Background: Many studies have shown that the reduction of low density lipoprotein (LDLC)
levels provides cardiovascular protection; therefore LDL-C is considered to be a core therapeutic
target in anti-hyperlipidaemia treatment. However, the LDL-C goal attainment is often not satisfied in
China with conventional lipid-lowering agents. Many patients seek help from Chinese Herbal Medicine
(CHM). To further understand the current use of CHM in hyperlipidaemia, we conducted a review
based on a systematic literature search and data mining.
Methods: We comprehensively searched MEDLINE, EBSCO, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Chinese
Biomedical Literature Database (CBM), Chinese Scientific Journal Database (VIP), China National
Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) and Wanfang database to identify potentially relevant articles. We
included literatures that met the following criteria: (1) randomized or non-randomized controlled trials;
(2) observational clinical trials; (3) case series or case reports. In order to enrich the systematic literature
searching and provide the quantitative relationship between relative items and the treatment of hyperlipidaemia,
the data mining was also conducted by filtering the biomedical literature on hyperlipidaemia
in SinoMed and other available databases like VIP and CNKI.
Results: In summary, 282 records of CHM on hyperlipidaemia were captured and analysed. The top
used single herb was Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae. The most frequently used formula was Xuefuzhuyu
Decoction. The most used herbs in clinical practice have some pharmacological evidences. The mechanisms
are different, but could be classified into three categories: inhibiting synthesis, increasing decomposition
and reducing absorption.
Conclusion: CHM shows positive effect in the treatment of hyperlipidaemia and has the potential to be
used in combination with conventional drugs. However, their use should be demonstrated in highquality
clinical trials and clinicians should pay attention to potential herb-drug interactions.