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August 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 6)

Family doctors prescribe Chinese herbs in first major trial
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Family doctors prescribe Chinese herbs in first major trial image

Family doctors in the UK are starting to hand out Chinese herbal medicine to women with persistent urinary tract infections (UTIs) as part of a major review of the therapy.

Women who’ve suffered three or more UTIs in the past 12 months are being offered individual herbal treatments prescribed by a Chinese herbalist or standard herbs that are prescribed by their GP (general practitioner).

However, the women won’t know which type of herb they’ve received, say researchers from the University of Southampton, who are conducting the trial. They could also be given a placebo, or dummy treatment, and, again, they won’t be told.

It’s the first time a Chinese herbal remedy has been authorised for a clinical trial, regulated by the same authorities that oversee drug trials.

The trial is part of a wider study to discover alternatives to antibiotics, which are becoming over-used and ineffective against a new generation of ‘superbugs’.


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