An increasing number of reports have recently been published regarding the use of Kampo medicine for treating rheumatic diseases. Corticosteroids are generally prescribed for rheumatic diseases, but in this paper the changes in the disease states after treatment with corticosteroids and Kampo medicines have been examined. As examples of the clinical usefulness of Kampo formulations, Bakumondoto, Jiinkokato, Rokumigan, Hachimijiogan and Unkeito have been reported to increase salivary secretion and improve the immunological disorders of patients with the dry eyes and mouth associated with Sjögren's syndrome. According to several case reports, remission of systemic lupus erythematodes (SLE) and other rheumatic diseases was achieved with Kampo formulations. There are also reports that Saireito shortened the active phase of SLE, reduced the consumption of steroids and lowered the incidence of adverse reactions including increased hepatic transaminases. Research findings suggested that Saireito had an effect on T-lymphocyte subpopulations, directing the clinical course toward a more healthy state, while Hochuekkito was active in producing lowered NK cell activity.
Recent findings demonstrated that a significant number of Fusobacterium varium was identified in the mucosa of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) (Ohkusa et al., J. Gastroenterol. Hepatol., 17, 849-853, 2002), and it has been suggested that the butyrate produced by F. varium is involved in the pathogenesis of UC (Ohkusa et al., Gut, 52, 79-83, 2003). In the screening of Kampo formulas to protect butyrate-induced death of murine colonic epithelial cells MCE301 as an in vitro model of UC, it was found that the hangeshashinto (HST, Banxia Xiexin Tang in Chinese) and its related Kampo formulas showed the potent inhibitory activity against butyrate-induced cell death. Of the components of the formulation of HST, only decocted extract of Coptidis Rhizoma showed the potent activity. The inhibitory effect of HST extract was disappeared after removal of Coptidis Rhizoma from the formula of HST. By bioassay guided fractionation of Coptidis Rhizoma extract, and HPLC analysis of the active fraction in comparison with standard samples, berberine was identified as one of active ingredients of Coptidis Rhizoma extract. These results suggest that berberine in HST and related formulas inhibits the butyrate-induced colonic epithelial cell death. HST and its related formulations have been clinically used for the treatment of UC. The data presented here may partly explain the mechanism of clinical effectiveness of HST and its related Kampo formulas on treatment of UC.
Chinese herbal medicine has historically been used for the treatment of renal disease. The clinical efficacy of Yozinkodakuto and its additional prescription was investigated in 28 patients (19 males and 9 females) with chronic renal failure (CRF). The underlying diseases for CRF were 14 cases of chronic glomerulonephritis, 8 cases of diabetic nephropathy, 2 cases of nephrosclerosis, 1 case of polycystic kidney, 1 case of gouty kidney, and 2 cases of unknown origin. Serum creatinine (Cr) concentrations were improved significantly with Yozinkodakuto at 6 months independent of the underlying disease. There were no remarkable changes in the levels of serum phosphorus, karium and uric acid between before and after treatment. Adverse effects were itching in 5 cases and stomatitis in 2 cases, but no major side effects were seen. This study suggests that Yozinkodakuto is a useful agent in the treatment of CRF.
Actual Use Research (AUR) is a new pharmacist-centered research system to evaluate the usefulness of OTC Kampo medicine. The system uses a commercially available OTC drug. First, after an explanatory meeting of the AUR system, a pharmacist (or pharmacy) is contracted by the AUR implementation committee. The pharmacist invites the customers of the pharmacy to participate in AUR. After consent and answering several questions from the pharmacist, the AUR participant purchased the test OTC drug and begins to keep a daily use record of dosage and time of intake, the condition of disease and use of other drugs. After a predetermined number of days, or when the symptoms of the disease disappear, the participant returns to the pharmacy, and submits the daily record to the pharmacist, and answers a questionnaire evaluating the usefulness of the drug as well as some questions from the pharmacist. The participant then receives a gratuity. Independent from the participant evaluation, the pharmacist evaluates the usefulness of the drug on the basis of information obtained by the interview with the participant at the second meeting. Then, the pharmacist submits the daily record and the questionnaire from the participant, and also his/her evaluation to the AUR implementation committee. In this report, we describe the first trial of AUR using the commercially available OTC "Kamishoyosan" (a Kampo formula used to treat women with painful tension in the shoulders, who tire easily, suffer from fear, neuro-psychic disturbance, have a tendency toward constipation, sensitivity to cold, and/or dysmenorrheal and/or oligomenorrhea).
Madura Island is part of East Java Province, Indonesia, and is famous for its local traditional medicine, called Madurese jamu (jamu = herbal traditional medicine of Indonesia). Madurese women use jamu on a regular basis for health purposes, including the royal family members of the former "Sumenep" Sultanate. Their knowledge about the medicine was inherited from previous generations, and it was known that written records were once kept in the palace. This paper highlights information and observations on the art of women's health and beauty care in traditional medicines of the noble family in Sumenep District, Madura, including the formulas, ingredients, traditional knowledge pertaining to the use of the formulas, preparation and administration.