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STUDY: Successful Treatment of RLS w/ Herbal Mix YOKUKANSAN

Posted: Fri May 16, 2014 3:53 pm
by dwimble
Yokukansan, also known as TJ-54, is composed of SEVEN herbs; Angelica acutiloba, Atractylodes lancea, Bupleurum falcatum, Poria cocos, Glycyrrhiza uralensis, Cnidium officinale and Uncaria rhynchophylla.

Yokukansan is used to treat insomnia and irritability as well as screaming attacks, sleep tremors and hypnic myoclonia, and neurological disorders which include dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Not only has Yokukansan proven in studies to have STRONG anti-inflammatory qualities, but EACH of the seven herbs that make up Yokukansan have anti-inflammatory qualities (references to these studies are below).

In 2010 a study showed that Yokukansan was beneficial in relieving RLS in all 3 test subjects.

In their conclusion, the scientists don't mention that it was due to the anti-inflammatory properties of Yokukansan that brought on the relief in all 3 subjects.

However, it is just a matter of time before this case becomes another obvious example of the undeniable LINK between inflammation and RLS.


"Successful treatment of restless legs syndrome with the herbal prescription Yokukansan."
Hideto Shinno, Mami Yamanaka, Ichiro Ishikawa, Sonoko Danjo, Yasushi Inami, Jun Horiguchi and Yu Nakamura.
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. Volume 34, Issue 1, 1 February 2010, Pages 252–253.


RLS improved in ALL 3 cases after the addition of Yokukansan. We speculate that actions on GABAergic, serotonergic and dopaminergic systems might account for some of the therapeutic effects of KS in the present cases. YKS, therefre, appears to be useful in RLS treatment.


"Use of Yokukansan (TJ-54) in the treatment of neurological disorders: A review."
S. de Caires, V. Steenkamp. Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria

"Ameliorative effects of yokukansan on behavioral deficits in a gerbil model of global cerebral ischemia."
Liu Y et al. Brain Res. 2014 Jan 16;1543:300-7. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2013.11.015. Epub 2013 Nov 19.

"Yokukansan promotes hippocampal neurogenesis associated with the suppression of activated microglia in Gunn rat."
Motohide Furuya et al. Journal of Neuroinflammation 2013, 10:145 doi:10.1186/1742-2094-10-145

"Effects of Angelica acutiloba on mast cell-mediated allergic reactions in vitro and in vivo."
Kyungjin Lee et al. Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology, August 2012, Vol. 34, No. 4 : Pages 571-577 ... 011.636048

"Further Phenols and Polyacetylenes from the Rhizomes of Atractylodes lancea and their Anti-Inflammatory Activity."
M. Resch et al. Planta Med 2001; 67(5): 437-442. DOI: 10.1055/s-2001-15817 ... 2001-15817

Bupleurum (Bupleurum falcatum) ... m-falcatum

Assessment of anti-inflammatory activity of Poria cocos in sodium lauryl sulphate-induced irritant contact dermatitis.
Fuchs SM et al. Skin Res Technol. 2006 Nov;12(4):223-7.

"Antioxidant and Antiinflammatory Activities of Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza uralensis): Aroma Extract."
Aki Tanaka and Takayuki Shibamoto. Chapter 20, pp 229–237. Chapter DOI: 10.1021/bk-2008-0993.ch020. ACS Symposium Series, Vol. 993.

"Components of rhizome extract of Cnidium officinale Makino and their in vitro biological effects."
Bae KE et al. Molecules. 2011 Oct 21;16(10):8833-47. doi: 10.3390/molecules16108833.

"Uncaria rhynchophylla inhibits the production of nitric oxide and interleukin-1ß through blocking nuclear factor ?B, Akt, and mitogen-activated protein kinase activation in macrophages."
Kim JH et al. J Med Food. 2010 Oct;13(5):1133-40. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2010.1128.

You can read the full study here: ... tIA5ur7GMK

Re: STUDY: Successful Treatment of RLS w/ Herbal Mix YOKUKAN

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:34 am
by crazy joe
I saw this 4 years ago.... Where would I go to try this? Japan?

Re: STUDY: Successful Treatment of RLS w/ Herbal Mix YOKUKAN

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:00 am
by ViewsAskew
Just my two cents - there were only three subjects in that study. That is SOOOOOO small. It also is about inflammation - while there is some evidence inflammation may be involved in some RLS sufferers, there is no evidence that I know of that it's always an issue, particularly in hereditary RLS/WED (at least 50% of us). None of us here have likely any knowledge of it - it's not a treatment that is used regularly.

Do you specifically want non-pharma options and that is why this sounds interesting to you?

Re: STUDY: Successful Treatment of RLS w/ Herbal Mix YOKUKAN

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:12 am
by crazy joe
Yes--- I just got off gabapnetin a little bit too quickly and going back on requipp.....I'm tired of w/ds and symptoms of meds.... I live in GA so MMJ is not available here...Was upto 2mg of requipp and thought i was augmenting.... Im 56 and getting tired of the drug situation... If i take requipp for 2-3 years then it augments then.........

Re: STUDY: Successful Treatment of RLS w/ Herbal Mix YOKUKAN

Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:29 am
by badnights
Think about diet....

Re: STUDY: Successful Treatment of RLS w/ Herbal Mix YOKUKANSAN

Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 12:20 am
by crazy joe
been on yokukansan, heavenly emporer, jitters away, spasm----- the last 3 are american names for chinese herbs... long **** chinese words but they seem to be helping with the mirapex for now... the chinese dr wants this formula to build up into my system then wean of the mirapex. he had me on two of the chinese herbs during the day and i almost lite up my deck when barbacueing...they were the sedating ones.. so i stopped those during the day and switched them at night...still hopeful about herbs in general... there maybe a combo out there that can help... my friend recently sent me a small study were st johns wort can help.... the study was done in feb of this year with only 21 people

Re: STUDY: Successful Treatment of RLS w/ Herbal Mix YOKUKANSAN

Posted: Thu May 12, 2016 2:04 pm
by stjohnh
Hmmm. This combo of herbal supplements is mentioned in the treatment section of Medscape. Medscape is the professional version of WebMD and reasonably respectable. It is more easily available as yigansan (Chinese name) it's sold on Amazon. It is approved on the Japanese national pharmacopoeia, more or less the Japanese FDA. I've just ordered some. Been used in Japan and China for over a thousand years. Oh, it appears to alter glutamate function. See Wikipedia.

Re: STUDY: Successful Treatment of RLS w/ Herbal Mix YOKUKANSAN

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:20 am
by jy13131

Re: STUDY: Successful Treatment of RLS w/ Herbal Mix YOKUKANSAN

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:56 pm
by stjohnh
I have a bottle but haven't tried it yet. Hesitant to make change to current combo, which is controlling leg jumping well and controlling insomnia so-so.

Crazy joe update?

Re: STUDY: Successful Treatment of RLS w/ Herbal Mix YOKUKANSAN

Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:36 am
by badnights
I ordered Yi Gan San (aka yokukansan) from Eagle Herbs in California before I went into the field for my summer work. Trying to reduce the number of variables, I didn't take it until I got back. In hindsight, maybe I was overtired from the weeks of early mornings in the field, so there was still a variable I didn't account for, and I can't say for sure the product has a reverse effect - - but it seemed that way.

It contains the following herbs, in proportions of 15:10:10:10:15:20:20 (multiple names I've listed; Radix is a word used in Chinese medicine to mean root, I think - I can't seem to find that information again. Similarly, Rhizoma and Ramulus are plant parts. So the first name and the last are from Chinese herbal medicine, the ones in the middle are other names I found for the plant.

Chai Hu, hare’s ear root, thorowax root, bupleurum, Radix Bupleuri

Fu Ling, sclerotium of tuckahoe, China root, hoelen, Indian bread, Poria Cocos

Chuan Xiong, Sichuan lovage root, cnidium, chuanxiong root, Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong NOT IN THE STUDY LIST*

Gan Cao, licorice root, Radix Glycyrrhizae

Dang Gui, tangkuei, Chinese angelica root, Radix Angelicae Sinensis

Gou Teng, stems of gambir vine; gambir, uncaria vine, Ramulus Uncariae cum Uncis

Cang Zhu, atractylodes rhizome, cang shu, Atractylodis Rhizoma

I started Aug 15 with 1/2 tsp, worked up to 1 tsp 2x daily over 4 days, after 3 days of 2 tsp I dropped back to 1 tsp for 4 more days, skipped a day, 1 tsp, then stopped completely. Total time on the substance 14 days. My sleep was disrupted from the 15th onward, sometimes due to WED restlessness and other times simply very alert. I ditched the evening dose because I thought the mixture might have an alerting effect, but it didn't seem to help - maybe because I was still taking it in the afternoon (because if I got any sleep, it was in the morning). I started being able to sleep better about 3 days after I stopped it completely.

The problem is, I returned from fieldwork the day before I started it, so probably I was worn out already. And I took time off work around the time I stopped it, so that might account for the recovery. I feel like I have to try it again, to be sure, but I don't want to.

* There's promising stuff out there on this herbal mixture. Maybe I can force myself to brave it again. The study I refer to above is "Use of Yokukansan (TJ-54) in the Treatment of Neurological Disorders: A Review" available from ... s_A_Review. It cites evidence that Yi Gan San helps dementia, ameliorates neuron degeneration in rats by decreasing concentrations of glutamate and apartate (neurotransmitters), improves sleep architecture, and other stuff.

I came across another reference: Shimada et al. (2001) reported that an aqueous extract of the hooks and stems of Uncaria sinensis (Oliv.) Havil., Uncariae uncus cum ramulus (one of the herbs in Yi Gan San / Yokukansan) protected against glutamate-induced neuronal death in cultured brain cells. Cool, huh? This herb protects brain cells from death caused by excess glutamate activation, which is a problem in dementia, however we suspect that WED/RLS patients have too much glutamate in parts of their brains, even though neurons aren't known to die because of RLS/WED; so maybe this herb is the one that causes the suppression of glutamate concentrations noted in the TJ-54 review.

There is also "Successful treatment of restless legs syndrome with the herbal prescription Yokukansan" a case report in the journal Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmcology & Biological Psychiatry (2010, ,v 34, p, 252) - This is the report referred to in the initial posts in this Topic, regarding 3 people who were in remission from RLS/WED after taking Yi Gan San. The authors consider that the benefits arise through action on the GABAergic, serotonergic and dopaminergic systems.

and "Therapeutic potential and pharmacological activities of Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) DC. in Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine (2014, p421) - The main conclusion here is that the herb has been shown to have anticancer activities,activities on nervous and gastrointestinal systems, and anti-hypertensive, anti-platelet, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antipyretic activities. No one knows the mechanisms of these activities.