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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 942378, 14 pages
Review Article

Clinical Effects of Thai Herbal Compress: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

1Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 47500, Thailand
2Center of Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand
3Center of Excellence for Environmental Health and Toxicology, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand
4School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
5School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4006, Australia
6School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53705, USA
7Center of Health Outcomes Research and Therapeutic Safety (Cohorts), School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Phayao, Phayao 56000, Thailand
8Department for Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand

Received 26 November 2014; Revised 3 February 2015; Accepted 4 February 2015

Academic Editor: Man H. Rhee

Copyright © 2015 Teerapon Dhippayom 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.


Objective. To determine the clinical effects of Thai herbal compress. Methods. International and Thai databases were searched from inception through September 2014. Comparative clinical studies investigating herbal compress for any indications were included. Outcomes of interest included level of pain, difficulties in performing activities, and time from delivery to milk secretion. Mean changes of the outcomes from baseline were compared between herbal compress and comparators by calculating mean difference. Results. A total of 13 studies which involved 778 patients were selected from 369 articles identified. The overall effects of Thai herbal compress on reducing osteoarthritis (OA) and muscle pain were not different from those of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, knee exercise, and hot compress. However, the reduction of OA pain in the herbal compress group tended to be higher than that of any comparators (weighted mean difference 0.419; 95% CI −0.004, 0.842) with moderate heterogeneity ( = 58.3%, ). When compared with usual care, herbal compress provided significantly less time from delivery to milk secretion in postpartum mothers (mean difference −394.425 minutes; 95% CI −620.084, −168.766). Conclusion. Thai herbal compress may be considered as an alternative for osteoarthritis and muscle pain and could also be used as a treatment of choice to induce lactation.