ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Birds Don't Miss a Beat
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
Get in Step With Summer Foot Care
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
CANCER
More Cancer Tests Mean More False-Positive Results
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
Selenium, Omega-3s May Stave Off Colorectal Cancer
CAREGIVING
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
DIABETES
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
DIET, NUTRITION
Breakfast Eggs Keep Folks on Diet
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Accumulated Lead May Affect Older Women's Brains
Arsenic in Drinking Water Raises Diabetes Risk
Home Renovations by Affluent Families Can Unleash Lead Threat
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Test Could Spot Diabetes Vision Trouble Early
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
FITNESS
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
Higher Fitness Levels Tied to Lower Heart, Death Risks
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Should the FDA Regulate Tobacco?
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Omega-3, Some Omega-6 Fatty Acids Boost Cardiovascular Health
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
SENIORS
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
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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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