Kampo - Traditional Japanese Medicine

Kampo is the form of Japanese medicine adapted from traditional Chinese medicine that came to Japan between the 7 th and 9 th century. Since that time, Japan has taken these practices and formulated their own unique diagnostic and herbal medicine system. While kampo does include many things used in traditional Chinese medicine such as acupuncture and moxibustion, its primary focus is on herbal remedies.

In the modern world, kampo's herbal medicines are regulated as pharmaceutical preparations in Japan , whereas in the USA most herbal remedies are considered dietary supplements. Because they are considered pharmaceutical, both the industry and government of Japan intensely scrutinize the agricultural and manufacturing processes involved, as well as post-marketing monitoring to ensure the safety of these herbal preparations.

Kampo has been integrated into Japan 's national healthcare system, and there are 148 kampo medicines in Japan that are currently approved for reimbursement from insurance. Japanese kampo tradition uses fixed herbal combinations in standardized amounts, which is reflected in their current usage. While kampo medicines are made by a number of manufacturers, each medicine is composed of the exact same combination and amount of ingredients under the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's standardization methodology.

There are currently 165 herbal ingredients used in kampo medicines, and those produced in Japan are of unrivaled quality due to the extremely high standards they must pass. Only the highest grade of materials are used and every batch of kampo medicine is routinely tested for purity, heavy metals, and microbial content to eliminate any contaminant as well as testing for levels of key chemical elements for quality control. According to Ministry pharmaceutical standards, testing of kampo medicines is carried out from the blending of the raw herbal materials to the final product.

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