BACKGROUND: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways. The available treatment options have major limitations owing to low efficacy, associated adverse events and compliance issues. Therefore, the health burden of bronchial asthma is increasing globally at an alarming rate, providing a strong impetus for the development of new therapeutics. Myrica sapida is known traditionally in Ayurveda to possess anti-asthmatic activity. Hence, the present investigation was undertaken to evaluate the bronchodilator and anti-anaphylactic activity of the stem bark of Myrica sapida. METHODS: Experimental models studied were acetylcholine induced bronchospasm in guinea pigs, egg albumin induced anaphylaxis in guinea pigs, in vitro studies on tracheal strip of egg albumin sensitized guinea pigs. RESULTS: Treatment with ethanolic extract of M. sapida, 75 mg/kg, orally resulted in significant protection against acetylcholine aerosol induced bronchospasm and allergen induced anaphylaxis in guinea pigs. Ethanolic extract of M. sapida (75 mg/kg, p.o.) prevented the potentiation of responses and also produced a decrease in pD2 value of histamine and acetylcholine in guinea pig tracheal strip. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that M. sapida possesses bronchodilator activity, has potent inhibitory effect on immediate hyper-sensitivity reactions and decreases bronchial hyper-responsiveness.