Health Conditions

Health Conditions that are Commonly Treated by Kampo Medicine

Tim H. Tanaka, Ph.D.

As mentioned in History of Kampo section, 70% of physicians in Japan regularly prescribe Kampo medicine to their patients (the Lancet, August, 1993). Of those types of physicians who regularly prescribe Kampo medicine, high percentages are found among gynecologists, urologists, and cardiologists. More recent reports indicate that increased numbers of gastrointestinal (GI) specialists prescribe Kampo formulas on routine basis for certain GI conditions.

Frequent usage of Kampo among particular groups of medical specialists demonstrates clinical usefulness of Kampo for certain health conditions. However, Kampo is not only for specific groups of patient population or diseases. It has been traditionally used to treat a wide variety of patients with various health issues.

Samples of health conditions that are commonly treated by Kampo medicines are listed below. For some of these conditions, it is recommended to combine the treatment with other Kampo techniques or modalities such as acupuncture and moxibustion.

Female Health and Fertility

  • Menstrual Problems
  • Menopausal Symptoms
  • Endometriosis
  • PMS
  • Ovarian Cysts
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • PCOS
  • Irregular Menstruation
  • Painful Periods
  • Female Hormone Imbalance (FSH, E2, LH, Prolactin, Progesterone etc.)
  • Unexplained Female Infertility
  • Male Factor Infertility (low sperm counts, motility, high DNA fragmentation etc.)

Urinary Problems

  • Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
  • Overactive Bladder
  • Frequent urination
  • Painful urination

Cardiovascular Problems

  • High blood pressure related symptoms (heat sensation in upper body and face etc.)
  • Circulation problems

 Digestive Problems

  • Acid Reflux (GERD)
  • Functional dyspepsia (Indigestion, gastritis)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Abdominal Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

Emotional disorders and stress related conditions

  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Insomnia

Pain Conditions

  • Headache and Migraines
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Arthritis
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Leg Cramps
  • Joint Stiffness

Other Conditions

  • Frequent colds and flu
  • Allergies
  • Skin Problems
  • Sinus Congestion
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Immune enhancement