Are Herbal Medicines Effective in the Treatment of Ischemic Stroke? A Systematic Review of Human-Controlled Clinical Trials

  • Elahe Delshad Department of Persian Medicine, School of Persian and Complementary Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
  • Hassan Doosti Department of Statistics, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
  • Guillemin GJ Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
  • Hamideh Naghedi-Baghdar Department of Persian Medicine, School of Persian and Complementary Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
  • Zahra Ayati Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
  • Masoumeh Kaboli Farshchi Department of Persian Medicine, School of Persian and Complementary Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
  • Roghayeh Javan Traditional an Complementary Medicine Research Center, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran
  • Mahdi Yousefi * Department of Persian Medicine, School of Persian and Complementary Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
Keywords: Complementary medicines, Herbal medicines, Strokemplementary medicine, randomized controlled trial


Cerebrovascular diseases are common, and stroke constitutes the third cause of death as well as the first cause of disability all over the world. Many studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of herbal preparations on stroke. This research was designed to categorize the results of these studies. The materials presented in the databases of Cochrane, ISI, PubMed and Scopus until January 30, 2019, were searched to examine human studies written in English. Only randomized controlled trials (CRTs) were included. Four randomized controlled trials were selected to be examined in this systematic review. Six medicinal herbs were assessed in every article. Not only inclusion and exclusion criteria but also outcome measures differed between the articles. The results of these studies indicated that these medicinal plants might contribute to the management of stroke. No severe reactions had been described during the administration of herbal medicines in these six studies. Further investigations are required to examine the efficacy of herbal medicines on ischemic stroke.


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