The Efficacy of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Across Multiple Cardiovascular Diseases: An Umbrella Review of Systematic Reviews of Randomized Controlled Trials

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2024 Apr 1;83(4):340-352. doi: 10.1097/FJC.0000000000001535.


Traditional Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) has been extensively used in cardiovascular disease (CVD) in modern clinical practice, alone or in combination with conventional treatment. However, its efficacy has not been assessed extensively. From inception until August 2023, we systematically searched 5 public literature databases to conduct the umbrella review. The inclusion criterion is systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials investigating the effect of CHM in the contemporary management of CVDs. The quality of the included systematic reviews, the certainty of the evidence, and the potential risk of bias were assessed. Five hundred and thirty-nine systematic reviews, including 346 studies in Chinese and 193 in English, were selected before the quantitative synthesis. The methodological quality was generally moderate, with a median value of 11. The favorable efficacy of CHM was primarily presented on 5 main conditions: coronary artery disease, hypertension, heart failure, restenosis, and angina pectoris. CHM, with or without conventional treatment, showed a consistent beneficial effect in various CVDs. Nevertheless, the magnitude of the effect requires further investigation as the lack of relevant research and the complexity of the clinical practice of CHM.

MeSH terms

  • Angina Pectoris
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal