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Review: herbal medicinal products seem to be effective and safe in nonulcer dyspepsia

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 QUESTION: In patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia, are herbal medicinal products effective and safe?

Data sources

Studies in any language were identified by searching Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, CINAHL, Amed, and CISCOM (all from inception to September 2001); the Cochrane Library (Issue 2, 2001); and bibliographies of relevant studies. Also, experts in the field and manufacturers of herbal products were contacted.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of herbal medicinal products given as supplements to patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on study quality, sample size, patient diagnoses, intervention and control, treatment duration, outcomes, and results.

Main results

17 RCTs were included. 4 trials were of mono preparations involving greater celandine, turmeric, banana, and Emblica officinalis. In 1 RCT involving 60 patients with epigastric complaints, greater celandine reduced gastrointestinal symptoms more than did placebo at 6 weeks (p=0.003). In 1 RCT, patients who received turmeric (n=33), 2 g/day, had a higher rate of resolution or improvement in symptoms at 7 days than those who received placebo (n=20) (p=0.003). In 1 …

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Footnotes

  • Source of funding: Pharmaton SA, Switzerland.

  • For correspondence: Dr J Thompson Coon, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, Exeter, UK. jo.thompson-coon{at}pms.ac.uk

  • Abstract and commentary also appear in ACP Journal Club.

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