Can kampo medicine make a difference?

Japanese meticulousness applied to plants. 😄

What is kanpō?

Kampo or kanpō is a traditional Japanese medicine based on herbal remedies, combined with other physical or energetic treatments, such as :

  • Acupuncture.
  • Moxibustion.
  • Massage.
Cascades nature

The objectives of kampo are to :

  • Restore balance to the body.
  • Relieve physical symptoms.
  • Reinforce immunity.
  • Adapt to each patient.
  • Prevent diseases.
  • Promote health.

Kampo medicine does not replace conventional medicine in the event of illness. Rather, it is a complementary approach.


Kanpō has its origins in traditional Chinese medicine, and indeed the term “kampo” means “medicine according to the Han method” in Japanese.

The Chinese science of medicinal plants, introduced to Japan in the 8th century, was gradually :

  • Integrated by the Japanese.
  • Merged with age-old local knowledge.
  • Adapted to Japan‘s resources.
  • Optimized.

Today, kanpō medicine is fully recognized in its country, and integrated into the national health system. Doctors can be trained in both Western medicine and kampo.

Torii Japon plage

Differences between kampo and traditional Chinese medicine

Although the founding principles are similar, there are several differences:

  • Kampo medicines are composed of the same quantified combinations of ingredients according to strict standards, while Chinese medicine is more flexible on preparation and distribution.
  • Over 80% of kanpō plants are used in Chinese medicine. However, herbal combinations are generally country-specific.
  • Kampo does not use animals to heal human beings.
  • TCM uses around 600 herbal medicines, compared with around 200 for kampo.
  • Both medicines use their own terminology.
  • Traditional Chinese medicine is internationally popular, whereas it is difficult to find kanpo doctors and medicines outside the archipelago.


Among the most widely used herbs are :

  • Chinese licorice (glycyrrhiza uralensis).
  • Ginger.
  • Ginseng.
  • Chinese peony (paeonia lactiflora).
  • Angelica (angelica acutiloba).
  • Astragalus.
  • Chinese rhubarb (rheum palmatum).
  • Gardenia (gardenia jasminoides).
  • Chinese ephedra (ephedra sinica).
  • Agaricus subrufescens mushroom.
  • Crow-dipper (pinellia ternata).


Certainly, kanpō takes into account the emotional aspect, for example by reducing stress through the administration of remedies.

However, it would be beneficial to integrate the exploration of the root causes of most illnesses: emotional wounds.

I discover how to deal with my emotions.

Coucher de soleil lagune


Can kampo medicine make a difference?

It has been the subject of numerous studies by Japanese doctors over the centuries, who have scrupulously documented its effects. As a result, plant formulations have been developed that work for most people: they are the strength of kanpo medicine.

Some of its remedies are more powerful than allopathic drugs and have no side-effects, for example in the treatment of cancer.

However, kanpō is a bit rigid, and will need to evolve by:

  • Integrating emotional therapies.
  • Adapting mixtures and dosages to individual needs through intuition.

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