Objectives This systematic review is to support the effectiveness of herbal medicine for the treatment of simple obesity in adults. Methods A total of 8 electronic databases were searched in English, Chinese and Korean. Standard methodologies for the systematic review were used to search, analyze and synthesize data based on NECA's guideline for undertaking systematic review and meta-analyses for intervention. Results After screening 1781 potential articles, we identified 13 randomized controlled trials (RCTs). We conducted a meta-analysis for the study using Bangpungtongsung-san and Taeeumjowi-tang to evaluate the effectiveness of herbal medicines on weight loss compared to placebo control. Both herbs showed positive effect in weight, body mass index and waist circumference. In an analysis comparing herbal effects considering constitutions showed that proper treatment can lower adverse events. Conclusions Our results provide evidence that herbal medicine can be an effective treatment for the obesity compare to placebo or to conventional medicine without serious adverse events. Further study is needed to evaluate effectiveness of herbal medicines considering personalized treatment and its safety.
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