Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Chinese Herbal Medicine: A Randomized Controlled Trial | Gastroenterology | JAMA | JAMA Network
[Skip to Navigation]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 34.204.186.91. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
1.
Drossman DA, Li Z, Andruzzi E.  et al.  US householder survey of functional gastrointestinal disorders.  Dig Dis Sci.1993;38:1569-1580.Google Scholar
2.
Talley NJ, Zinsmeister AR, Van Dyke C, Melton III LJ. Epidemiology of colonic symptoms and the irritable bowel syndrome.  Gastroenterology.1991;101:927-934.Google Scholar
3.
Heaton KW, O'Donnell LJD, Braddon FEM.  et al.  Irritable bowel syndrome in a British urban community.  Gastroenterology.1992;102:1962-1967.Google Scholar
4.
Jones R, Lydeard S. Irritable bowel syndrome in the general population.  BMJ.1992;304:87-90.Google Scholar
5.
Talley NJ, Boyce PM, Owen BK.  et al.  Initial validation of a bowel symptom questionnaire and measurement of chronic gastrointestinal symptoms in Australians.  Aust N Z J Med.1995;25:302-307.Google Scholar
6.
Talley NJ, Owen BK, Boyce P, Paterson K. Psychological treatments for irritable bowel syndrome.  Am J Gastroenterol.1996;91:277-283.Google Scholar
7.
Klein KB. Controlled treatment trials in the irritable bowel syndrome.  Gastroenterology.1988;95:232-241.Google Scholar
8.
Bensoussan A, Myers SP. Towards a Safer Choice: The Practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Australia . Sydney, Australia: University of Western Sydney Macarthur; 1996.
9.
Yu ZX, Wang K, Li FP. Clinical trial of Chinese herbal capsule for 157 cases of irritable bowel syndrome.  Chin J Integrated Tradit West Med.1991;11:170-171.Google Scholar
10.
Liu ZK. Chinese herbal medicine treatment for 120 cases of irritable bowel syndrome.  Chin J Integrated Tradit West Med.1990;10:615.Google Scholar
11.
Shi ZQ. Combination treatment of Chinese and Western medicine for 30 cases of irritable bowel syndrome.  Chin J Integrated Tradit West Med.1989;9:241.Google Scholar
12.
Chen DZ. Tong Xie Yao Fang with additions in treating 106 cases of irritable bowel syndrome.  Nanjing Med University J.1995;15:924.Google Scholar
13.
Xu RL. Clinical realisations during the diagnosis and treatment of 55 cases of irritable bowel syndrome.  Shanxi J Tradit Chin Med.1995;11:10-11.Google Scholar
14.
Anthony HM. Some methodological problems in the assessment of complementary therapy. In: Lewith GT, Aldridge D, eds. Clinical Research Methodology for Complementary Therapies . London, England: Hodder & Stoughton; 1993:108-121.
15.
Bensoussan A. Contemporary acupuncture research.  Am J Acupunct.1993;19:357-366.Google Scholar
16.
Thompson WG, Creed F, Drossman DA.  et al.  Functional bowel disease and functional abdominal pain.  Gastroenterol Int.1992;5:75-91.Google Scholar
17.
Talley NJ, Nyren O, Drossman DA.  et al.  The irritable bowel syndrome: toward optimal design of controlled treatment trials.  Gastroenterol Int.1993;6:189-211.Google Scholar
18.
Hsu H-Y. 1986 Oriental Materia Medica . Long Beach, Calif: Oriental Healing Arts Institute; 1986.
19.
Borkovec TD, Nau SD. Credibility of analogue therapy rationales.  J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry.1972;3:257-260.Google Scholar
20.
Vincent C. Credibility assessment of trials in acupuncture.  Complementary Med Res.1990;4:8-11.Google Scholar
21.
Petrie J, Hazleman B. Credibility of placebo transcutaneous nerve stimulation and acupuncture.  Clin Exp Rheumatol.1985;3:151-153.Google Scholar
22.
Kane JA, Kane SP, Jain S. Hepatitis induced by traditional Chinese herbs.  Gut.1995;36:146-147.Google Scholar
Original Contribution
November 11, 1998

Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Chinese Herbal Medicine: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Author Affiliations

From the Research Unit for Complementary Medicine, University of Western Sydney Macarthur (Mr Bensoussan), the Department of Medicine, Nepean Hospital (Dr Talley) and the Department of Behavioral Sciences (Dr Menzies). University of Sydney, Bondi Junction Endoscopy Centre (Dr Hing), Balmain Chinese Herbal Centre (Dr Guo), and Gastroenterology Unit, Concord Repatriation General Hospital (Dr Ngu), Sydney, Australia.

JAMA. 1998;280(18):1585-1589. doi:10.1001/jama.280.18.1585
Abstract

Context.— Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common functional bowel disorder for which there is no reliable medical treatment.

Objective.— To determine whether Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) is of any benefit in the treatment of IBS.

Design.— Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted during 1996 through 1997.

Setting.— Patients were recruited through 2 teaching hospitals and 5 private practices of gastroenterologists, and received CHM in 3 Chinese herbal clinics.

Patients.— A total of 116 patients who fulfilled the Rome criteria, an established standard for diagnosis of IBS.

Intervention.— Patients were randomly allocated to 1 of 3 treatment groups: individualized Chinese herbal formulations (n=38), a standard Chinese herbal formulation (n=43), or placebo (n=35). Patients received 5 capsules 3 times daily for 16 weeks and were evaluated regularly by a traditional Chinese herbalist and by a gastroenterologist. Patients, gastroenterologists, and herbalists were all blinded to treatment group.

Main Outcome Measures.— Change in total bowel symptom scale scores and global improvement assessed by patients and gastroenterologists and change in the degree of interference in life caused by IBS symptoms assessed by patients.

Results.— Compared with patients in the placebo group, patients in the active treatment groups (standard and individualized CHM) had significant improvement in bowel symptom scores as rated by patients (P = .03) and by gastroenterologists (P = .001), and significant global improvement as rated by patients (P=.007) and by gastroenterologists (P=.002). Patients reported that treatment significantly reduced the degree of interference with life caused by IBS symptoms (P=.03). Chinese herbal formulations individually tailored to the patient proved no more effective than standard CHM treatment. On follow-up 14 weeks after completion of treatment, only the individualized CHM treatment group maintained improvement.

Conclusion.— Chinese herbal formulations appear to offer improvement in symptoms for some patients with IBS.

×