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Alternative Medicine in Digestive Diseases

A Report of studies from Digestive Disease Week, Orlando, FL, May 1999.

About the author "Dr. A. Minocha"

Dr. Minocha ( is the Professor of Medicine and Director, Division of Digestive Diseases at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS, and is the author of Natural Stomach Care: Treating and Preventing Digestive Disorders with Best of Eastern and Western Therapies

Read Daily Alternative Medicine and Digestive Health News/Tips Here

Shen Mai injection accelerates the wound repair of cultured gastric mucosal cells.

Shen Mai Injection is an herbal medicine used for the treatment of chronic diseases including stomach ulcers in China. It is believed to help in the wound repair.Xian-en Wang et. al from Tokyo Japan that it promotes wound healing in stomach cells also and this may be the mechanism of its helpful effect in peptic ulcer disease

A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Trial on the Effects of a Herbal Preparation in Patients with Functional Dyspepsia.

Functional or nonulcer dyspepsia is the presence of ulcer-like digestive symptoms in patients in whom no ulcer or any other disease is found on scoping the stomach.Gerald Holtmann et al., from Darmstadt Germany assessed the efficacy and safety of a modified herbal preparation (Iberogast"), with extracts from bitter candy duft, matricaria flower, peppermint leaves, caraway, licorice root and melissa balm.They found that compared to placebo, this herbal preparation significantly improved symptoms in these patients.  

Efficacy and Tolerability of a Fixed Peppermint Oil / Caraway Oil Combination in Non-Ulcer Dyspepsia

May et al from Germany tested the efficacy and tolerability of a fixed peppermint oil / caraway oil combination PK 90/50 in patients with nonulcer dyspepsia. Their results showed that it is superior to placebo in controlling symptoms.  

Aloe Vera Enemas Ameliorate Trinitrobenzene Sulphonic Acid (TNBS) Colitis in Rats

Aloe vera gel is believed to be helpful in digestive and skin diseases. L Langmead et al., from London United Kingdom assessed the effects of aloe vera enemas in experimental colitis in animal model of colitis. They concluded that Aloe vera gel enemas improved colitis, perhaps because of its antiinflammatory effects. 


Phytotherapy For Ulcerative Colitis - Results Of A Pilot Study Using b-Sitosterol As Mebo.

Phytotherapy is the treatment using plant products. The plant sterol, b-sitosterol contained in MEBO is widely used in traditional medicine for burns. It has inhibits cell growth.  Serag Zakaria et al. from United Kingdom performed a pilot study of its intrarectal use (MEBO) in resistant ulcerative proctocolitis and found it to be useful.  

Green Tea Attenuates Inflammation and Severity of Colitis in IL-2 Deficient Mice

Varilek et al. from Lexington, KY examined the effects of green tea polyphenols intake in an experimental model of colitis in mice. Their results showed that green tea significantly reduces the severity of colitis and may be helpful in inflammatory bowel disease.

Effects of the Chinese Herb Medicine "Dai-Kenchu-To" on Gastrointestinal Motility and for Treatment of Bowel Obstruction.

Dai-Kenchu-To is a Chinese medicine. It consists of ginseng root, Zanthoxylum fruit and dried ginger rhizome and has been used to treat intestinal obstruction.  Y Furukawa, et al., from Tokyo Japan studied the possible mechanism of action. Authors concluded that it improves the motility (movements) of digestive tract. 

Alternative Health Care Practices in Women with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Jarrett et al, from Seattle, WA, found that there is a tendency for patients with "digestive problems" to consult alternative therapists and self-treat with herbal remedies and other preparations in addition to the traditional medicine.  

Gut Focused Hypnotherapy Normalizes Rectal Hypersensitivity in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Houghton et al. from Manchester United Kingdom reported that hypnotherapy improves symptoms and normalizes rectal hypersensitivity in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.

Hypnotherapy For Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - A Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial

Alastair Forbes et al. from St Mark's Hosp, London United Kingdom performed a randomized controlled study to assess the efficacy of hypnotherapy and gut-directed audio-tapes in IBS. They found that gut-directed hypnotherapy and audiotapes are helpful in majority of the resistant patients. Tapes are only slightly inferior to hypnotherapy, but may be cheaper and easier.  


Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS)with Tibetan herbal multicompound,Padma-179:A controlled,double-blind study.

Ligumsky et al. from, Jerusalem Israel studied the effect of Padma-179, a herbal Tibetan medicine in patients with constipation predominant irritable bowel syndrome. They found that Padma-179 is safer and superior to placebo in improving symptoms and quality of life in these patients.

Green Tea Mediates Apoptosis of Intestinal Epithelial Cells by a FADD-Dependent Pathway

Tea consumption may have protective effect on digestive cancers. Hyun Y Jeong et al. from Lexington, KY. This study details the possible mechanism of action in intestinal cells.

Green tea polyphenols: New agents for human colorectal cancer prevention.

Lee-Anderson et al. from San Diego, La Jolla, CA conclude that green tea polyphenols should be considered for possible chemoprevention of digestive cancer in high risk patients.

Marine fungus peptides: Possible chemotherapeutic agents for human colorectal cancer

Marine organisms produce unusual chemical compounds, some of which facilitate their survival in harsh ocean conditions.  Chauhan et al. from Scripps Institute of Oceanography, San Diego, CA concluded that several marine fungus compounds inhibit human colon cancer cells in the lab.


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