TCM shows superior effectiveness in treating rheumatoid arthritis


GuiZhi-ShaoYao-ZhiMu decoction (GSZD) is a traditional Chinese herbal medication used to manage rheumatoid arthritis. Past scientific inquiries have confirmed its benefits, but these studies have yet to be systematically evaluated, prompting the authors to conduct a meta-analysis and review.

This study was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

  • The researchers conducted a search on available databases in English, Chinese, and Korean. They used the terms “GSZD,” “Cassia Twig,” “Guizhi,” “Paeonia lactiflora,” “Shaoyao,” “Anemarrhena Rhizome,” “Zhimu,” “rheumatoid arthritis,” “randomized,” “controlled trial,” and “clinical trial.” Only randomized clinical trials involving GSZD were included in the study.
  • In total, 13 studies were included in the review. The researchers noted that the studies used different herbal formulations, although the basic ingredients of GSZD – Guizhi, Shaoyao, and Zhimu – were present.
  • All randomized clinical trials involved a control and an experimental group.
  • Compared to a placebo, GSZD was found to be three to six times more effective than Western drugs for certain symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Only two studies reported adverse effects from GSZD, while some reported serious adverse outcomes from people in the control groups.

The researchers concluded that GSZD may be as effective as, if not superior to, Western drugs in treating rheumatoid arthritis. Long-term research was recommended to confirm the efficacy and safety of using the medication.

Read about natural methods for pain management at Remedies.news.

Journal Reference:

Daily JW, Zhang T, Cao S, Park S. EFFICACY AND SAFETY OF GUIZHI-SHAOYAO-ZHIMU DECOCTION FOR TREATING RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS OF RANDOMIZED CLINICAL TRIALS. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2017;23(10):756–770. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2017.0098



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