Author(s): Teschke R, Wolff A, Frenzel C, Schulze J, Teschke R, Wolff A, Frenzel C, Schulze J, Teschke R, Wolff A, Frenzel C, Schulze J, Teschke R, Wolff A, Frenzel C, Schulze J
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Although evidence for their therapeutic efficacy is limited, herbal traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) preparations increasingly gain popularity. In contrast to other herbal products, adverse effects by herbal TCM including liver toxicity were rarely reported. In recent years, more cases were published, providing new clinical challenges. AIM: To summarise comprehensively the literature on herbal TCM hepatotoxicity since 2011. METHODS: PubMed was searched using key words related to TCM, the results were restricted to full English-language publications and abstracts published since 2011. In addition, the database of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and LiverTox was accessed under the topic 'Drug record: Chinese and other Asian herbal medicines'. RESULTS: Since 2011, new case reports and case series provided evidence for herbal hepatotoxicity by TCM, focusing on nine TCM herbal mixtures and four individual TCM herbs with potential health hazards. These were the TCM products Ban Tu Wan, Chai Hu, Du Huo, Huang Qin, Jia Wei Xia Yao San, Jiguja, Kamishoyosan, Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, Lu Cha, Polygonum multiflorum products, Shan Chi, 'White flood' containing the herbal TCM Wu Zhu Yu and Qian Ceng Ta, and Xiao Chai Hu Tang. Other developments include the establishment of a new and early diagnostic serum marker for hepatotoxicity caused by pyrrolizidine alkaloids, assessed using ultra performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis, and new regulatory details to improve herbal TCM product quality and safety. CONCLUSION: Stringent evaluation of the risk/benefit ratio is essential to protect traditional Chinese medicines users from health hazards including liver injury. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
This article was published in Aliment Pharmacol Ther
and referenced in Clinical Microbiology: Open Access