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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 890524, 7 pages
Research Article

Extraction Efficiency of Shosaikoto (Xiaochaihu Tang) and Investigation of the Major Constituents in the Residual Crude Drugs

1Center for Environment, Health and Field Sciences, Chiba University, 6-2-1 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa 277-0882, Japan
2Department of Japanese Oriental (Kampo) Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan

Received 14 May 2012; Accepted 15 July 2012

Academic Editor: Vincenzo De Feo

Copyright © 2012 Megumi Sumino et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Shosaikoto (Xiaochaihu Tang) is one of the frequently used traditional herbal medicines (Kampo medicines, Japan). To realize the effective use of precious crude drugs, we investigated the major constituents in the residual crude drugs after decoction and aimed for extraction efficiency of shosaikoto with regard to the extract, tannin content, and major constituents. We found that the residual crude drugs had large amounts of compounds, especially saikosaponin b2, which had a 78.3% yield compared to that in the first decoction. The extraction efficiency increased when decoction time and volume of water increased. Both increases had an additive effect on the yield of the extract and saikosaponin b2 in particular. We also found that the size of crude drug pieces that are available in Japanese markets is suitable for decoction because of quick permeation of water. From our study, the second decoction may be a valuable contribution to medical treatment and of effective use of crude drugs. Moreover, time and volume of water should be increased when patients have trouble in preparing a decoction. Our study revealing the factors that influence the extraction efficiency of shosaikoto will be the basis for empirical evidence about decocting Kampo medicine.