What is Kampo medicine?
First of all, "Kampo" is a traditional herbal medicine unique to Japan. It is based on Chinese medicine that was introduced to Japan in the 5th or 6th century, and has gradually evolved and developed to fit the Japanese constitution and lifestyle in the Japanese climate and culture.
Since ancient times, it has been known that there are plants, animals, and minerals in nature that have medicinal properties. In Kampo, these natural products with medicinal properties are called "crude drugs" when they are processed for preparation. For example, ginger, which is known for warming the body, is also a crude drug called "Shokyo.
Kampo is made by combining multiple herbal medicines that have various benefits. In general, Kampo herbal medicines have fewer side effects than Western medicines, and can be adjusted more effectively by combining herbal medicines according to each person's constitution and symptoms. Therefore, different herbal medicines are often prescribed for different people even when they have the same symptoms.
On the other hand, medicines prescribed by Western medicine have strong effects on certain symptoms and diseases, and as a rule, are made from a single ingredient.
So what is the difference between Kampo medicine and modern Western medicine? In Western medicine, the target of treatment is the disease itself, whereas in Kampo medicine, the target of treatment is the person with the disease.
Kampo medicine = treat by using natural healing power according to each person's constitution, and mental and physical condition.
Western medicine = pinpoint treatment according to the organ that causes the disease.
Both Western medicine and Kampo medicine have their own specialties, but the strength of Kampo medicine is that it can be used as a preventive measure when you are "a little concerned about your physical condition.