Kakkonto (葛根湯, Mandarin Chinese: gěgēntāng, Japanese: kakkontō) is an herbal drink with its origin in traditional Chinese medicine. It is made from a mixture of ginger, cinnamon, Chinese peony, licorice, jujube, ephedra, and powder ground from the root of the kudzu plant, one of the 50 fundamental herbs. As the name, which translates literally to "kudzu infusion", implies, kudzu, or pueraria lobata, serves as the main ingredient. Together these plants are used to create a drink rich in puerarin, daidzein, paenoflorin, cinnamic acid, glycyrrhizin, ephedrine and gingerol. The main active components are indexed as ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. The resulting tea is used as a home remedy for fevers, headaches and hangovers.
One study concluded, "Pueraria lobata appears to be an inappropriate herb for use in herbal hangover remedies as it is an inhibitor of ALDH2." 15–30 minutes after taking kakkonto, the drinker shows increased sympathetic nerve function, and it may be this period that fulfills the important role in the treatment of cold syndromes. Another study showed that kakkonto may have a positive effect on some respiratory infections. Another study found that it relieved food allergy-related gastrointestinal symptoms in mice.
- Huang, Hsi-Ya; Hsieh, You-Zung (1997). "Determination of puerarin, daidzein, paeoniflorin, cinnamic acid, glycyrrhizin, ephedrine, and -gingerol in Ge-gen-tang by micellar electrokinetic chromatography". Analytica Chimica Acta. 351 (1–3): 49–55. doi:10.1016/S0003-2670(97)00349-8.
- Inotsume, Nobuo; Fukushima, Shoji; Hayakawa, Toru; Kishimoto, Shuichi; Yanaguimoto, Hitomi; Toda, Takaki; Goto, Nobuyoshi; Imai, Sumio (2009). "Pharmacokinetics of Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine after Oral Administration of Kakkonto to Healthy Male Volunteers". Japanese Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 40 (3): 79–83. doi:10.3999/jscpt.40.79.
- Wiese, Jeffrey G.; Shlipak, Michael G.; Browner, Warren S. (2000). "The Alcohol Hangover". Annals of Internal Medicine. 132 (11): 897–902. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-132-11-200006060-00008. PMID 10836917.
- Yakubo, Shuji; Kinoshita, Yuko; Arakawa, Yasuyuki; Shimabukuro, Hiroaki; Kitanaka, Susumu (2006). "葛根湯の自律神経作用に対する心拍変動による検討" [The investigation for the effects of Kakkonto (Gen-gen-Tang) for autonomic nerve systems by heart rate variability]. Autonomic Nervous System (in Japanese). 43 (4): 357–62. ISSN 0288-9250.
- Irifune, Kenji (2009). "アリナミンFと葛根湯が除菌に有効であった緑膿菌性慢性気道感染症の1例" [Effect of Alinamin F and Kakkontou on mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa chronic lower respiratory tract infection]. The Journal of the Japanese Respiratory Society (in Japanese). 47 (3): 218–21. PMID 19348269.
- Yamamoto, Takeshi; Fujiwara, Kanae; Yoshida, Minako; Kageyama-Yahara, Natsuko; Kuramoto, Hirofumi; Shibahara, Naotoshi; Kadowaki, Makoto (2009). "Therapeutic Effect of Kakkonto in a Mouse Model of Food Allergy with Gastrointestinal Symptoms". International Archives of Allergy and Immunology. 148 (3): 175–85. doi:10.1159/000161578. PMID 18849609.