Traditional medicine, or Kampo, with its history of millenniums of years, has been practiced on the basis of empirical knowledge, and not much of it has come through objective examination to prove its efficacy. On this account Kampo medicine is ironically referred as 'another EBM (experience based medicine)' from time to time. In recent years, however, Kampo medicines are undergoing the screening method of Western medicine, that is to say EBM (evidence based medicine) to have their efficacy approved. For this common examination standard of EBM, academic integration of Traditional Medicine to the system of modern medicine has proved to be possible. From a pathopharmacological aspect, we have been investigating medical benefits Kampo in terms of 'polypharmacy' on airway clearance function. The study showed that anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, immunomodulatory and metabolic regulatory actions are common influences, and the base of all the actions is founded by restoration and activation of molecular and cellular functions mainly through DNA transcript regulation. Adoption of means of translational research should provide objective backgrounds for efficacy of individual prescriptions and stimulate broader application and usage of traditional medicine. It will be passed on to future descendants especially as an indispensable remedy for chronic and obstinate disease which requires careful attention on QOL. There still are difficult problems to be overcome, but shall continue forward with the basic investigation concentrated on the traits of Kampo medicines as regulatory objects of molecular function through DNA transcript regulation, which will propose leading materials for develoment of new medical products. In other words we see no reason to be hesitant about advancing the Fundamental Evidence Based Traditional Medicine (FEBTM).
This paper gives a review of studies on Yinchenhao concerning historical, morphological, chemical and biological aspects. By examination of description in Bencao , it is presumed that the shrubby Artemisia plant just like A. capillaris has been used for Yinchenhao since Liuchao in China. Sources of commercial Yinchenhao which are used in Japan and Korea, and also Beiyinchen in China, were identified from morphological observation. For consideration of quality of Yinchenhao, seasonal variations of the contents of five constituents (scoparone, capillarisin, capillene, capillin, capillarin) in A. capillaris are described. The effects of four commercial materials of Yinchenhao in Japan, Korea and China, and 14 chemical constituents contained in A. capillaris on biliary excretion in rats are summarized.
A total of 157 infertile patients diagnosed as having unexplained infertility who were treated unsuccessfully by Western so-called step up therapy, were treated with Kampo therapy following diagnosis by "zheng". Following Kampo therapy 40 pregnancies and 32 live births (live birth rate; 40.5%) were achieved after clomiphene, 22 pregnancies and 16 live births (32.5%) after clomiphene-AIH, and 11 pregnancies and 5 live births (20.7%) after IVF-ET. Kami-Shoyo-San was used in the majority of regimens (45.2%), followed by Toki-Syakuyaku-San (22.9%) and Keishi-Bukuryo-Gan (21.7%). The etiology of infertility in the majority of patients has been considered sporadic ovarian dysfunctions that are not indication for AIH and IVF-ET. Clomiphene suppreses cervical mucous secretion and endometrial proliferation, which may cause iatrogenic infertility. When cervical mucous volume is decreased and the Huhner-test result is poor, therapy is stepped up to clomiphene-AIH, but this therapy cannot overcome the suppressive effects of endometrial proliferation caused by clomiphene. Because of this, final step-up to IVF-ET should be made. Kami-Shoyo-San administered by "zheng" improved ovarian function associated with increased cervical mucous volume and endometrial proliferation. The first choice of therapy for ovarian dysfunctional infertilities that do not involve tubal disorder or male disorder should be Kampo therapy diagnosed by "zheng".
In this study, the effects of Toki-shakuyaku-san on the microcirculation of bulbar conjunctiva in 11 patients with asymptomatic cerebral infarction were investigated with a video-microscopic system. After the administration of Toki-shakuyaku-san for four weeks, the flow volume rates of microcirculatory flow of the bulbar conjunctiva were increased (p<0.05). Hemorheological factors such as whole blood viscosity, plasma viscosity, and erythrocyte deformability were examined. Toki-shakuyaku-san improved whole blood viscosity and erythrocyte deformability (p<0.05), and plasma lipid peroxides decreased. These results suggested that the favorable effects of Toki-shakuyaku-san on cerebrovascular disorders take place via changes in microcirculatory flow, with the mechanisms being considered to be improvements in hemorheological factors and the anti-oxidant effect of Toki-shakuyaku-san.
We used a cancer cell motility assay system for the mouse sera (MS) obtained from mice orally given Kampo medicines to find their ability to inhibit metastasis. The motility of the highly metastatic osteosarcoma cell, FBJ-LL, was significantly reduced by MS obtained from mice given Mao-to (TJ-27), but not influenced by those obtained from mice given either Juzen-taiho-to (TJ-48) or Hochu-ekki-to (TJ-41). A reduction in motility was also caused by MS with the addition of Mao-to (TJ-27), suggesting that the reduction can be caused by original compound(s) in Mao-to (TJ-27). Mao-to (TJ-27) caused 80 % reduction in FBJ-LL cell motility at a concentration of 100 μg/ml without cytotoxicity, and completely suppressed proliferation of FBJ-LL cells at 1000 μg/ml. Accordingly, Mao-to (TJ-27) may be an inhibitor of metastasis at a low concentration. Mao-to (OMRC-K) inhibited the motility as well as Mao-to (TJ-27). Thus Mao-to generally has an inhibitory effect on the motility. Ephedrae herba and Cinnamomi cortex, which are the ingredients of Mao-to, inhibited cell motility, indicating that these herbs play a critical role in inhibition of cancer cell motility. These results raise the possibility that Mao-to is a candidate for a novel inhibitor of metastasis.
A new original formulation containing crude drugs used for self-medication was developed by a joint project of the Federation of Pharmaceutical Inductries Association in Toyama, Toyama Prefecture (Toyama Prefectural Institute for Pharmaceutical Research) and Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University. This formulation consists of 11 crude drugs. In this study, the effect of this formulation on model animals with a life-style related disease was studied. Spontaneously hypertensive rats added to hypercholesterol diet were given this formulation in chow for 8 weeks. The results indicated that this formulation caused a decrease in vasocontraction induced by phospholipase A2. Plasma triglyceride and lipid peroxide were significantly decreased, but blood pressure was not changed. Furthermore spontaneously diabetic rats were given this formulation in chow for 4 weeks. The results indicated that this formulation caused a decrease in plasma triglyceride, lipid peroxide and fibrinogen significantly, but blood glucose was not changed. From these results, it was supposed that this formulation exerted the suppression effect of vasocontraction, improvement effect of fatty metabolism and decrease effect of fibrinogen. This formulation is thought to be a useful drug to prevent the vasocomplication based on life-style related disease.
The effects of Choto-san on gene expression in the dementia model rat brain were studied using a DNA microarray system. Choto-san inhibited the expression of 181 genes that has been enhanced by permanent occlusion of the bilateral common carotid arteries (2VO). Choto-san also reversed the expression inhibition of 32 genes induced by 2VO. These results may suggest that Choto-san, which has been therapeutically used as an antidementive drug, shows therapeutic effects through gene expression changes.