The effect of Jia-Wei-Xiao-Yao-San (JWXYS) decoction on patients with functional dyspepsia was studied by means of electrogastrography (EGG) and symptoms of dyspepsia were assessed. Twenty patients with functional dyspepsia were selected; before and after internal treatment with JWXYS, the integrated symptoms of the patients were down-regulated from 18.55 +/- 3.24 (before treatment) to 11.65 +/- 2.37 (after treatment) (p < 0.01); electrogastrography showed that all the EGG parameters of the patients were outside the normal range. After treatment with JWXYS, all these indices improved before and after dinner. The results showed that the JWXYS decoction not only improves the symptoms, but also adjusts the abnormal gastric motility and gastric myoelectrical activity of patients with functional dyspepsia.

Qu Y, et al.: Phytother Res. 2010 Feb;24(2):245-8. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19610028)

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Xiao Yao San is a classical Chinese herbal formula published in 1087 in Imperial Grace Formulary of the Tai Ping Era (Tai Ping Hui Min He Ji Ju Fang). Traditionally, it is used for Liver Qi stagnation with Blood deficiency. Clinically, it is used mostly in depression-related diseases in Chinese medicine. A recent systematic review of 26 randomized clinical trials (involving 1837 patients) of Xiao Yao San revealed its effectiveness on depression (see below).

Jia Wei Xiao Yao San (JWXYS) is a modified version of Xiao Yao San recorded in 1602 in Rules of Conformation and Therapy (Zheng Zhi Zhun Sheng). Recently, it has been studied for its usage in functional dyspepsia (FD), a gastrointestinal disorder that affects an estimated 20% of Americans. One of the conventional treatments of FD is low dose anti-depressant drugs. A randomized clinical trial funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is currently underway to examine the effectiveness and mechanisms of the tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline and the selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) escitalopram in functional dyspepsia. Interestingly, many studies already conducted in the Chinese medicine field have shown that JWXYS, a commonly used herbal formula for depression-related disorders, may have beneficial roles in FD. A meta-analysis of multiple clinical trials showed that JWXYS is more effective compared to prokinetic drugs in the treatment of FD. A clinical study of 20 patients with FD indicated that the formula improved the symptoms as well as electrogastrography (EGG). Please read on below for details of the studies.