shakuyaku-kanzoh-toh (generic name)

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Herbs & Supplements

SYNONYMS

Chinese herbal medicine, glycyrrhiza root, herbal medicine, licorice, Kampo, kanzo, peony root, shakuyaku, TCM, TJ 68, TJ-68, traditional Chinese medicine.

BACKGROUND

Shakuyaku-kanzo-to is a Japanese herbal formula that is a part of the ever-evolving system of traditional Japanese medicine, called Kampo. A Kampo drug is a standardized and regulated multi-herb formula. Kampo formulas are an essential component of Japanese integrative medicine and are often given to patients alongside Western treatments in even the most mainstream of Japan's hospitals. Shakuyaku-kanzo-to is a Kampo formula made up of a blend of two crude drugs: shakuyaku (peony root) and kanzo (glycyrrhiza root, or licorice).

Due to its proposed effectiveness as a sedative, pain reliever and antispasmodic, shakuyaku-kanzo-to is prescribed in Japan to relieve calf cramps, menstrual and non-specific abdominal pain.

The herb is manufactured as prescription only in Japan by Tsumura®. The formula is usually taken by mouth in the form of capsules or tablets and the doses are higher than most Western medicines. Japanese patients often boil this formula into a tea. However, the smell and taste of such medication is not appealing to the palate of most Westerners. A qualified healthcare provider should be consulted before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.

THEORY/EVIDENCE

Shakuyaku-kanzo-to has been used in Japan and China for muscle pain and skeletal muscle tremors, arthralgia, numbness, peripheral neuropathy and dysmenorrhea.

Scientific studies suggest that shakuyaku-kanzo-to effectively reduces the severity of peripheral neuropathy, arthralgia (joint pain) and myalgia (muscular pain) and muscle cramps.

SAFETY

Since shakuyaku kanzo-to consists of several herbs, it can potentially interact with other drugs, herbs or supplements. Therefore, a qualified healthcare provider should be consulted before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions. Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.

AUTHOR INFORMATION

This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Fujii K, Okamoto S, Saitoh K, et al. [The efficacy of Shakuyaku-Kanzo-to for peripheral nerve dysfunction in paclitaxel combination chemotherapy for epithelial ovarian carcinoma] [Article in Japanese.] Gan To Kagaku Ryoho. 2004 Oct;31(10):1537-40. View Abstract

Hasegawa K, Mizutani Y, Kuramoto H, et al. [The effect of L-Glutamine and Shakuyaku-Kanzo-to for paclitaxel-induced myalgia/arthralgia] [Article in Japanese.] Gan To Kagaku Ryoho. 2002 Apr;29(4):569-74. View Abstract

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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