Kampo is a study about herbs which is originated from traditional Chinese medicine. Though there are specific regulations about traditional medication in Japan but Kampo is still very popular. So, whatever list of Japanese herbal medicine found in Kampo may work wonders to your health though of course eating habit and daily habit are having big contributions as well. To find out more about the list of Japanese herbal medicine, the list below is just a starting and probably the most popular ones because there are more than 100 herbs commonly used in Kampo.
Japanese Ginseng Root
The most famous ginseng well known worldwide is Chinese’s ginseng from genus Panax. Japanese ginseng root is from the sub genus of Panax with botanical name Panacis japonicus. When it comes to the health benefits of ginseng for males are common knowledge that ginseng is widely used as energy tonic but not only that, ginseng also contains certain compound that could reduce the menopause symptoms in women, increase the insulin response to those with type 2 diabetes. Recent studies also stated that phytochemicals found in ginseng could work as memory booster as well.
Barley sprouts are among the essential list of Kampo because for over centuries this herb has been used to treat mild depression in adult. Barley sprouts come from grass family and among important grains due to its rich of nutrient content. Some studies have been conducted in Canada about the health benefits of young barley leaves and the sports since is super rich of fiber, barley sprouts are also excellent solution to help managing cholesterol level and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases due to its potassium content which is 6 times higher than the amount of sodium.
Ginko or also well known as ginko biloba is one of the important herbs used in Kampo medication. The health benefits of ginko biloba extract has been used for over centuries to treat certain condition. Originated from Asia, especially China, ginko biloba is well known for its ability as memory booster. That’s why ginko extract is added to multivitamin for kids as well as supplement for senior people to help preventing conditions like dementia and Alzheimer. Furthermore, ginko biloba extract also rich of anti-oxidants that could act as anti-cancer and anti-aging.
Licorice is one of the herb plants which is now cultivated for its root. Licorice root could be used as tonic as well as tea. In Kampo medicine, licorice root has prominent role because as herbs it contains a lot of healing properties to treat certain conditions. Health benefits of licorice tea has been well known worldwide because in Kampo medication, licorice root is used to treat light fever, sore throat and any respiratory problems because of its expectorant compound.
Ashitaba which has scientific name Angelica keiskei is one of the herbal plant which is native to Japan region which comes from Apiaceae family, so it closes to plant like celery. That’s why instead of being well known as herbs, ashitaba is well known as vegetables and commonly found as pot plant. When talking about this herbal plant is both the health benefits of ashitaba leaves and roots are great to be used to treat diuretic conditions, gastric ulcer, kidney problem, hypertension up to asthma. Furthermore, due to its Vitamin B12 and antioxidants, ashitaba is an excellent herbs for immunity system.
Since Kampo’s root comes for traditional Chinese medicine, some herbs used in Kampo medication comes from China regions including Chinese rhubarb or Rheum palmatum which is originated from China. In Kampo, Chinese rhubarb is used to treat several conditions caused by inflammation because it contains quite potent anti-inflammatory properties. Besides that the antibacterial properties found in this herb is also among the powerful ones. In traditional usage, Chinese rhubarb is used to stop bleeding and laxative as well.
There are some species of honeysuckle and Lonicera japonica is among the most important species which is native to some Asia regions including Japan, China and Korea. Traditionally, Japanese honeysuckle has been used for over centuries by Asian people as home remedy to conditions like light fever, sore throat, headache and even cough. All parts of this plant could be used in Kampo medication from the flowers, leaves up to the roots. However, the most potent parts of Japanese honeysuckle is the leaves.
Black Cardamom Seeds
Black cardamom is commonly used as spices to add flavor to cuisine and widely used by Asian people. Especially in Kampo, black cardamom seeds are used as part of their herbs. Among the health benefits of black cardamom, this variety of cardamom is well known due to its properties that are excellent to maintain immunity system and promote healthier metabolism. It is also excellent herbs to treat light fever and sore throat. So, whenever you feel unwell, eating chicken soup with a pinch of cardamom may solve the problem naturally.
When talking about bamboo, you know better than anyone else about the health benefits of bamboo shoot or even the health benefits of bamboo leaves. So, how about bamboo shavings? Well, Japanese and Chinese have found that even bamboo shavings have their own benefit to human health. For over centuries, bamboo shaving has been related to peaceful sleeping for those who have problem with insomnia. It is the source of relaxation to treat conditions like anxiety and nausea.
One of the famous teas in Japan is green tea which is commonly served in the form of matcha or green tea powder. The health benefits of Japanese green tea have been well known worldwide as well as the health benefits of matcha powder which is also similar. Japanese green tea is popular due to its antioxidant properties which are super potent to fight conditions caused by free radicals even modern medication has been combining green tea therapy to treat cancer patients. Furthermore, green tea is also rich of vitamin E to promote healthier and younger skin.
Japanese Water Lily
Most people may have been familiar with the term water lily as the other name of lotus flower. However, though it comes from different genus. If Lotus flower comes from Nelumbo, Japanese water lily comes from genus Nuphar. Some studies about Japanese water lily have shown that it may content quite high amount of tannin and alkaloids. Those two bioactive compounds have specific medical properties that are beneficial even in modern medication.
Sesame seeds are well known for its oil and also part of Ayuverdic medicines for over centuries. Actually, not only Indian, Chinese is also using sesame oil as part of traditional remedy and in Kampo medicine, sesame seeds are also essential herbs. Sesame seeds are rich of vitamin E and it becomes one of the amazing solutions to deal with several skin conditions. With natural antioxidants and quite amount of vitamin K, sesame seeds also great to promote healthy bones.
Shiso or perilla is one of the herb plants that are commonly found in a pot in Japanese’s houses. It is because they know how effective this herb plant is as home remedy to certain conditions. Shiso comes from mint family so you could guess about how pleasant the flavor and the smell of this plant. Furthermore, shiso comes from the name of certain compounds found in this plant; shisonin which is potent antioxidant that could prevent some chronic diseases including cancer and macular degenerations.
Wasabi is like a signature dish of Japan and one of the essential herbs in Kampo medicine. It is originated in Japan and quite expensive. One of the health benefits of wasabi is its antibacterial properties. That’s why wasabi is commonly served with sushi or sashimi to reduce the risk of food poisoning caused by raw fish. Furthermore about wasabi is super rich of vitamin C that could act as immunity booster as well. However, right now wasabi is considered to be one of the highest price of herbs in Japan while the synthetic products are commonly used now.
Below is the list of Japanese herbal medicine which also used in Kampo medication. Each of them has its own benefits for human health:
- Health Benefits of Mitsuba as one of the number one herbal from Japan.
- Lotus Seed Benefits as one of the varieties of Japanese water lily.
- Health Benefits of Mint Leaves which comes from the same family as Shiso.
- Benefits of Angelica Root which similar to Ashibata.
- Health Benefits of Burdock which is originated from Japan and Korea.
- Health Benefits of Konjac which is considered to be among the top Asia’s herbs.
When talking about healthy lifestyle, Japan is one of the countries with the fittest citizen in the world. The obesity case in Japan is very low and region like Okinawa is well known as a place with the highest life expectancy, 90 years old for both men and women. Some studies have been conducted regarding this matter and the result is no surprising at all which is laying on their eating habit and the list of herbs mentioned above may answer some of your questions about the secret of Kampo.