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Dig Dis Sci. 2009 Mar;54(3):471-80. doi: 10.1007/s10620-008-0368-x. Epub 2008 Jul 10.

On the use of herbal medicines in management of inflammatory bowel diseases: a systematic review of animal and human studies.

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  • 1Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, P.O. Box 14155-6451, Iran.


Because of potential adverse events and lack of effectiveness of standard therapies, the use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), particularly of herbal therapies, for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is increasing. Results from the use of herbal therapies for managing IBD are promising, and no serious adverse events have been reported from them. Herbal therapies show their benefit in managing IBD by different mechanisms such as immune system regulation, antioxidant activity, inhibition of leukotriene B4, inhibition of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB), and antiplatelet activity. In this paper, all reported herbal therapies established in animal IBD models or used for managing human IBD are systematically reviewed and their possible mechanisms of action discussed. Conducting clinical trials with high quality and validity (randomized, double blinded, controlled, on a large number of patients) to obtain more conclusive results about the use of herbal therapies in IBD is recommended.

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