ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Winter Is Tough on Feet
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
CANCER
More Cancer Tests Mean More False-Positive Results
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
Omega-3 May Safely Treat Precancerous Bowel Polyps
CAREGIVING
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
TV Watching Doesn't Fast-Track Baby's Skills
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
Eating Less May Slow Aging Process
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
EYE CARE, VISION
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
Blood Sugar Control Helps Diabetics Preserve Sight
FITNESS
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Less Education May Mean Poorer Health
Lower Vitamin D Levels in Blacks May Up Heart Risks
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Help Your Kids Stay Active
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Drink Away Dementia?
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
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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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