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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2014, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (5): 401-408.doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(14)60039-X

• Review •     Next Articles

Traditional Chinese medicine for treatment of liver diseases: Progress, challenges and opportunities

Chang-qing Zhaoa,b,c,d,e, Yang Zhoua,b,c,d,e, Jian Pingb,c,d,e, Lie-ming Xua,b,c,d,e   

  1. Department of Liver Cirrhosis, Shuguang Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
    Institute of Liver Diseases, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
    Key Laboratory of Liver and Kidney Diseases, Ministry of Education, Shanghai 201203, China
    Key Laboratory of Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinic, Shanghai 201203, China
    The Key Unit of Liver Diseases, State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
  • Received:2014-01-22 Accepted:2014-05-15 Online:2014-09-10 Published:2014-09-15

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is commonly used in treating liver diseases worldwide, especially in China. The advantages of using TCM for treatment of liver diseases include: protecting hepatocytes, inhibiting hepatic inflammation and antifibrosis in the liver. In this article, we introduce TCM herbal preparations from the Chinese materia medica (such as Fuzheng Huayu) that are typically used for the treatment of liver diseases. Literature surrounding the mechanisms of TCM therapy for treatment of liver diseases is presented and discussed. We propose that side effects of herbal compounds are often under-appreciated, and that more care should be taken in the prescription of potentially hepatotoxic medicines. Further, to deepen the understanding of TCM mechanisms, new techniques and methodologies must be developed. Future studies will lead to the enhancement of clinical outcomes of TCM. As complementary and alternative therapies, TCMs will play an expanding role in the future of liver disease treatment.

Key words: Medicine, Chinese traditional, Drugs, Chinese herbal, Liver diseases (TCM), Liver cirrhosis, Hepatoprotective drugs, Hepatotoxicity, Reviews

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