Published online Sep 8, 2015. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v7.i19.2189
Peer-review started: May 15, 2015
First decision: July 15, 2015
Revised: July 22, 2015
Accepted: August 20, 2015
Article in press: August 21, 2015
Published online: September 8, 2015
Core tip: Herbal medicine products represent a common therapeutic approach in the East and are gaining increasing popularity in Western countries. They are unjustifiably considered to be side-effect free; on the contrary, severe toxicity, including catastrophic hepatic injury has been reported in association with their use. Vigilance is required from both physicians and the general public. Physicians should always suspect herbal medicines when evaluating a patient with unexplained liver injury. Regulation standards for herbal products need to be reconsidered, so that the efficacy and safety of these products have been clearly demonstrated before they enter the markets.