Herbs and Spices in the Treatment of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: A Review of Clinical Trials
Reviewer 1 Report
Axelrod et al. is a review of Clinical Trials literature on a complex, heterogenous group of gastrointestinal disorders with challenging treatment to help the medical practitioner with definitive data on whether herbs and spices would benefit children with functional abdominal pain disorders (FAPDs). More than fifty percent of all new patient visits to pediatric Gastroenterology Clinics consult for functional abdominal pain disorders (FAPDs). Interesting findings show that in 2005, a technical report of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the North American Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition society (NASPGHAN) found limited or inconclusive evidence for most therapeutic interventions for this group of disorders. Unfortunately, the report did not include studies on herbs and spices. Since then, there has been an increasing interest in the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for the treatment of chronic pain disorders in children. Not surprising, about 40% of parents of pediatric gastroenterology patients have utilized CAM. Axelrod et al. evaluated the published literature on the effectiveness of CAM, specifically the use of herbs and spices, for the treatment of FAPDs. Axelrod et al. reports little evidence for most of the commonly used herbs and spices. Despite its common use, research on the efficacy, safety, and optimal dosage remains limited. There is evidence to suggest the benefit of peppermint oil and STW 5 for the treatment of FAPDs in children. The paucity of data on most therapies underscores the need for large clinical trial cohorts to assess their efficacy. I find this report interesting and of educational value to clinicians.
Suggestion. Figure 1 need to be improved as the numbers are not clearly read.
Reviewer 2 Report
I Think that this is a well written study, and I have no specific commenatries more than I Think this is a valuable study.