Daikenchuto and GI Disorders

  • Toru KonoEmail author
  • Mitsuo Shimada
  • Masahiro Yamamoto
  • Yoshio Kase
Part of the Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology book series (MIPT)


This overview of herbal medicine use in Japan was designed to provide a review of the accumulating scientific evidence of the mechanism and clinical action of daikenchuto (DKT). Use of traditional Japanese medicines, including DKT, has a relatively “short” history of 500 years of clinical use. Only in the last 30 years has the Japanese government officially recognized herbal medicine as a valid form of treatment alongside the typical Western medicines.

There has been a recent surge in scientifically robust data from basic and clinical studies for DKT, including placebo-controlled double-blind studies for various gastrointestinal disorders, and absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion studies have been conducted or are in the process of being conducted in both Japan and the USA. Clinical studies suggest that DKT is beneficial for postoperative ileus. Basic studies indicate that the effect of DKT is a composite of numerous actions mediated by multiple compounds supplied via multiple routes. In addition to known mechanisms of action via enteric/sensory nerve stimulation, novel mechanisms via the TRPA1 channel and two pore domain potassium channels have recently been elucidated. DKT compounds target these channels with and without absorption, both before and after metabolic activation by enteric flora, with different timings and possibly with synergism.

Key words

Daikenchuto Kampo CGRP Adrenomedullin TRPA1 KCNK Hydroxy-α-sanshool 6-shogaol Ginsenoside Rb1 Postoperative ileus Crohn’s disease 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toru Kono
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Mitsuo Shimada
    • 3
  • Masahiro Yamamoto
    • 4
  • Yoshio Kase
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Clinical and Biomedical ResearchSapporo Higashi Tokushukai HospitalSapporoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Pathophysiology and Therapeutics, Faculty of PharmaceuticalSciencesHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Surgery, Institute of Health BiosciencesThe University of Tokushima, Graduate School of MedicineTokushimaJapan
  4. 4.Tsumura Research Laboratories, Kampo Scientific Strategies DivisionTsumura & CO.IbarakiJapan

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