The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Danshen safety and effectiveness to treat stroke

    Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza) is used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat stroke, as well as heart disease, atherosclerosis, and blood clotting abnormalities.

    The Cochrane Collaboration updated an earlier review of danshen to treat ischemic stroke — the most common kind of stroke, caused by an interruption in blood flow to the brain (as when a clot blocks a blood vessel).

    • 6 studies involving 494 patients were included in the review.
    • But the quality was poor and reliable conclusions could not be drawn from the data.
    • The reviewers recommended, “Further high-quality randomized controlled trials should be performed.”

    Of greater interest is the interaction between danshen and the blood “thinner” called warfarin (Coumadin).

    Danshen affects hemostasis (blood clotting) in several ways, including an increase in anticoagulation and subsequent bleeding complications when patients receiving chronic warfarin therapy also take danshen.

    The bottom line?
    No doubt, danshen has been used for thousands of years. Unfortunately, nobody ever thought it was important to do a decent study to prove its effectiveness.

    OK. But be aware that the effect of danshen on anticoagulant action of warfarin has been studied. And a reviewer from the Chinese University of Hong Kong concluded, “Danshen should be avoided in patients taking warfarin.”

    9/5/07 13:46 JR

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