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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 512947, 6 pages
Research Article

Effects of Hangeshashinto on Growth of Oral Microorganisms

1Department of Oral Microbiology and Immunology, Showa University School of Dentistry, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8555, Japan
2Tsumura Research Laboratories, Tsumura & Co., 3586 Yoshiwara, Ami-machi, Inashiki-gun, Ibaraki 300-1192, Japan
3Division of Dentistry for Persons with Disabilities, Department of Special Needs Dentistry, Showa University School of Dentistry, 2-1-1 Kitasenzoku, Ohta-ku, Tokyo 145-8515, Japan

Received 6 March 2015; Revised 5 June 2015; Accepted 8 June 2015

Academic Editor: Victor Kuete

Copyright © 2015 Haruka Fukamachi 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.


Oral mucositis (OM) in cancer patients induced by chemotherapy or radiotherapy has a significant impact on quality of life, and causes considerable morbidity. Oral microorganisms are likely to intensify the inflammatory process and aggravate the formation of ulcers. Hangeshashinto (HST), a Japanese kampo medicine, has been reported to be effective when used as a gargle for the treatment of OM. To clarify the effects of HST on oral microorganisms, we assessed its antimicrobial activity against 27 microbial species, including 19 oral bacteria and one fungus. HST extract inhibited the growth of Gram-negative bacteria, including Fusobacterium nucleatum, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Porphyromonas endodontalis, Prevotella intermedia, Prevotella melaninogenica, Tannerella forsythia, Treponema denticola, and Porphyromonas asaccharolytica, though inhibitory effects were less pronounced for Gram-positive bacteria and the fungal strain. We then investigated the effects of antibacterial activities on 15 purified ingredients of HST and determined that baicalein, berberine, coptisine, -shogaol, and homogentisic acid actively inhibited the growth of these bacteria. These findings showed that HST inhibits the growth of specific Gram-negative periodontopathogenic bacteria, which are significant pathogens in OM, without disturbing the normal oral flora. Our data suggest that HST may be a useful treatment for OM in patients undergoing anticancer treatment.