Review investigates the effects of Chinese herbal baths as treatments for uremic pruritus

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(Natural News) Researchers from the Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine in China conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Chinese herbal bath therapy (CHBT) as a treatment for uremic pruritus (UP). The results of their study were published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • Traditionally, CHBT is used as an external therapy to treat UP — the most common symptom of chronic renal failure.
  • For their study, the researchers searched seven databases for studies published since database inception until September 2018. They collected randomized trials that evaluated the use of CHBT for UP.
  • Measurement of the therapeutic effects of CHBT was based on pruritus level (via the visual analog scale [VAS] or symptom score scale) and the total effective rate.
  • They used RevMan V.5.3 software to assess the data they collected and conduct the meta-analysis.
  • The researchers included 17 articles involving a total of 970 hemodialysis patients in their analysis. CHBT was administered to these patients by immersing their whole bodies in a prepared herbal water bath.
  • On average, herbal bath prescriptions used for the studies consisted of 11 Chinese herbs, and treatment lasted for 4.7 weeks.
  • The researchers found that, compared with hemodialysis, hemoperfusion, sham CHBT, clear hot water bath, and the use of calamine lotion, CHBT plus hemodialysis/hemoperfusion reduced the VAS score and the symptom score of patients.
  • CHBT plus hemodialysis/hemoperfusion also has a higher total effectiveness rate than any of the other treatments mentioned previously.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that CHBT is a great complementary therapy for treating UP. They hope for more rigorously designed, multi-center, prospective RCTs to help further identify the efficacy and safety of CHBT.

Read the full article at this link.

Journal Reference:

Xue W, Zhao Y, Yuan M, Zhao Z. CHINESE HERBAL BATH THERAPY FOR THE TREATMENT OF UREMIC PRURITUS: META-ANALYSIS OF RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIALS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 10 May 2019;19(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-019-2513-9

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