Herbal trials flawed but worth pursuing

Oct 27, 2006

Researchers say Chinese trials using an herbal remedy with conventional treatments to treat angina showed some benefits but are unreliable.

Wu Taixiang, an associate professor at Sichuan University, reviewed trials that showed taking tongxinluo -- a powder of ground herbs and insects -- improved electrocardiogram results for angina patients. Taixiang, in the current issue of The Cochrane Library, said they reviewed the analysis from 18 trials, most of which examined the effect of tongxinluo when used with more common angina treatments, compared with conventional treatments alone.

The study's authors said they felt a "social responsibility" to review the studies because the remedy is a popular traditional treatment in Asia.

Taixiang said while some of the studies showed the treatment improved the condition of angina patients and did improve electrocardiogram readings, it did not show that it prevented heart attacks or reduced the need for angioplasty or bypass surgery. He said they would not recommend using the drugs based on the poor quality of some of the trials.

Cardiologist Dr. James L. Weiss at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said the effectiveness of togxinlou on angina would require a better controlled clinical trial with a large number of participants.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Fruit and veggies pave the road to happiness

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Use of nitrates may increase bone strength

Feb 22, 2011

Preliminary research indicates that use of nitroglycerin ointment among postmenopausal women for 2 years was associated with a modest increase in bone mineral density and decrease in bone resorption (loss), according to a ...

Translating Chinese medicine for the West

Oct 11, 2010

In a traditional Chinese medicine store in central Beijing, part of the Tongrentang chain founded 342 years ago, three white-coated workers follow traditions that stretch even further back in time. They sort and chop an exotic ...

Recommended for you

Birth season affects your mood in later life

Oct 19, 2014

New research shows that the season you are born has a significant impact on your risk of developing mood disorders. People born at certain times of year may have a greater chance of developing certain types of affective temperaments, ...

User comments : 0