Rhinitis, Sinusitis, and Asthma

  • Anton Dotson
  • Gary A. Incaudo


Asthma and sinusitis are both described in ancient medical literature. The word asthma is a derivation from the ancient Greek, aazein, meaning “gasping” or “panting.” (Homer, Iliad, book 15. The term “asthma” was used to describe Hector’s state: “He saw Hector lying on the ground with his comrades gathered round him, gasping for breath.”) Similar descriptions exist in medicinal remedies recorded from ancient Egypt, and it is from ancient Egypt that some of the first references to the potential shared pathophysiology of asthma and rhinitis/sinus disease originate. Interestingly, peppermint vapor and other herbs (and paraphernalia for its delivery) were used to treat both rhinitis/sinusitis and asthma. Perhaps the first documented connection between asthma and the sinuses dates to approximately 1000 bc with medicinal “Peppermint buckets” being found in Egyptian tombs. It is thought that this remedy was prescribed for treating upper and lower airway maladies. (Ebers, George, 1873–1874, “Ebers Papyrus” describing treatment for asthma using heated herbal preparations found on Egyptian papyrus describing the treatment of various maladies.)


Allergic Rhinitis Nasal Polyp Lower Airway Nasal Polyposis Sinus Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Allergy and Asthma AssociatesChicoUSA
  2. 2.Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of California at DavisDavisUSA

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