What is Chinese Herbal Medicine (Kampo)？
Chinese herbal medicine (Kampo) combines multiple herbal medications such as plants and minerals in nature in principle.
Through the experience of treatment of thousands of years from the ancient Chinese doctors, it has confirmed which herbal medicines are combined to obtain what kind of effect and whether there are any harmful bodies.
It has been systematized as a Kampo prescription.
The fundamental part of the current Kampo preparations, which is made by utilizing the blessings of nature.
As a formulation that makes full use of the latest technology, it is processed to bring out herbs’ medicinal properties and make them easy to take and store.
What is a single herb?
Herbal medicine is the process of plant leaves, flowers, buds, stems, branches, roots, fungi, minerals, insects, and other substances that have been considered adequate over a long time into easy-to-use convenient storage and transportation.
Chinese herbal medicine is a remedy that is used by mixing them.
The characteristic of Chinese herbal medicine is the combined effect of Chinese herbs.
Even though it is a plant, the parts used differ depending on the plant, such as flowers, fruits, seeds, roots, stems, bark, and leaves.
For example, “Tao Ren 桃仁” is peach seeds, “Ge Gen 葛根” is one of the roots of Kudzu, and one of the big beautiful flower’s root part called “Shao Yao 芍薬.”
In addition, mushrooms are also herbal medicines, such as “Fu Ling 茯苓.”
Other than plants, minerals include calcium sulfate “Shi Gao 石膏” and animal-derived oyster shells such as “Mu Li 牡蠣” are used as Chinese herbs.
Since Chinese herbs (Kampo) are made from single herbs and natural, many people think it is safe because there are no side effects.
However, Chinese herbs also have side effects. In some cases, it may cause an allergic reaction.
In rare cases, serious side effects and allergic reactions may occur, so consult a medical institution immediately if you think something is wrong.
Recently, Chinese herbal medicine has been verified by the evaluation method of western medicine, and its effectiveness has been proved.
Chinese medicine is becoming more and more evidence-based medicine, not just traditional medicine based on experience.
Modern Chinese medicine is attracting people worldwide, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has also established a department to study alternative therapies.
Also, at the US Gastroenterology Week (DDW), an article on the effects of Chinese herbs was published, which has been attention to many doctors.
Please feel welcome to comment if you have any questions about this post.
Sayonara till next post.
About Author: Satoru Ozawa – Doctor of Oriental Medicine, an acupuncturist, and a Chinese herb specialist.