The image of Traditional Chinese Medicine is often solely restricted to acupuncture. While needles are a pivotal part of the TCM domain, Chinese herbal medicine is the cornerstone of the medicine allowing for individuals to continue their treatments long after leaving the clinic.
It’s this powerful component of TCM that’s prompted researchers from the Institute of Traditional Medicine at National Yang-Ming University in Taipei, Taiwan to investigate the effects of a specific herbal formula on people with hepatitis C (HCV).
The researchers’ motivation for this particular trial is because no specific solution exists yet to completely wipe out the virus. Individuals with hepatitis C are susceptible to many other conditions, including chronic hepatitis c (CHS) and often turn to alternative therapies to treat symptoms.
This led researchers to a specific herbal formula kuan-sin-yin (KSY) which was utilised in a controlled trial. Seventy participants were enrolled in the trial and put into either the placebo group or the KSY group. Each group received treatments across a six-week period. Those who received the KSY saw an improvement in Glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) and glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT) levels and a lower HCV viral load. “This finding implied KSY is the first TCM [traditional Chinese medicine] formula with both improving liver function and antiviral activity in CHC.”
The researchers conclude with recommendations for “further investigations on a larger scale and for a longer period.” They go on to explain that in comparison to the latest antiviral agents, “KSY is not effective enough to achieve sustained virologic response.” However, it may be a useful treatment for patients who have been unsuccessfully treated with interferon-based therapies.
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