Ulcerative colitis (UC), an idiopathic inflammatory disorder in the colon, has become a clinical challenge, owing to the increasing incidence and poor prognosis. The conventional treatments for UC including aminosalicylates, corticosteroids, and immunosuppressants, induce remission in only half of patients. Meanwhile, the treatments often come with serious side effects which can be life-threatening. Herbal medicine, one of the most common traditional Chinese medicine modalities, has been introduced for centuries into clinical treatment of many human diseases such as infections and functional disorders. Recently, the potential effectiveness of herbs has been suggested as the treatment of UC, as shown by a variety of clinical trials and experimental studies. The herbs reported in the literature include aloe vera gel, butyrate, tormentil extracts, wheat grass juice, and curcumin. In the review, bioactivity of the herbs and their involvement in UC treatment are discussed.
Keywords: Herb medicine; Herbs; Inflammatory bowel disease; Safety; Therapy; Ulcerative colitis.