Evaluating the effect of Matricaria recutita and Mentha piperita herbal mouthwash on management of oral mucositis in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled clinical trial

Complement Ther Med. 2016 Dec:29:29-34. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2016.08.001. Epub 2016 Aug 30.


Objectives: To investigate the effects of Matricaria recutita and Mentha piperita on oral mucositis (OM) in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).

Design: Randomized double blind placebo controlled clinical trial.

Setting: Faculty of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, and Bone Marrow Transplantation Center at Taleghani Teaching Hospital, Tehran, Iran.

Participants: Sixty patients undergoing HSCT were randomly assigned to two groups: placebo (n=33), and herbal mouthwash group (n=27).

Interventions: All patients received the mouthwash one week before HSCT and were instructed to use it three times daily for at least 30s.

Main outcome measures: OM was graded using National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria (NCI-CTC) scale (grade 0-5). The Numerical Rating Scale (NRS: 0-10 scale) measured the severity of OM symptoms.

Results: The duration, maximum and average daily grade of OM were significantly reduced in the treatment group (P<0.05). The use of herbal mouthwash led to significant improvements in pain intensity (P=0.009), dryness (P=0.04) and dysphagia (P=0.009). Other significant results included: reduced need for complementary medications (P=0.03), narcotic analgesics (P=0.047), total parenteral nutrition (TPN) (P=0.02) and the duration of TPN (P=0.03).

Conclusion: This study shows that patients receiving the herbal mouthwash experienced less complications and symptoms associated with OM. In summary, it seems that the use of our prepared herbal mouthwash is beneficial for patients undergoing HSCT.

Keywords: Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Herbal preparation; Matricaria recutita; Mentha piperita; Mouthwash; Oral mucositis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Matricaria / chemistry*
  • Mentha piperita / chemistry*
  • Mouthwashes / therapeutic use*
  • Stomatitis / drug therapy*


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Mouthwashes