Effect of TJ-68 (shakuyaku-kanzo-to) on polycystic ovarian disease

Int J Fertil Menopausal Stud. 1994 Mar-Apr;39(2):69-76.


Objective: To investigate the effect of an herbal medicine, Shakuyaku-Kanzo-To (TJ-68), on endocrine variables in patients with polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD).

Setting: Medical university hospital.

Patients and interventions: Thirty-four Japanese women with PCOD were treated daily with 7.5 g of TJ-68 for 24 weeks. Testosterone (T), free-testosterone (free-T), sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), LH, FSH, estrone, 17 beta-estradiol, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylglycol (DOPEG), and 3, 4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) were examined.

Results: No side effects were observed in any cases. At 4 weeks after initiation of treatment, serum T and free-T levels significantly decreased, while SHBG was not significantly elevated. Meanwhile, after 12 weeks of treatment, the mean serum T level of the patients who became pregnant decreased to 35% of that before the treatment, but levels did not change in the patients who failed to conceive. There was no significant difference in estrone/estradiol ratio before and after treatment, but the estradiol/testosterone ratio increased significantly after 4 weeks of treatment. The LH/FSH ratio after 24 weeks of treatment was significantly lower than that before treatment. DOPEG and the DOPEG/DOPAC ratio significantly decreased after 4 weeks of treatment.

Conclusions: It is suggested that TJ-68 acts directly on the ovary first, increasing the activity of aromatase, which promotes the synthesis of estradiol from testosterone, thus lowering serum T levels. Furthermore, the effect on catecholamines results in gradually improving the dissociate phenomenon of LH/FSH ratio. Therefore, TJ-68 is an effective herbal medicine for decreasing serum free-T levels and achieving pregnancy in patients with PCOD.

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid / blood
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Estrogens / blood
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Glycyrrhiza
  • Humans
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Methoxyhydroxyphenylglycol / analogs & derivatives
  • Methoxyhydroxyphenylglycol / blood
  • Paeonia
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / metabolism
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Drug Combinations
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Estrogens
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • shakuyaku-kanzoh-toh
  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid
  • Testosterone
  • Methoxyhydroxyphenylglycol
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • 3,4-dihydroxyphenylglycol