Constipation and Herbal Medicine

  • Norio IizukaEmail author
Part of the Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology book series (MIPT)


Constipation is unsatisfactory defecation characterized by a variety of bowel symptoms such as difficulty passing stool, hard stool, and a feeling of incomplete evacuation. The multifactorial causes of constipation might limit the clinical efficacy of current conventional treatments that use a single drug that acts through only one pathway. Herbal medicines capable of targeting multiple organs and cellular sites are great fascinating from the standpoint of a holistic approach, making it possible to complement the shortcomings of the current Western medical system. In Japan, herbal medicines have been used throughout history as foods and medicines and currently Japanese physicians can use a standardized form of herbal combination with high quality.

This review provides an overview of the clinical application and pharmacological action of two types of Japanese herbal medicines (JHMs), Rhei rhizoma-based JHMs including Daiokanzoto and Mashiningan, and Kenchuto-based JHMs including Daikenchuto and Keishikashakuyakuto, in the treatment of constipated patient by combining the molecular basis of action drawn from many literatures and the unique theory of Japanese traditional medicine, known as Kampo medicine.

Key words

Constipation Herb Herbal medicine Kampo Traditional medicine 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Kampo MedicineHiroshima UniversityUbeJapan

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