Rikkunshito is a kampo herbal medicine which is widely used in Japan for the treatment of the upper gastrointestinal symptoms of patients with functional dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, dyspeptic symptoms of postgastrointestinal surgery patients, and chemotherapy-induced dyspepsia in cancer patients. Recently, very unique characteristics of rikkunshito have been unveiled; oral administration of rikkunshito potentiates orexigenic action of ghrelin through several different mechanisms. In addition, several lines of evidence obtained from both animal and human studies indicate that rikkunshito can be an attractive and promising therapeutic option for the anorectic conditions including cisplatin-induced dyspepsia, anorexia of aging, stress-induced hypophagia, and cancer cachexia-anorexia syndrome. In this chapter, we highlight the orexigenic effect of rikkunshito with a special focus on its interaction with ghrelin signaling system.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.