Chinese: Ge Gen Tang

English: Kudzu Decoction

Source: Shanghanlun (Treatise on Cold Damage Diseases)

Pulse: floating, tight, rapid

Tongue: slightly red body, thin, white fur

Abdomen: medium to strong abdominal wall strength

Indications: This herbal formula has been used for patients with following health conditions and symptoms:

  • Common cold
  • Headaches
  • Stiff neck and upper back
  • Chills
  • Fever (without sweating)
  • Aversion to cold
  • Aversion to wind

There are many other health conditions that may respond well to this herbal formula, in particular patients exhibiting indicative traditional diagnostic signs and symptoms.

Herbs in This Formula

Note: Suggested dosages of each herb in Kampo formulas are often smaller than those of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Individual dosages of herbs may be adjusted depending on each patient’s condition, constitutional patterns, quality of the herbs, and other factors involved.

Basic and Clinical Research on Kakkonto – Updated on June 16, 2012

Chang JS, Wang KC, Shieh DE, Hsu FF, Chiang LC. Ge-Gen-Tang has anti-viral activity against human respiratory syncytial virus in human respiratory tract cell lines. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2012;139(1):305-10.

Wang KC, Chang JS, Chiang LC, Lin CC. Sheng-Ma-Ge-Gen-Tang (Shoma-kakkon-to) inhibited cytopathic effect of human respiratory syncytial virus in cell lines of human respiratory tract. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2011;135(2):538-44.

Ishijima Y, Kawamura T, Kimura A, Kohno A, Okada T, Tsuji T, et al. Toll-like receptor 4-dependent adjuvant activity of Kakkon-to extract exists in the high molecular weight polysaccharide fraction. International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology. 2011;24(1):43-54.

Furuichi M, Hara H, Asano Y, Makino T, Shimizu T. Letter: Fixed drug eruption caused by the Japanese herbal drug kakkonto. Dermatology online journal. 2010;16(12):13.

Yamamoto T, Fujiwara K, Yoshida M, Kageyama-Yahara N, Kuramoto H, Shibahara N, et al. Therapeutic effect of kakkonto in a mouse model of food allergy with gastrointestinal symptoms. International archives of allergy and immunology. 2009;148(3):175-85.

Inotsume N, Fukushima S, Hayakawa T, et al. Pharmacokinetics of Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine after oral administration of Kakkonto to healthy male volunteers. Rinsho Yakuri (Japanese Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics) 2009; 40: 79-83.

Chang JS, Wang KC, Chiang LC. Sheng-Ma-Ge-Gen-Tang inhibited Enterovirus 71 infection in human foreskin fibroblast cell line. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2008;119(1):104-8.

Chan KH, Pan RN, Hsu MC, Hsu KF. Urinary elimination of ephedrines following administration of the Traditional Chinese Medicine preparation Kakkon-to. Journal of analytical toxicology. 2008;32(9):763-7.

Mikamo H, Tamaya T. Usefulness of Kampo medicine for the treatment of infections from the perspective of medical economics. Sanfujinka Kampo Kenkyu no Ayumi (Recent Progress of Kampo Medicine in Obstetrics and Gynecology) 2007; 24: 105-8 (in Japanese).

Muraoka K, Yoshida S, Hasegawa K, Nakanishi N, Fukuzawa I, Tomita A, et al. A pharmacologic study on the mechanism of action of Kakkon-to: body temperature elevation and phagocytic activation of macrophages in dogs. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine. 2004;10(5):841-9.

Fujimoto N, Tajima S. Extensive fixed drug eruption due to the Japanese herbal drug “kakkon-to”. The British journal of dermatology. 2003;149(6):1303-5.

Akita H, Sowa J, Makiura M, Akamatsu H, Matsunaga K. Maculopapular drug eruption due to the Japanese herbal medicine Kakkonto (kudzu or arrowroot decoction). Contact dermatitis. 2003;48(6):348-9.

Kawakami S, Nishimura J, Umeki M, et al. Kampo therapy for feeling of lactation deficiency. Sanfujinka Kampo Kenkyu no Ayumi (Recent Progress of Kampo Medicine in Obstetrics and Gynecology) 2003; 20: 140-3.

Kurokawa M, Tsurita M, Brown J, Fukuda Y, Shiraki K. Effect of interleukin-12 level augmented by Kakkon-to, a herbal medicine, on the early stage of influenza infection in mice. Antiviral research. 2002;56(2):183-8.

Ikeda N, Hayasaka S, Nagaki Y, Hayasaka Y, Kadoi C, Matsumoto M. Effects of kakkon-to and sairei-to on aqueous flare elevation after complicated cataract surgery. The American journal of Chinese medicine. 2002;30(2-3):347-53.

Ikeda N, Hayasaka S, Nagaki Y, et al. Effects of Kakkon-to and Sairei-to on aqueous flare elevation after complicated cataract surgery. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 2002; 30: 347-53

Yano H, Hiraki S, Hayasaka S. Effects of Kakkon-to and Sairei-to on experimental elevation of aqueous flare in pigmented rabbits. Japanese journal of ophthalmology. 1999;43(4):279-84.

Toyoshima A, Honda Y, et al. Pharmacokinetic study on acetaminophen: interaction with a Chinese medicine. Journal of Medical and Dental Sciences 1997; 44: 31-5.

Nagasaka K, Kurokawa M, Imakita M, Terasawa K, Shiraki K. Efficacy of kakkon-to, a traditional herb medicine, in herpes simplex virus type 1 infection in mice. Journal of medical virology. 1995;46(1):28-34.

Hagino H, Kim Y, Kurachi M, et al. Effect of Kakkon-to on sleepiness after sleep deprivation with quantitative EEG method. Noha to Kindenzu (Japanese Journal of Electroencephalography and Electromyography) 1995; 23: 361-7

Homma Y. Kampo treatment of patients with common cold syndrome associated with fever. Nihon Toyo Igaku Zasshi (Japanese Journal of Oriental Medicine) 1995; 46: 285-91

Shimakura K, Mineshita S, Sanaka M, et al. Effects of kakkonto on the pharmacokinetics of phenacetin in human serum and saliva. Rinsho Yakuri (Japanese Joournal of Clinical Phamacology and Therapeutics) 1994; 25: 229-30 (in Japanese).

Zhuang H.Y., Kim Y, Kurachi M, et al. Effect of Kakkon-to on sleepiness after sleep deprivation of normal young adults. Shinkei Seishin Yakuri (Japanese journal of neuropsychopharmacology) 1992; 14: 319-25

Tanaka M. Effects of oxatomide on urticaria. Yakuri to Chiryo (Japanese Pharmacology and Therapeutics) 1991; 19:5029-31 (in Japanese).