Systematic review of Chinese herbal medicine for functional constipation

Chung Wah Cheng, Zhaoxiang BIAN*, Tai Xiang Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Constipation is a common gastrointestinal complaint in clinical practice, affecting an estimated 27% of the population. Many patients are disappointed by current conventional treatments and, therefore, seek help from complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Traditional Chinese medicine, is the most important part of CAM and has been practiced for treating diseases and promoting the health of humans for thousands of years, and has become a popular alternative choice. Although there are many Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) interventions available, and some have been verified by clinical trials, their efficacy and safety are still questioned by both patients and health care providers worldwide. The purposes of this review are, first, to appraise the qualities of individual study designs in the new Cochrane approach. Second, the benefits of individual CHM interventions or individual types of CHM intervention for the treatment of functional constipation are analyzed. Finally, valid and comprehensive conclusions are drawn, if applicable, in order to make clinical recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4886-4895
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Gastroenterology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese herbal medicine
  • Functional constipation
  • Systematic review


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