Kampo is the word used for Japenese herbal medicines. The literal meaning of Kampo is the Way of the Han Dynasty. Han dynasty actually belonged to China. Hence, it is evident that Kampo actually migrated from China to Japan. This happened some time in the 17th century. Kampo has been utilized to treat primarily chronic liver and other inflammatory diseases.
Japanese herbal medicines are governed by the respective government much like in the US how the pharmaceutical companies are being regulated. Therefore, one finds that the ingredients used in the medicines have the right proportions and are mentioned in the leaflet. Also, they have to undergo quality and safety checks before being put up for sale.
Kampo encompasses approximately 165 varieties of different herbs. Few common ones, which are also used in the West, are tea leaf, angelica root and licorice, whereas few other uncommon types are Pacific oyster shell, bamboo shavings and gypsum. Since Kampo evolved from China, it is based on the traditional Chinese herbal medicines concept of negative and positive energies termed as In- You.
The treatment is based on three important functions of human body that is urination, sweating and defecation. The time taken by these medicines for cure is quite long as he herbs acts very slowly as compared to the western pram drugs which have quick actions.
Kampo in the US is practiced by a company called Honso USA. Clinical trials using herbal medicines have been done in Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for treatment of hepatitis C and liver cirrhosis.
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