure, can be ordered by clicking here.

To order larger numbers of this patient brochure, please contact the Department of Health's warehouse directly: National Mailing and Marketing on 02 6269 1080 or email


Although all care has been taken, this information paper is only a general guide; it is not a substitute for assessment of appropriate courses of treatment on a case-by-case basis. The National Asthma Council Australia expressly disclaims all responsibility (including negligence) for any loss, damage or personal injury resulting from reliance on the information contained.

© 2013

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