ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
CANCER
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
CAREGIVING
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
Coffee Beans May Be Newest Stress-Buster
The Raw Food Diet
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Former Inmates at Increased Risk for High Blood Pressure
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Disinfectants Can Boost Bacteria's Resistance to Treatment
EYE CARE, VISION
Ordinary Chores Cause Half of All Eye Injuries
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
FITNESS
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
FDA Bans Unapproved Prescription Cough, Cold and Allergy Meds
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Ginkgo Won't Prevent Heart Attack, Stroke in Elderly
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Exercise Eases Obesity and Anger in Kids
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
SENIORS
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
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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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