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Effectiveness of herbal medicines to prevent and control symptoms of urinary tract infections and to reduce antibiotic use: A literature review

van Wietmarschen, Herman; van Steenbergen, Noortje; van der Werf, Esther; Baars, Erik
INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE RESEARCH 11;4:100892. 10.1016/j.imr.2022.100892

Background: Antimicrobial resistance is a rapidly growing global issue affecting the effective treatment of infectious diseases. This provides a window of opportunity for the use and implementation of well researched effective complementary therapies such as herbal medicines. In this literature review, an overview is provided of the effectiveness of herbal medicine to control symptoms of urinary tract in-fections and reduce antibiotic use.Methods: PubMed, CAM-Quest, CORE-Hom, ScienceDirect, CAMBase, and AnthroMedLi-brary databases were searched for peer-reviewed meta-analyses, systematic reviews and randomized con-trolled trials from 2005 till 8 October 2020. Included were clinical studies on the use of herbal medicine for clinically diagnosed urinary tract infection with any control group except another herbal medicine. Study quality was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal tools.Results: Of the 408 citations identified, 23 met the inclusion criteria: 5 meta-analyses, 3 systematic re-views and 15 randomized controlled trials. Of these studies 13 involved the use of cranberry products, 4 studies concerned traditional Chinese herbal medicines, and 6 studies dealt with other herbal medicines.Conclusions: The latest published meta-analysis including 28 trials reports a clear benefit of Cranberry products for the prevention of recurrent UTIs in women. Five TCM formulas were found to be equally or more effective than antibiotics in the treatment of UTIs. Furthermore, Rosa canina seems to have the potential to prevent UTI in women undergoing a caesarean section. 'Acidif Plus Tablets' as well as 'Canephron' seem to be promising candidates for treating women with uncomplicated recurrent UTI.(c) 2022 Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine. Published by Elsevier B.V.This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( )