Kampo (Japanese traditional herbal) medicines have been produced by combining multiple crude drugs, almost all of plant origin but with some of animal or mineral origin, and contain a great many substances. Their effect is a combination of the various interactions of the constituent substances, whether they are enhancing, synergistic or suppressive. Kampo medicine has an overall effect that is different from the combined effects of individual crude drugs, and several side effects such as anorexia, slight fever and nausea have been reported in the treatment of certain disorders and disease states with Kampo medicines. Among 210 medical formulations used in Japan, some relevant information on the clinical uses, pharmacology and toxicology of six manufactured Kampo medical formulations, Shosaikoto, Daisaikoto, Saikokeishito, Hochuekkito, Saibokuto and Saireito, containing Bupleurum root are reviewed. Studies of some potential interactions between Kampo medicine and western drugs are also considered.