Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared single herb, formulae or Chinese medicine products to treatments in patients with chronic or remnant gastritis, peptic ulcers or gastro-oesophageal reflux and diagnosed with H. pylori were eligible for inclusion. Both treatment and diagnosis of H. pylori had to be in accordance with the Consensus Report. Patients with bleeding ulcer or gastric cancer were excluded. Outcomes of interest were H. pylori eradication rates as defined by the Consensus Report and adverse events.
The Chinese medicines that were evaluated varied widely. Duration of treatment ranged from seven to 60 days. All comparators were triple therapies, with varying combinations of proton pump inhibitors, antacids and antibiotics; treatment duration was seven, 10 or 14 days. Where reported, participants' age ranged from 16 to 85 years and 48% to 79% were male.
Two independent reviewers screened studies for inclusion; disagreements were resolved by discussion or a third reviewer.