ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability
Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
CANCER
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
CAREGIVING
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
Flu Strikes a Milder Blow This Season
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
DIABETES
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
DASH Diet Has Extra Benefits for Women's Health
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Topical Drugs May Pollute Waterways
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
Agent Orange Exposure Tied to Prostate Cancer Return
EYE CARE, VISION
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
FITNESS
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Good Sleepers More Likely to Eat Right
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
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Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes

MONDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Japanese herbal medicines may help people with gastrointestinal disorders -- such as constipation and indigestion -- that don't respond to conventional treatments, a new study suggests.

Many drugs used for these gastrointestinal "motility disorders" don't work or cause unwanted side effects, the researchers noted.

"Japanese herbal medicines have been used in East Asia for thousands of years. Our review of the world medical literature reveals that herbal medicines serve a valuable role in the management of patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders," lead researcher Hidekazu Suzuki, an associate professor at the Keio University School of Medicine, said in a news release.

The researchers analyzed data from studies that examined several different Japanese herbal medicines, including Rikkunshi-to and Dai-Kenchu-to. The results showed that Rikkunshi-to, which is prepared from eight herbs, helped reduce discomfort caused by functional dyspepsia (indigestion). Dai-Kenchu-to, a mixture of ginseng, ginger, and zanthoxylum fruit, was found to help constipation in children and patients with postoperative ileus, a disruption of normal bowel movements after surgery.

Another herbal medicine called hangeshashin-to reduced the severity and frequency of diarrhea caused by anti-cancer drugs.

The study appears in the current issue of Neurogastroenterology and Motility.

Herbal medicines made in Japan must meet standardized rules for quality and quantity of ingredients. The health benefits of this standardized approach need careful examination, particularly in the Western world, according to the researchers.

"There is a mandate to provide accurate data regarding the effectiveness of non-traditional therapy, not only to our patients but also to health-care providers who face the dilemma of recommending or opposing management strategies that incorporate herbal medicine," Suzuki said.

More information

The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders has more about GI motility disorders.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Wiley-Blackwell, news release, March 24, 2009

Last Updated: March 30, 2009

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