Sho Saiko To and Dai Saiko To

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Information about Sho Saiko To and Dai Saiko To

Sho-saiko-to is an herbal mixture used in Kampo medicine in Japan to treat liver disease and known elsewhere in different formulations as Dai-saiko-to and Xiao Chai Hu Tang, and also spelled as Syo-saiko-to. 

Liver safety of Sho Saiko To and Dai Saiko To

Both Sho-saiko-to and Dai-saiko-to have been implicated in rare instances of clinically apparent acute liver injury.  

Mechanism of action of Sho Saiko To and Dai Saiko To

Sho-saiko-to is the Japanese name for a widely used mixture of at least 7 herbs that are used together in Kampo medicine to treat patients with liver disease, being purported to decrease the progression of hepatic fibrosis and lessen the likelihood of hepatocellular carcinoma.  Sho-saiko-to is widely used in Japan to treat patients with chronic hepatitis. 

Other names

Other names for this mixture include TJ-9 and, in China, Dai-saiko-to and Xiao Chai Hu Tang.  These products may have somewhat different combinations of herbs.  Typically, they contain Bupleurium root, Pinelliae tuber, Scutellaria root, ginseng root, ginger rhizome, glycyrrhiza root and jujube fruit. 

Hepatoprotective effects and antioxidant effects

Sho-saiko-to has been shown to have antioxidant and cytoprotective properties in vitro and to protect against experimental hepatic injury in several animal models.  The components responsible for the hepatoprotective activity of Sho-saiko-to are thought to be saponins (saikosaponin A, B, C and D) and the antioxidants, baicalin and baicalein, which resemble silybinin chemically and appear to have similar properties in vitro and in vivo.  The clinical efficacy of Sho-saiko-to in humans has not been well demonstrated, resting largely upon small studies with uncertain clinical endpoints. 

Side effects of Sho Saiko To and Dai Saiko To

Sho-saiko-to is usually described as having no significant side effects.

Herbal and dietary supplements

Chinese and Other Asian Herbal Medicines

Multi-Ingredient Nutritional Supplements

See also Nutritional supplements

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