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Hiroshima J Med Sci. 2006 Mar;55(1):1-8.

Thermographic evaluation of the efficacy of Kampo medicines.

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Experimental Station of Medicinal Plants, Faculty of Medicine, Hiroshima University, 1-2-3 Kasumi, Minami-ku, Hiroshima 734-8553, Japan.


Kampo medicine has a specific concept known as "Sho", and herbal formulations are prescribed according to the "Sho". "Sho" is defined as "the decision of prescription judging from the patient's symptoms, systemic conditions and physical constitution generally". In the present study, the authors used thermography to evaluate the effects of herbal formulations based on "Sho" scientifically. In the cases that were suitable for Keishibukuryogan, the so-called Keishibukuryogan Sho, a significant skin temperature rise was observed in the upper half of the body after the intake of Keishibukuryogan. In a case that was suitable for Hochuekkito, the so-called Hochuekkito Sho, a marked elevation of skin temperature spread through the upper trunk. Thus, when individuals took herbal formulations according to the Sho, a marked skin surface temperature rise was observed. On the other hand, in a case that was not appropriate for the herbal formulation, a skin temperature rise was not observed after intake of this formulation. In an experiment that examined the role of the Keishi (Cinnamon Bark) contained in Keishibukuryogan, Keishibukuryogan acted on the abdomen including the upper part of the body, while the Keishi contained in Keishibukuryogan worked particularly on the upper part of the body. It suggested that thermography is useful for an objective evaluation of Sho in Kampo medicines, and for identification of the action site of the herbal formulation.

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