March 22, 2017



Natural Standard Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.

Related Terms

  • Anthraquinones, Kampo formula, licorice, rhubarb.


  • Daio-kanzo-to is a Kampo formula that includes a mixture of rhubarb and licorice. Traditionalists consider it a safe remedy for habitual constipation and other abdominal symptoms.

  • One ingredient, rhubarb, contains known laxative constituents (anthraquinones) similar to those found in approved over-the-counter laxative preparations. The other ingredient, licorice, reduces side effects by protecting mucous membranes. However, there is no meaningful evidence for any such protective effect, nor indication that such a protective effect is needed. Furthermore, licorice presents significant safety risks.

  • The dosage used in clinical trials ranges from 0.5 to 1.5g per day. Adjustments to the dose may be necessary according to the needs of the individual patient.


  • Based on human study, the intake of Daio-kanzo-to may be dose-dependent. In a two-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 132 people complaining of constipation were randomly assigned to one of three groups: placebo, low-dose Daio-kanzo-to, or high-dose Daio-kanzo-to.The results indicate that the higher-dose group, but not the lower-dose group, experienced statistically significant improvements in constipation compared to placebo.

  • Based on animal study, Daio-kanzo-to may be a helpful addition to oral rehydration solutions as an adjunct treatment in cholera patients.

Author Information

  • This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).


Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  1. Miyoshi A, Masamune O, Fukutomi H, et al. The clinical effect of TSUMURA Daio-Kanzo-to extract granules for ethical use (TJ-84) on constipation using double blind test. Shokakika (Gastroenterology) 1994; 18: 299-311.

  2. Hiroshi O, Matsuura D, Miyake M, et al. Identification in traditional herbal medications and confirmation by synthesis of factors that inhibit cholera toxin-induced fluid accumulation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002; 99(5): 3042-3046. View Abstract

  3. Kampo Today. 10 May 2006. http://www.tsumura.co.jp/English/kampo/today/04/4-1-02.htm

Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)

The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.


March 22, 2017