Kampo Medicine: A Different Model for Integrating Health Care Practices
Kampo medicine is at the centre of a thriving billion dollar-industry organized along the lines of pharmaceutical medicine, including the incorporation of a pharmacopoeia and the principles of Good Manufacturing Practice. This chapter describes the history of Kampo medicine, its evolution into inclusion into the medical curriculum in Japan, and the theoretical underpinnings of its practice. Kampo formulae are based on the ancient books of classical Chinese medicine. The dosage applied in daily practice by Japanese Kampo doctors differs from that used in China. Kampo medicines are sold as medicines, separate from herbal products used as health foods. Many over-the-counter (OTC) Kampo formulations are used in addition to the Kampo prescription formulations. The benefits of OTC Kampo formulations include convenience to patients, better self-management of minor illnesses, and a reduction in government medical costs. Kampo medicine has paid attention to individual differences since its early days.