Cholelithiasis is a major public health concern that necessitates highly effective, feasible, and recurrence-preventing therapies. Currently available surgical treatments and medications cannot effectively avoid the recurrence of cholelithiasis. Hence, several Chinese herbal compounds (CHCs) are considered for the treatment of cholelithiasis, considering that they can effectively discharge gallstones and prevent the recurrence of such condition.
In the present narrative review, we aim to summarize the underlying mechanisms of currently used CHCs in the treatment of cholelithiasis and to describe the current situation of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) use for cholelithiasis. Several commonly used CHCs were used to illustrate these issues. We found that the mechanisms underlying the CHC treatments rely on the amelioration of the biliary dynamics factors, maintenance and protection of the liver function, reduction of the cholesterol and bilirubin levels, and regulation of the inflammatory reactions. CHCs as treatments based on TCM can ameliorate the overall bodily function, thereby preventing the recurrence of cholelithiasis.
Appropriate application of CHCs would be beneficial for patients and clinicians, although the safety and efficacy of CHCs need further verification.
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