ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Holistic Treatment for Candida Infection
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability
CANCER
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
CAREGIVING
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
Probiotics Are The Good Guys
Compound in Berries May Lessen Sun Damage
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Hypertension May Hit Black Males Earlier
Greener Neighborhoods Mean Slimmer Children
Smog Tougher on the Obese
EYE CARE, VISION
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
FITNESS
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Workplace Wellness Seems to Really Work
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
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
Small Cuts in Salt Intake Spur Big Drops in Heart Trouble
Omega-3, Some Omega-6 Fatty Acids Boost Cardiovascular Health
Fondness for Fish Keeps Japanese Hearts Healthy
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
The Unmedicated Mind
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
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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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