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September 15, 1999

Chinese Herbal Medicine for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;282(11):1035-1037. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-11-jac90008

To the Editor: Mr Bensoussan and colleagues1 summarized the 20 herbal ingredients in the standard formula capsule in a table but did not identify the 81 Chinese herbs used in the individualized treatment group. No specific dosage was listed except for percentage in the standard formula and the number of capsules used.

The failure of accurate and full documentation of ingredients and dosage in Chinese proprietary and herbal medicines is not uncommon.2 Misidentification of an herb3 was unlikely in the study, although there was preparation of herbal powders from the plants, introducing the possibility of inaccurate processing of ingredients.

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