Herbal Medicines For Gastroenteric Disease

Japanese herbal medicines have been used in East Asia for thousands of years. Many of the drugs used to treat gastrointestinal (GI) motility disorders, which cannot be treated using conventional drug therapy, are ineffective or cause unwanted side effects and, in some cases, this has led to drugs being withdrawn from the market. Herbal medicine is an attractive alternative. The researchers reviewed data from studies looking at the effect of several different Japanese herbal medicines including the use of Rikkunshi-to, Dai-Kenchu-to, and other herbal medicines. Rikkunshi-to, which is prepared from eight crude herbs, was effective in reducing discomfort caused by functional dyspepsia. Dai-Kenchu-to, a mixture of ginseng, ginger, and zanthoxylum fruit, was beneficial for constipation in children and patients suffering from post-operative ileus - disruption of normal bowel movements following an operation. Another herbal medicine, hangeshashin-to, reduced the severity and frequency of diarrhoea caused by anti-cancer drugs.