J Ethnopharmacol. 1980 Mar; 2(1): 65-70.
Application of herbal drugs to health care in Japan.
Kampo, derived from traditional Chinese medicine, has been adopted in Japan for centuries, and the demand for herbal drugs is increasing. At present herbal drugs are utilized in pharmaceutical forms such as granules of the extracts. A special commission has evaluated and selected traditional prescriptons for their efficacy and safety by clinical experience. The Kampo preparations are also accepted by the national health care insurance. About 80% of the plants used are imported. The Japanese Pharmacopoeia reports 116 herbal drugs, the majority of Chinese origin, under specifications established and reviewed by the Pharmacopoeia Committee. In Japan, high quality research, which has developed during the last century, has partly ascertained the active principles in the herbal drugs and pharmacological tests have also been adopted, although limitations exist in the modern pharmacological methods. The handling of herbal drugs is limited to licensed pharmacists in order to ensure their good management.