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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 423713, 18 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/423713
Review Article

Can Medical Herbs Stimulate Regeneration or Neuroprotection and Treat Neuropathic Pain in Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy?

1HanseMerkur Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany
2ICBAS, University of Porto, Rua de Jorge Viterbo Ferreira No. 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
3Department of Systems Medicine, Tor Vergata University, 00133 Rome, Italy
4Hubertus Wald Tumorzentrum, University Cancer Center Hamburg, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany
5Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, Staudinger Weg 5, 55128 Mainz, Germany

Received 30 April 2013; Accepted 5 June 2013

Academic Editor: Yoshiharu Motoo

Copyright © 2013 Sven Schröder et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Chemotherapy-induced neuropathy (CIPN) has a relevant impact on the quality of life of cancer patients. There are no curative conventional treatments, so further options have to be investigated. We conducted a systematic review in English and Chinese language databases to illuminate the role of medical herbs. 26 relevant studies on 5 single herbs, one extract, one receptor-agonist, and 8 combinations of herbs were identified focusing on the single herbs Acorus calamus rhizoma, Cannabis sativa fructus, Chamomilla matricaria, Ginkgo biloba, Salvia officinalis, Sweet bee venom, Fritillaria cirrhosae bulbus, and the herbal combinations Bu Yang Huan Wu, modified Bu Yang Huan Wu plus Liuwei Di Huang, modified Chai Hu Long Gu Mu Li Wan, Geranii herba plus Aconiti lateralis praeparata radix , Niu Che Sen Qi Wan (Goshajinkigan), Gui Zhi Jia Shu Fu Tang (Keishikajutsubuto), Huang Qi Wu Wu Tang (Ogikeishigomotsuto), and Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang (Shakuyakukanzoto). The knowledge of mechanism of action is still limited, the quality of clinical trials needs further improvement, and studies have not yielded enough evidence to establish a standard practice, but a lot of promising substances have been identified. While CIPN has multiple mechanisms of neuronal degeneration, a combination of herbs or substances might deal with multiple targets for the aim of neuroprotection or neuroregeneration in CIPN.