A Brief Review on the Experimental Aspects of Bojungikki-Tang in Cancer


  • Semyung Univesity, College of Korean Medicine, Jecheon, Korea, Republic of
  • Semyung University, College of Korean Medicine, Jecheon, Korea, Republic of


Bojungikki-tang (BJIKT, Hochuekkito in Japanese, Bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang in Chinese) has been widely used as a traditional herbal formula in Korea, Japan, and China to improve the function of digestive systems, the quality of life and nutritional status. Currently there are numerous basic and clinical studies to find anticancer drugs from herbal medicine. Modern biomolecular tools and approaches have contributed to understand the role and mechanism of action of herbal medicine that exhibited anticancer activity. BJIKT have also gained much attention in recent years as adjuvant treatment for cancer. This review will introduce the experimental approaches to understand the pharmacological actions of BJIKT and overview the potential for cancer treatment.


Bojungikki-Tang, Cancer, Fatigue, Skeletal Muscle Wasting

Full Text:


He M, Chen W, Wang M, Wu Y, Zeng J, Zhang Z, et al. Simultaneous determination of multiple bioactive components of Bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang in rat tissues by LC-MS/MS: Application to a tissue distribution study. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2017; 1044-1045:177–84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchromb.2017.01.023 PMid:28113140

Fuwa T, Katakai M, Kosoto H, Tani T. Historical survey of the uses of crude drugs in Nei-Wai-Shang-Bian-Huo-Lun. Journal of Traditional Medicines. 2004; 21(2):100–6.

Choi J-NKI-S, Kim Y-K. Neurological effects of bojungikkitang and bojungikki-tang-gamibang on focal cerebral ischemia of the MCAO rats. The Journal of Korean Oriental Medicine. 2009; 30(6):53–68.

Lee MY, Shin IS, Jeon WY, Seo CS, Ha H, Huh JI, et al. Protective effect of Bojungikki-tang, a traditional herbal formula, against alcohol-induced gastric injury in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012; 142 (2):346–53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2012.04.043 PMid:22580157

Yamaoka Y, Kawakita T, Nomoto K. Protective effect of a traditional Japanese medicine, Bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang (Japanese name: Hochu-ekki-to), on the restraint stressinduced susceptibility against Listeria monocytogenes. Immunopharmacology. 2000; 48(1):35–42. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0162-3109(00)00176-4

Chang YY, Tsai YT, Lai JN, Yeh CH, Lin SK. The traditional Chinese medicine prescription patterns for migraine patients in Taiwan: A population-based study. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014; 151 (3):1209–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2013.12.040 PMid:24389028

Satoh H, Ishikawa H, Ohtsuka M, Sekizawa K. Japanese herbal medicine in patients with advanced lung cancer: prolongation of survival. J Altern Complement Med. 2002; 8(2):107-108. https://doi.org/10.1089/107555302317371370 PMid:12006117

Tatsumi K, Shinozuka N, Nakayama K, Sekiya N, Kuriyama T, Fukuchi Y. Hochuekkito improves systemic inflammation and nutritional status in elderly patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009; 57(1):169–70. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.15325415.2009.02034.x PMid:19170793

Jeong JS, Ryu BH, Kim JS, Park JW, Choi WC, Yoon SW. Bojungikki-tang for cancer-related fatigue: A pilot randomized clinical trial. Integr Cancer Ther. 2010; 9(4):331–8. https://doi.org/10.1177/1534735410383170 PMid:21059621

Kiyohara H, Nagai T, Munakata K, Nonaka K, Hanawa T, Kim SJ, et al. Stimulating effect of Japanese herbal (kampo) medicine, hochuekkito on upper respiratory mucosal immune system. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006; 3(4):459–67. https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nel030 PMid:17173109 PMCid:PMC1697741

Yang SH, Yu CL. Antiinflammatory effects of Bu-zhongyiqi-tang in patients with perennial allergic rhinitis. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008; 115(1):104–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2007.09.011 PMid:17980528

Gou H, Gu LY, Shang BZ, Xiong Y, Wang C. Protective effect of Bu-Zhong-Yi-Qi decoction, the water extract of Chinese traditional herbal medicine, on 5-fluorouracil-induced intestinal mucositis in mice.Hum Exp Toxicol. 2016; 35(12):1243–51. https://doi.org/10.1177/0960327115627686 PMid:26801985

Qi F, Li A, Inagaki Y, Gao J, Li J, Kokudo N, et al. Chinese herbal medicines as adjuvant treatment during chemo-or radio-therapy for cancer. Biosci Trends. 2010; 4(6):297– 307. PMid:21248427

Kuroda M, Kotake T, Sonoda T, Maekawa M, Okajima E, Okawa T, et al. [The clinical evaluation of hochuekkito for symptoms of malignant neoplasm patients]. Hinyokika Kiyo. 1985; 31(1):173–7. PMid:2581427

Kim SH, Lee SE, Oh H, Kim SR, Yee ST, Yu YB, et al.The radioprotective effects of bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang: A prescription of traditional Chinese medicine. Am J Chin Med. 2002; 30(1):127–37. https://doi.org/10.1142/ S0192415X02000144 PMid:12067087

Kao ST, Yang SL, Hsieh CC, Yang MD, Wang TF, Lin JG.Immunomodulation of Bu-Zhong-Yi-Qi-Tang on in vitro granulocyte colony-stimulating-factor and tumor necrosis factor-alpha production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2000; 22 (4):711–20. https://doi.org/10.3109/08923970009016434 PMid:11105783

Kao ST, Yeh CC, Hsieh CC, Yang MD, Lee MR, Liu HS, et al. The Chinese medicine Bu-Zhong-Yi-Qi-Tang inhibited proliferation of hepatoma cell lines by inducing apoptosis via G0/G1 arrest. Life Sci. 2001; 69(13):1485–96. https:// doi.org/10.1016/S0024-3205(01)01226-7

Zhu K, Fukasawa I, Furuno M, Inaba F, Yamazaki T, Kamemori T, et al. Inhibitory effects of herbal drugs on the growth of human ovarian cancer cell lines through the induction of apoptosis. Gynecol Oncol. 2005; 97(2):405–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2004.12.063 PMid:15863137

Kuo CC, Chen JJ, Tsai JY, Hsueh CT. Effects of Chinese herbal medicine in combination with mitomycin C on gastric cancer cells. Biomark Res. 2014; 2(1):26. https:// doi.org/10.1186/s40364-014-0026-8 PMid:25553241 PMCid:PMC4280692

Sato T, Kita K, Sato C, Kaneda A. Hochuekkito (Buzhongyiqitang), a herbal medicine, enhances cisplatininduced apoptosis in HeLa cells. Mol Med Rep. 2015; 12(4):6215–20. https://doi.org/10.3892/ mmr.2015.4137 PMid:26239548

Yu N, Xiong Y, Wang C. Bu-Zhong-Yi-Qi decoction, the water extract of chinese traditional herbal medicine, enhances cisplatin cytotoxicity in A549/DDP cells through induction of apoptosis and autophagy. Biomed Res Int. 2017; 2017:3692797. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/3692797 PMid:28154825 PMCid:PMC5244006

Harada M, Seta K, Ito O, Tamada K, Li T, Terao H, et al. Concomitant immunity against tumor development is enhanced by the oral administration of a kampo medicine, Hochu-ekki-to (TJ-41: Bu-Zhong-Yi-Qi-Tang).Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 1995; 17(4):687– 703. https://doi.org/10.3109/08923979509037189 PMid:8537606

Li T, Tamada K, Abe K, Tada H, Onoe Y, Tatsugami K, et al. The restoration of the antitumor T cell response from stress-induced suppression using a traditional Chinese herbal medicine Hochu-ekki-to (TJ-41: Bu-Zhong-Yi-QiTang). Immunopharmacology. 1999; 43(1):11–21. https:// doi.org/10.1016/S0162-3109(99)00034-X

Onogi K, Niwa K, Tang L, Yun W, Mori H, Tamaya T.Inhibitory effects of Hochu-ekki-to on endometrial carcinogenesis induced by N-methyl-N-nitrosourea and 17 beta-estradiol in mice. Oncol Rep. 2006; 16(6):1343–8. PMid:17089059

Tsuneoka N, Tajima Y, Kitasato A, Fukuda K, Kitajima T, Adachi T, et al. Chemopreventative effect of hochu-ekkito (TJ-41) on chemically induced biliary carcinogenesis in hamsters. J Surg Res. 2009; 151(1):22–7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2008.01.003 PMid:18486148

Yae S, Takahashi F, Yae T, Yamaguchi T, Tsukada R, Koike K, et al. Hochuekkito (TJ-41), a Kampo formula, ameliorates cachexia induced by colon 26 adenocarcinoma in Mice.Evid based complement alternat med. 2012; 2012:976926. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/976926 PMid:23326296 PMCid:PMC3543823

Zhang W, Moore L, Ji P. Mouse models for cancer research.Chin J Cancer. 2011; 30(3):149–52. https://doi.org/10.5732/ cjc.011.10047 PMid:21352691 PMCid:PMC4013310

Ouyang M, Liu Y, Tan W, Xiao Y, Yu K, Sun X, et al. Buzhongyi-qi pill alleviate the chemotherapy-related fatigue in 4 T1 murine breast cancer model. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014; 14:497. https://doi.org/10.1186/14726882-14-497 PMid:25511260 PMCid:PMC4300826

Chen Y, Jungsuwadee P, Vore M, Butterfield DA, St Clair DK. Collateral damage in cancer chemotherapy: Oxidative stress in nontargeted tissues. Mol Interv. 2007; 7(3):147– 56. https://doi.org/10.1124/mi.7.3.6 PMid:17609521


  • There are currently no refbacks.