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A poly-herbal blend (Herbagut®) on adults presenting with gastrointestinal complaints: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

Lopresti, A.L., Gupta, H. and Smither, S.J. (2018) A poly-herbal blend (Herbagut®) on adults presenting with gastrointestinal complaints: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 18 (1). Article number 98.

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Abstract

Background

To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of a poly-herbal formulation, Herbagut, for the treatment of gastrointestinal symptoms and its effect on quality of life parameters in patients presenting with self-reported, unsatisfactory bowel habits.

Methods

This was a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Fifty adults with self-reported unsatisfactory bowel habits, primarily characterised by chronic constipation were randomly allocated to take Herbagut or a matching placebo for 28 days. Efficacy of gastrointestinal changes was measured by the completion of a patient daily diary evaluating changes in stool type (Bristol Stool Form Scale), ease of bowel movements, and feeling of complete evacuation; and the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS). Changes in quality of life were also examined using the World Health Organization Quality of Life – abbreviated version (WHOQOL-BREF), and the Patient Assessment of Constipation-Quality of Life (PAC-QOL).

Results

All participants completed the 28-day trial with no adverse events reported. Compared to the placebo, weekly bowel movements increased over time (p < .001), as did self-reported, normal bowel motions (76% vs 4%; p < .001). Self-reported incomplete evacuation was also lower in the Herbagut group compared to placebo (24% vs 76%; p = <.001). GSRS domain ratings for abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion, and reflux also decreased significantly in people taking Herbagut compared to placebo (p < .001, for all domains). Moreover, quality of life significantly improved in the Herbagut group compared to placebo as indicated by significantly greater improvement in WHOQOL-BREF domain ratings for overall quality of life, social relations, environmental health, psychological health, and physical health (p < .001, for all domains); and PAC-QOL domain ratings for physical discomfort, psychosocial discomfort, worries and concerns, and life satisfaction (p < .001, for all domains). The changes were considered clinically meaningful as evidenced by their large effect sizes.

Conclusion

Herbagut ingestion over a 28-day period resulted in improvements in several gastrointestinal symptoms and overall quality of life. Further investigation utilising larger sample sizes and diverse clinical and cultural populations are needed.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd
Copyright: © 2018 The Author(s)
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/40670
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