Obesity represents a social health problem worldwide, associated with serious health risks and increased mortality. The prevalence of obesity is reported to be increasing in both developed and developing countries. Obesity is associated with a significant range of comorbidities and is linked with increases in mortality, thus the treatment of obesity is very important. Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) has been used for weight management both in China and in western countries for many years, the effectiveness and safety of CHMs in obesity have been proved. Yet the principles of treating obesity with CHMs are hard to manage due to the complexity of TCM theory. In this study, a novel text mining method was developed based on a comprehensive collection of literatures in order to explore the treatment principles more intuitively. Networks of TCM patterns and CHMs which are most frequently used in obesity treatment are built-up and analyzed, two major principles are explored in treating obesity: one is resolving phlegm and dampness, the other is clearing heat and reinforcing deficiency. These findings might guide the clinicians in treatment of obesity.
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