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Journal of Integrative Medicine: Volume 11, 2013   Issue 1,  Pages: 11-16

DOI: 10.3736/jintegrmed2013003
Pharmacological characteristics of Kampo medicine as a mixture of constituents and ingredients
Hiroyasu Satoh (Health Life Science, Shitennoji University, Habikino, Osaka 583-8501, Japan E-mail: hysat@shitennoji.ac.jp)

ABSTRACT: Herbal medicine in Japan is termed as Kampo medicine, which is derived from traditional Chinese medicine. Shakuyakukanzoto (Shao-Yao-Gan-Cao-Tang) as a kind of Kampo formulations is composed of just two components; Paeoniae Radix and Glycyrrhizae Radix, which produced marked relaxation of intestinal tract. Mokuboito (Mu-Fang-Ji-Tang) inhibited cardiac ionic channel currents, and as a mixture also produced great vasodilatation. Sinomenine (a main ingredient of Mokuboito) as a single compound also caused the vasodilatation, but decreased it along with ageing. Gypsum containing in Mokuboito and Chotosan (Diao-Teng-San) caused more marked effects, as compared with those without Gypsum. On the other hand, Rokumigan (Liu-Wei-Wan), Hachimijiogan (Ba-Wei-Di-Huang-Wan) and Goshajinkigan (Niu-Che-Shen-Qi-Wan) increase in order the number of contained ingredients. The formulations with more herbs (ingredients) produced much more effective actions on rat aorta, presumably due to compensation of the decline of pharmacological sensitivity with ageing. Thus, there are some important differences between single chemical drugs and mixture drugs with many ingredients. The effects of Kampo medicine (mixture) are never just a sum of each effect induced by a lot of ingredients. For elder persons, furthermore, Kampo medicine exerts more effective actions.

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Satoh H. Pharmacological characteristics of Kampo medicine as a mixture of constituents and ingredients. J Integr Med. 2013; 11(1): 11-16.
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