Listed in Issue 133


LANGMEAD and RAMPTON, Department of Gastroenterology, University College London Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK, have reviewed (52 references) CAM therapies for inflammatory bowel disease.


Use of CAM therapies, particularly of herbal therapies, by patients with inflammatory bowel disease is widespread and increasing. There is limited evidence indicating efficacy of traditional Chinese medicines, aloe vera gel, wheat grass juice, Boswellia serrata and bovine colostrum enemas in ulcerative colitis. Encouraging results have also been reported in small studies of acupuncture for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Contrary to popular belief, natural therapies are not necessarily safe: fatal hepatic and irreversible renal failure have occurred with some preparations, and interactions with conventional drugs are potentially dangerous. There is a need for further controlled clinical trials of the potential efficacy of complementary and alternative approaches in inflammatory bowel disease, together with enhanced legislation to maximize their quality and safety.





Langmead L, Rampton DS. Review article: complementary and alternative therapies for inflammatory bowel disease. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 23 (3): 341-349, Feb 1, 2006.

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