Tsumura Kampo Trochisch Kikyoto: Fight off colds in a traditional way

What is Kampo?

Kampo is a unique medicine developed in Japan and is actively adopted in advanced medical practice. Kampo, which was derived from the ancient Chinese medicine Ranpo, was developed according to the climate and constitution of Japanese people and now remains one of Japan’s leading medicines.

What is the difference between Traditional and Western medicine?

Traditional medicines are mainly comprised of herbs and can have various effects depending on the combination of herbal ingredients. Western medicines however, are made from chemically synthesized ingredients. While Western medicine uses ingredients to focus on specific body parts and heal them, Traditional medicine has a wider approach that focuses on the whole body and enhances its natural functions and healing power. Both forms of medicine have their own merits and should be used depending on one’s symptoms and condition. While Traditional medicine isn’t typically accepted in Western society, Kampo is gaining traction and is being studied for potential fusion with Western medicine in the future.

How do cold medicines work?

Approximately 80-90% of colds are caused by viral infections while the rest are caused by bacteria. Therefore, when trying to treat a cold with antiviral drugs time is needed to identify the virus that caused the cold and what the appropriate measures to take are. Due to this, common cold medicines are used to quickly relieve general cold symptoms such as cough, fever, and congestion. Traditional medicines tackle colds in a different way. Traditional medicine view colds as an affect of the body not being able to respond to changes in the climate and environment, and therefore works to relieve the cold by enhancing the body’s natural functions and immunity.

The two types of Kampo colds and timing

The type of Kampo used to treat colds is decided based on the physical symptoms. The first one that gives you chills and a tingling feeling is know as a “wind cold cold” while the second that give swelling and painful/sore throat is called “wind heat cold.” The approach for each is different. For the “cold cold” it warms the body and dissipates heat throughout, while for the “heat cold” it deals with the inflammatory symptoms by dissipating the heat and cooling the inflammation. Kampo is most effective when used before the onset of major cold symptoms, specifically 2-3 days before. If properly used and rested it is generally cured in about a weeks time.