Evidence-based medicine (EBM) aims to apply the best available evidence gained from the scientific method to clinical decision making (by Wikipedia). In Japan, EBM started to be used in Kampo, traditional Japanese herbal medicine, to re-evaluate the classical anecdotes associated with each Kampo formula and to help the modern medical doctors use Kampo formulas effectively. For example, Wu Zhu Yu Tang, one of the most frequently used formulas for migraine, was given to 80 patients with migraine, and 57 were judged as responders and 23 as non-responders. The researchers analyzed what signs, symptoms, and diagnostic findings were commonly found among the responders or non-responders by using statistical methods. They concluded that “subjective cold feet”, “fluid retention in stomach”, “rib-cage pain”, “tenderness around navel”, “pulsation at abdomen” are the most useful signs to recognize Wu Zhu Yu Tang responders. Nausea was not included in the five most useful signs while it was listed in the classical anecdote (1). I personally think this is a fair evaluation of usage of the classical formulas beyond the different styles of treatments among the schools of thought.
- H. Odaguchi et al., Kampo Med, Vol.58 No.6 1099-1105 (2007)