Ayurvedic and collateral
herbal treatments for hyperlipidemia:
a systematic review of randomized
controlled trials and quasi-experimental
Ischemic heart disease (IHD)
is a leading cause of morbidity
and mortality in both developing
and developed countries. An
underlying cause of IHD involves
retention and deposit of serum
lipids in coronary arteries,
decreasing blood flow. Drugs
(conventional and herbal) are
used to lower levels of serum
cholesterol to help prevent
IHD. The Ayurvedic medicine
pharmacopoeia identified herbs
that might contribute to a decrease
in cholesterol and therefore
reduce the risk of IHD.
searches were conducted at 3
points: 2003, 2004, and 2007.
Databases searched included
PubMed, the National Library
of Medicine, the National Center
for Complementary and Alternative
Medicine, Ovid, and EBSCO Information
Services, and other search strategies
also were used. Each article
was assessed for quality by
3 people, and discrepancies
were resolved by arbitration
using a fourth person, who also
read and scored each article.
Additional assessments of safety
using a scale and determination
of reported efficacy/effectiveness
of the randomized controlled
trials (RCTs) and quasi-experimental
designs (QEDs) were made.
generally received high quality
scores and improved by decade
of publication. More than 50%
of garlic, more than 80% of
guggul, and 100% of Arjuna RCTs
reported product effectiveness.
Safety scores did not improve
by decade. The QEDs received
medium and high quality scores,
and 93% of them reported effectiveness.
The QEDs had a higher mean score
for safety reporting than the
Many studies received high quality
scores and noted safety information
and reported effectiveness or
efficacy in a clear manner.
This finding was not consistent
with other systematic reviews
that have found the highest
reported efficacy/ effectiveness
in studies of poorer quality.
Ayurvedic herbs reviewed here
should be considered by physicians
when trying to manage hyperlipidemia
in their patients.