Published online May 28, 2017. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i20.3615
Peer-review started: February 2, 2017
First decision: February 23, 2017
Revised: March 13, 2017
Accepted: May 4, 2017
Article in press: May 4, 2017
Published online: May 28, 2017
Acute pancreatitis (AP) is one of the most common diseases. AP is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, but it lacks specific and effective therapies. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the most popular complementary and alternative medicine modalities worldwide for the treatment of AP. The current evidence from basic research and clinical studies has shown that TCM has good therapeutic effects on AP. This review summarizes the widely used formulas, single herbs and monomers that are used to treat AP and the potential underlying mechanisms of TCM. Because of the abundance, low cost, and safety of TCM as well as its ability to target various aspects of the pathogenesis, TCM provides potential clinical benefits and a new avenue with tremendous potential for the future treatment of AP.
Core tip: Specific and effective therapies for the treatment of AP are lacking. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) exhibits beneficial, curative effects in basic research and clinical studies of AP treatment. Because of its abundance, low cost, safety and ability to target various aspects of AP pathogenesis, TCM provides a promising complementary and alternative therapy for the treatment of AP.