Cissampelos sympodialis Eichl. (Menispermaceae) root infusion is used in Northeast Brazil to treat allergic asthma. We have previously shown that oral use of the plant extract reduces eosinophil infiltration into the lung of ovalbumin (OVA)- sensitized mice. However, drugs taken by inhalation route to treat asthma achieve better outcomes. Thereby, in this study, we evaluated the inhaled C. sympodialis alcoholic extract as a therapeutic treatment in OVA-sensitized BALB/c mice. The parameters which were analyzed consisted of leukocyte recruitment to the airway cavity, tissue remodeling and cell profile. The inhaled extract inhibited mainly eosinophil recruitment to the pleural cavity, bronchoalveolar lavage and peripheral blood. This treatment reduced the OVA-specific IgE serum titer and leukocyte infiltration in the peribronchiolar and pulmonary perivascular areas as well as mucus production. In addition, we also tested isolated alkaloids from the plant extract. The flow cytometric analysis showed that methylwarifteine (MW) and, mainly, the inhaled extract reduced the number of CD3+T cells and eosinophil-like cells. Therefore, inhaled C. sympodialis extract and MW lead to down-regulation of inflammatory cell infiltration with remarkable decrease in the number of T cells in an experimental model of respiratory allergy, suggesting that the plant can be delivered via inhalation route to treat allergic asthma. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.