"Eight reviews have been performed on garlic (Allium sativum) for cardiovascular risk factors [31-38] (total number of trials covered about 50) and lower limb atherosclerosis  (see table 2). A modest short-term effect over placebo on lipid-lowering seems to be established but the clinical relevance of these effects is uncertain. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Complementary therapies are widespread but controversial. We aim to provide a comprehensive collection and a summary of systematic reviews of clinical trials in three major complementary therapies (acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy). This article is dealing with herbal medicine. Potentially relevant reviews were searched through the register of the Cochrane Complementary Medicine Field, the Cochrane Library, Medline, and bibliographies of articles and books. To be included articles had to review prospective clinical trials of herbal medicines; had to describe review methods explicitly; had to be published; and had to focus on treatment effects. Information on conditions, interventions, methods, results and conclusions was extracted using a pre-tested form and summarized descriptively.
From a total of 79 potentially relevant reviews pre-selected in the screening process 58 met the inclusion criteria. Thirty of the reports reviewed ginkgo (for dementia, intermittent claudication, tinnitus, and macular degeneration), hypericum (for depression) or garlic preparations (for cardiovascular risk factors and lower limb atherosclerosis). The quality of primary studies was criticized in the majority of the reviews. Most reviews judged the available evidence as promising but definitive conclusions were rarely possible.
Systematic reviews are available on a broad range of herbal preparations prescribed for defined conditions. There is very little evidence on the effectiveness of herbalism as practised by specialist herbalists who combine herbs and use unconventional diagnosis.
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 02/2001; 1:5. DOI:10.1186/1472-6882-1-5 · 2.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of alternative therapies, herbs, and supplements occurs at a very high rate among patients attending a variety of health care settings. Such therapy may cause significant interactions or effects on hypertension and other cardiovascular disorders and needs to be considered by clinicians. In this brief review, we highlight several commonly used alternative therapies that may have a clinical impact in the hypertensive patient. Several problems hinder our complete awareness of these effects. These problems include patients not informing physicians about alternative treatment or herbal use, the lack of consistent scientific standards for the bioactivity of many herbals or supplements, and the multiple names that each bioactive substance is sold under. Specific questioning regarding herbals and alternative therapies in the hypertension clinic is therefore needed. Herbals including ma huang, St. John's wort, yohimbine, garlic, and licorice all may cause important consequences in the hypertensive patient. Added care is needed in monitoring the use and effects of herbal and alternative therapies in the hypertensive population.
American Journal of Hypertension 10/2001; 14(9 Pt 1):971-5. DOI:10.1016/S0895-7061(01)02172-0 · 2.85 Impact Factor
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