Chinese Herbal Medicine Effective for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

October 14, 2015 by  
Filed under Health Blog

Chinese herbal medicine effective for irritable bowel syndrome

An encapsulated formulation of seven Chinese herbs improves a range of symptoms in constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome, an Australian study shows.

The NHMRC-funded prospective trial randomised 125 patients with IBS -C to placebo or a standardised extract of seven dried and powdered Chinese herbs traditionally used for constipation. Participants took the capsules before meals for eight weeks, and were followed for 16 weeks.

There was a “clinically significant” improvement in symptoms among those randomised to Chinese herbs, report the researchers who include A/Prof John Kellow, a gastroenterologist at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital.

The authors say their findings warrant further Chinese herbal medicine studies, including in patients who suffer from diarrhoea-predominant or mixed IBS as well as the related disorder of functional constipation:

Efficacy of a Chinese Herbal Medicine in Providing Adequate Relief of Constipation-predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Background & Aims

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common chronic functional bowel disorder, with few treatment options. IBS affects 10%-20% of the population; as many as 58% of patients have constipation-predominant IBS (IBS – C). We evaluated efficacy and safety of a standardized, specifically formulated Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) preparation in treatment of patients with IBS – C.


In a prospective, controlled study, CHM reduced symptoms of IBS – C, increased bowel satisfaction and stool consistency, and reduced straining and hard lumpy stools, compared with placebo.

You can read the research here:


Yours in Great Health,

Sar Rooney BHSc., ND., DC., DASc., GDSc. (Hons), MATMS, MHATO
Naturopathic Medicine practitioner, Lecturer, Researcher

Sar has advanced qualifications in the health sciences and naturopathic medicine and is an accomplished lecturer, practitioner & counsellor with 21 years of clinical experience.

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