FOR MIND AND BODY
Herbal Medicine Gains Popularity Among Women (April 7, 2004)
Herbal medicine (kampo) is becoming
increasingly popular among Japanese women and is making inroads into their lives
in several ways.
|Inside the Nihondo Kampo Museum (Nihondo Co.)
In the fall of last year Nihondo Co., which runs a chain of herbal medicine stores
around the country, opened the Nihondo Kampo Museum near JR Shinagawa Station
in Tokyo. In this facility's Kampo Boutique in Aoyama, where herbal medicine is
sold, such products as herb tea are available as well as medicine, and the store
does indeed have the atmosphere of a boutique. Pharmacists respond to inquiries
from customers, who include many female office workers on their way home from
work and female students. There is also a restaurant that offers cuisine with
medical seasoning blends of such things as Chinese wolfberry fruit and Chinese
date (jujube) and a drink bar stocked with herbal
juices. The museum, meanwhile, has a school where people can learn about herbal
Also in the fall of last year, in collaboration with Nihondo, Kokumin Co., a major
drugstore chain, opened a herbal medicine pharmacy in Osaka. And at the end of
last year the Wakakusa Kampo Yakkyoku store opened in Tokyo's Ginza, a shopping
district where such high-class brands as Chanel and Louis Vuitton are prominent.
This store greets its customers, about 90% of whom are women, with a very relaxing
atmosphere featuring warm-looking wallpaper, tables decorated with flowers, and
Maybe Herbal Medicine Is Just Right for Women
Meanwhile, the weekly magazine Kampo Life began publication
in November of last year. Although this magazine does not focus especially on
women, about 70% of its readership is female. In addition, an increasing number
of university hospitals are setting up special herbal medicine sections for outpatients.
The obstetrics and gynecology department of the hospital attached to Toyama Medical
and Pharmaceutical University established an outpatient herbal medicine department
in 1999, and in the four years since then the number of first-time patients wanting
herbal medicine to treat menopausal disorders doubled.
In the background of this growing interest of women in herbal medicine lies their
increased awareness of health issues. Rather than turning to medicine for specific
illnesses or symptoms, they are interested in taking herbal medicine in order
to improve their physical and spiritual condition as a whole. Maybe this idea
of treating illnesses by improving underlying physical conditions is what women
find appealing about herbal medicine.
Related Web Sites
Nihondo Co. (site is Japanese only)
Wakakusa Kampo Yakkyoku (site is Japanese only)
Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University
Copyright (c) 2004 Web Japan. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.
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