The efficacy and safety of herbal medicines used in the treatment of hyperlipidemia; a systematic review

Curr Pharm Des. 2010;16(26):2935-47. doi: 10.2174/138161210793176464.


Objective: This review focuses on the efficacy and safety of effective herbal medicines in the management of hyperlipidemia in human.

Methods: PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and IranMedex databases were searched up to 11th May 2010. The search terms were "hyperlipidemia" and ("herbal medicine" or "medicine traditional", "extract plant") without narrowing or limiting search elements. All of the human studies on the effects of herbs with the key outcome of change in lipid profiles were included.

Results: Fifty three relevant clinical trials were reviewed for efficacy of plants. This study showed significant decrease in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol after treatment with Daming capsule (DMC), chunghyul-dan, Glycyrrhiza glabra, garlic powder (Allicor), black tea, green tea, soy drink enriched with plant sterols, licorice, Satureja khuzestanica, Monascus purpureus Went rice, Fenugreek, Commiphora mukul (guggul), Achillea wilhelmsii C. Koch, Ningzhi capsule (NZC), cherry, compositie salviae dropping pill (CSDP), shanzha xiaozhi capsule, Ba-wei-wan (hachimijiogan), rhubarb stalk, Silybum marianum, Rheum Ribes and Jingmingdan granule (primrose oil). Conflicting data exist for red yeast rice, garlic and guggul. No significant adverse effect or mortality were observed except in studies with DMC, guggul, and Terminalia belerica, Terminalia chebula, Emblica officinalis, ginger, and garlic powder (Allium sativum).

Conclusion: Amongst reviewed studies, 22 natural products were found effective in the treatment of hyperlipidemia that deserve further works to isolate and characterization of their constituents to reach novel therapeutic and more effective agents.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods
  • Herbal Medicine / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / blood
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Phytotherapy / adverse effects
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Preparations / adverse effects
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Plant Preparations