|Message from Editorial Board
I first encountered Kampo when I attended the 3-day Kampo program for beginners in Gotemba, Shizuoka, Japan. I was so impressed with vivid lectures by famous professors and doctors. These doctors were already well-known in Western Medicine, and they applied Kampo drugs or theory to their own fields. Their clinical styles looked like the combined form of Kampo and Western Medicines. I was shocked by the fact that I had seen patients without knowing such useful ways of medical practice.
After this “culture shock”, I tried to use Kampo drugs for my patients. Since I majored in Gastroenterology, I usually saw patients with gastritis, hepatitis, pancreatitis, and gastrointestinal cancers. Gastritis was diagnosed endoscopically. Patients with chronic gastritis often complained of bitter taste in addition to epigastric pain or nausea. Bitter taste is considered to be a sign of the “Shoyo” stage in Kampo Medicine. But, bitter taste in the “Shoyo” stage is a symptom in the course of acute infectious diseases. I thought that bitter taste was not necessarily derived from acute illnesses but also from chronic disorders. Among 82 patients who underwent endoscopic examination and were diagnosed as having chronic gastritis, 15 patients complained of bitter taste. Thirteen patients were of asthenic type and two were of intermediate type. I administered Six Gentlemen Decoction to those 15 patients. Surprisingly, bitter taste disappeared in 24.7 days in average in 12 patients and improved in 3 patients (Motoo Y, Watanabe H, Okai T, Sawabu N: Effect of Liu-junzi-tang on the symptom of bitter taste in patients with chronic gastritis. Am J Chin Med. 1995; 23(2):153-7).
Since this experience, I have been engaged in clinical and basic research in Kampo Medicine as well as in Western Medicine. I am now trying to apply Kampo Medicine in Medical Oncology.