Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

No Evidence To Suggest That Tailored Herbal Medicine Treatments Work

Date:
October 8, 2007
Source:
British Medical Journal
Summary:
There is no good evidence to suggest that individually tailored herbal medicine treatment works well, suggests a new study. Studies promoting the effectiveness of herbal medicines have been steadily increasing over the past 20 years, say the authors. But most clinical research has involved standard preparations or single herbal extracts rather than the individually tailored treatments favoured by herbal medicine practitioners.

There is no good evidence to suggest that individually tailored herbal medicine treatment works well, suggests a new study.

Related Articles


Studies promoting the effectiveness of herbal medicines have been steadily increasing over the past 20 years, say the authors. But most clinical research has involved standard preparations or single herbal extracts rather than the individually tailored treatments favoured by herbal medicine practitioners.

This suggests that they have been sponsored by manufacturers, eager to cash in on the growing market for over the counter remedies, say the authors.

The current findings are based on an analysis of the available comparative clinical research (randomised controlled trials) on individually tailored herbal medicine treatments.

The authors trawled published articles and research databases, as well as contacting experts in the field and associated professional bodies.

But only three studies out of more than 1300 were randomised controlled trials of sufficient quality to draw meaningful conclusions.

These studies covered the treatment of knee osteoarthritis and irritable bowel syndrome, and the relief of side effects caused by drug treatment for cancer.

There were no statistical differences between tailored herbal medicine and placebo in either the knee osteoarthritis study or the cancer treatment study, say the authors.

Tailored herbal medicine treatments did seem to work better than inactive (placebo) treatment in irritable bowel syndrome, but they were not as good as standard preparations.

“…There is no convincing evidence that [individualised herbal medicine] is effective in any indication,” conclude the authors. And there is a high risk of side effects and the potential for herbs to react badly with other herbs and prescription medicines, they add.

In an accompanying editorial, Professor Edzard Ernst, of the Peninsula Medical School at the University of Exeter, warns that the public is in danger of branding all herbal medicine the same.

Phytotherapy, which represents the scientific face of herbalism, is being confused wth traditional herbal medicine and over the counter remedies, which currently have no basis in science, he says.

Phytotherapy has considerable potential to benefit patients. But over the counter remedies and traditional herbal medicine can harm those who use them.

“Without these distinctions, we will fail to advance our knowledge of the potential benefits of herbal treatments. More importantly, we will also fail in our foremost duty – to protect the public from treatments that cause them harm,” he concludes.

This research, authored by R Guo, P H Canter, E Ernst of the Universities of Exeter & Plymouth, is published in the Postgraduate Medical Journal.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

British Medical Journal. "No Evidence To Suggest That Tailored Herbal Medicine Treatments Work." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071005131004.htm>.
British Medical Journal. (2007, October 8). No Evidence To Suggest That Tailored Herbal Medicine Treatments Work. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071005131004.htm
British Medical Journal. "No Evidence To Suggest That Tailored Herbal Medicine Treatments Work." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071005131004.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins