Objective. To determine the clinical effects of Thai herbal compress. Methods. International and Thai databases were searched from inception through September 2014. Comparative clinical studies investigating herbal compress for any indications were included. Outcomes of interest included level of pain, difficulties in performing activities, and time from delivery to milk secretion. Mean changes of the outcomes from baseline were compared between herbal compress and comparators by calculating mean difference. Results. A total of 13 studies which involved 778 patients were selected from 369 articles identified. The overall effects of Thai herbal compress on reducing osteoarthritis (OA) and muscle pain were not different from those of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, knee exercise, and hot compress. However, the reduction of OA pain in the herbal compress group tended to be higher than that of any comparators (weighted mean difference 0.419; 95% CI -0.004, 0.842) with moderate heterogeneity (I (2) = 58.3%, P = 0.048). When compared with usual care, herbal compress provided significantly less time from delivery to milk secretion in postpartum mothers (mean difference -394.425 minutes; 95% CI -620.084, -168.766). Conclusion. Thai herbal compress may be considered as an alternative for osteoarthritis and muscle pain and could also be used as a treatment of choice to induce lactation.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.