Chinese: Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang

English: Peony and Licorice Decoction

Source: Shanghanlun (Treatise on Cold Damage Diseases)

Pulse: bowstring

Tongue: red body, no coating

Abdomen: fukuchokukinrenkyu

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

  • Muscle spasm
  • Cramps in the calf muscles
  • Restlessness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Acute pain conditions

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.

Abdominal pattern (fukusho) of Shakuyakukanzoto (from Fukusho Kiran Yoku 1809)


Basic and Clinical Research on Shakuyakukanzoto – Updated on Mar 30, 2011

Wu, T.H., Chen, L.C. & Yang, L.L. Hypouricemic effect and regulatory effects on autonomic function of Shao-Yao Gan-Cao Tang, a Chinese herbal prescription, in asymptomatic hyperuricemic vegetarians. Rheumatology international 2007; 28, 27-31.

Ai M, Yamaguchi T, Odaka T, et al. Objective assessment of the antispasmodic effect of shakuyaku-kanzo-to (TJ-68), a Chinese herbal medicine, on the colonic wall by direct spraying during colonoscopy. World Journal of Gastroenterology 2006; 12: 760-4.

Mizukami T, Maruyama K, Yamauchi H, et al. Assessment of antispasmodic effect of herbal medicine, shyakuyakukanzoto (TJ-68) on colonoscopy – Using colonoscopy insertion technique collapsing method – Kampo to Saishin-chiryo (Kampo & the Newest Therapy) 2006; 15: 69-76.

Omiya, Y., et al. Antinociceptive effect of shakuyakukanzoto, a Kampo medicine, in diabetic mice. Journal of pharmacological sciences 2005; 99, 373-380.

Ai M. Assessment of the antipasmodic effect of peppermint oil and shakuyaku-kanzon-to (TJ-68); a Chinese herbal medicine on the clonic wall. Medical Tribune Online (Digestive Disease Week: DDW) 2005: 10-1.

Hinoshita, F., et al. Effect of orally administered shao-yao-gan-cao-tang (Shakuyaku-kanzo-to) on muscle cramps in maintenance hemodialysis patients: a preliminary study. The American journal of Chinese medicine 2003; 31, 445-453.

Saida Y, Takase M, Okumura C, et al. Efficacy of combined use of shakuyakukanzoto in pretreatment for large bowel endoscopy – prospective randomized trial. Nihon Daicho Kensa Gakkai Zasshi (Journal of the Japan Society of Colon Examination) 2003; 20: 34-7.

Hasegawa K, Mizutani Y, Kuramoto H, et al. The Effect of L-glutamine and shakuyaku-kanzo-to for paclitaxel-induced myalgia/arthralgia. Gan to Kagaku Ryoho (Japanese Journal of Cancer and Chemotherapy) 2002; 29: 569-74.

Kumada T, Kiriyama I, Sone Y, et al. EBM-based Kampo therapy for gastrointestinal diseases 3. Efficacy of shakuyakukanzoto for ―muscle cramps in the calves‖ associated with hepatic cirrhosis. Nihon Toyo Igaku Zasshi (Kampo Medicine) 2003; 54: 536-8.

Nishizawa Y, Nishizawa Y, Amemori Y, et al. A randomized paralleled group comparison in multicenter cooperation: analgesic effect and safety with gosha-jinki-gan and shakuyaku-kanzo-to in the treatment of painful muscle cramps in patients with cirrhosis. Itami to Kampo (Pain and Kampo Medicine) 2000; 10: 13-8.

Kumada T, Kumada H, Yoshiba M, et al. Effects of shakuyaku-kanzo-to (Tsumura TJ-68) on muscle cramps accompanying cirrhosis in a placebo-controlled double-blind parallel study. Rinsho Iyaku (Journal of Clinical Therapeutics and Medicine) 1999; 15: 499-523.

Sugihara N. Effectiveness of shakuyaku-kanzo-to as a pretreatment for upper digestive tract endoscopic examination. Kampo Shinryo 1999; 18: 17-9.

Isai H. Successful control of postoperative pain and hyperidrosis by Kampo medicine after thoracotomy for pulmonary disease. Itami to Kampo (Pain and Kampo Medicine) 1997; 7: 29-32.

Tamakawa S, Ogawa H. The effect of Shakuyaku-kanzo-to and Goshakusan on lumbago. Itami to Kampo (Pain and Kampo Medicine) 1997; 7: 83-5.

Imazato S, Kai S, Koizumi K, et al. A clinical study of Shakuyaku-Kanzo-to (Kampo) as a preparation for double contrast barium enema. Therapeutic Research 1997; 18: 5505-10.

Yoshida M, Kitaoka H, Masui Y, et al. Effects of Shakuyaku-Kanzo-to on muscle cramp in diabetics. Shinkei Chiryogaku (Neurological Therapeutics) 1995; 12: 529-34.

Arai M, Sato H, Shirota F. An investigation into the relief of colonscopy pain provided by Shakuyaku-kanzo-to. Nihon Toyo Igaku Zasshi (Japanese Journal of Oriental Medicine) 1994; 44: 385-90.

Kinoshita H, Kanaya H, Yamamoto S, et al. Effects of Chinese herbal medicine in promoting the spontaneous discharge of upper urinary tract stones after ESWL. Nishinihon Hinyokika (The Nishinihon Journal of Urology) 1993; 55: 61-6.

Usuki, S., Usuki, Y., Tanaka, J. & Kawakura, Y. Effects of tokishakuyakusan, keishibukuryogan, shakuyakukanzoto and unkeito on ovarian endothelin, renin and angiotensin II in pregnant mare’s serum gonadotropin-treated immature rats. The American journal of Chinese medicine 1992; 20, 175-179.

Usuki, S., Tanaka, J., Kawakura, Y. & Usuki, Y. A proposal of ovarian ERAANPS (endothelin-renin-angiotensin-atrial natriuretic peptide system) and effects of tokishakuyakusan, keishibukuryogan, shakuyakukanzoto and unkeito on the ERAANPS. The American journal of Chinese medicine 1992; 20, 65-74.

Kimura H, Otake T, Ishikura H. Efficacy of shakuyakukanzoto for relieving facial spasm. Shindan to Chiryo (Diagnosis and Treatment) 1991; 79: 2505-8.