[A plant extract and its modified preparation in functional dyspepsia. Results of a double-blind placebo controlled comparative study]

Z Gastroenterol. 2001 Jul;39(7):511-7. doi: 10.1055/s-2001-16142.
[Article in German]


Aims: To assess the efficacy and safety of the commercially available herbal preparation (Iberogast, STW-5*) containing extracts from bitter candy tuft, chamomile flower, peppermint leaves, caraway fruit, licorice root, lemon balm leaves, angelica root, celandine herbs, milk thistle fruit and its research preparation STW-5-S (without bitter candy tuft) in patients with functional dyspepsia.

Patients and methods: After a standardized diagnostic work-up and at least 7 days free of medication, 60 patients, diagnosed with functional dyspepsia, were recruited in a multicenter trial and randomly assigned to one of 3 treatment groups (STW-5, STW-5-S or placebo). Each patient received the treatment for 4 weeks. The main outcome variables were the improvement of a gastrointestinal symptom score (GIS), a sumscore consisted of 10 dyspeptic symptoms rated on a Likert scale. Dyspeptic symptoms were assessed at baseline, 2 and 4 weeks after treatment.

Results: 60 patients completed the trial (mean age 46.8 years, range 25-70, female 38 patients). Compared with placebo-group both herbal preparations STW-5 and STW-5-S showed a clinically significant improvement of GIS after 2 and 4 weeks of treatment (p < 0.001). No statistically significant difference could be observed between the efficacy of STW-5 and STW-5 S (p > 0.05), but a solid improvement of gastrointestinal symptoms could be achieved earlier with STW-5 than with its research preparation STW-5-S without bitter candy tuft (p = 0.023).

Conclusions: In patients with functional dyspepsia, the commercially available herbal preparation STW-5 and its modified dispense STW-5-S tested improved dyspeptic symptoms significantly better than placebo. The extract bitter candy tuft appeared to have an additive effect on dyspeptic symptoms.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • English Abstract
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dyspepsia / diagnosis
  • Dyspepsia / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / adverse effects
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • iberogast