The Chinese herbal medicine Guizhi Fuling Formula may be beneficial in the treatment of uterine fibroids when it is taken in conjunction with a pharmaceutical drug commonly prescribed to help with the condition, according to a review of studies into the effects of the oriental compound.
Guizhi Fuling Formula appears to lead to an additional reduction in the volume of fibroids when it is taken along with the drug mifepristone, according to a Cochrane Database systematic review.
The review also found that the Chinese formula significantly improved symptoms of dysmenorrhea, or painful menstrual periods, both when used alone and in conjunction with mifepristone.
Mifepristone is a synthetic steroid compound which is sometimes prescribed to treat uterine fibroids, which are non-cancerous tumours which grow in or around the womb.
Guizhi Fuling Formula plus mifepristone more effective
Guizhi Fuling Formula is widely used in the treatment of uterine fibroids in China, according to researchers at the Center for Evidence-Based Chinese Medicine at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine who conducted the review.
The researchers set out to assess the efficacy and safety of the Chinese medicine for the treatment of such fibroids. In their review they consulted 38 randomised controlled trials involving 3816 participants that tested Guizhi Fuling Formula for uterine fibroids, compared with no intervention, placebo therapy, pharmaceutical medication or other Chinese patent medicines which are approved by the State Food and Drug Administration of China.
“Meta-analyses demonstrated that Guizhi Fuling Formula plus mifepristone were more effective than mifepristone alone in reducing the volume of fibroids,” commented the researchers.
Guizhi Fuling Formula eases menstrual pain
Guizhi Fuling Formula also “significantly improved symptoms of dysmenorrhea either when it was used alone or in combination with mifepristone”, the review found.
The review found no serious adverse events, according to the researchers.
Although the researchers said that their review seemed to find that this Chinese medicine could help reduce the volume of fibroids, they pointed out that the trials they reviewed carried a “high risk of bias” and commented that “The methodological quality of the included trials was generally poor.”
The researchers concluded: “Guizhi Fuling Formula appears to have additional benefit based on mifepristone treatment in reducing volume of fibroids. However, due to high risk of bias of the trials, we could not draw confirmative conclusions on its benefit. Future clinical trials should be well-designed and avoid the issues that are identified in this study.”
Five herb formula
Guizhi Fuling Formula is also known as Cinnamon and Hoelen Formula formula and also as Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan (GZFLW).
It is a combination of five herbs: Gui Zhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi, also known as cinnamon twig or cassia twig), Tao Ren (also known as Semen Persicae, or peach seed), Chi Shao (also referred to as Radix Paeoniae Rubra or red peony root), Mu Dan Pi (also known as Cortex Moutan, or tree peony root cortex) and Poria Cortex (also known as Fu Ling or Poria Cocos Cortex).