Heart failure is one of the major causes of mortality worldwide and it is the end stage of several cardiovascular
diseases. Traditional Chinese medicine has been used in the management of heart failure for a long
time. Only until recently, well-designed clinical trials have been put into practice to study the efficacies of Chinese
herbs. Extensive studies have also been carried out to explore the underlying mechanisms of pharmaceutical
actions of Chinese herbs. In this study, we will summarize the frequently used Chinese herbs, formulae and patent
Chinese drugs in treating patients with heart failure and review published clinical evaluations of Chinese herbs in
treating cardiovascular diseases. The mechanisms by which Chinese herbs exert cardio-protective effects will also
be reviewed. In the end, we will point out the limitations of current studies and challenges facing modernization
of traditional Chinese medicine.
Keywords: Heart failure, Chinese herbs, clinical evaluation, mechanism studies, Chinese medicine, cardiovascular diseases.
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