Adhesive small bowel obstruction (ASBO) is an adverse consequence of abdominal surgery. Although the Kampo medicine Dai-kenchu-to is widely used in Japan for treatment of postoperative ASBO, rigorous clinical studies for its use have not been performed. In the present retrospective observational study using the Japanese diagnosis procedure combination inpatient database, we selected 288 propensity-score-matched patients with early postoperative ASBO following colorectal cancer surgery, who received long-tube decompression (LTD) with or without Dai-kenchu-to administration. The success rates of LTD were not significantly different between Dai-kenchu-to users and nonusers (84.7% versus 78.5%; P=.224), while Dai-kenchu-to users showed a shorter duration of LTD (8 versus 10 days; P=.012), shorter duration between long-tube insertion and discharge (23 versus 25 days; P=.018), and lower hospital charges ($23,086 versus $26,950; P=.018) compared with Dai-kenchu-to nonusers. In conclusion, the present study suggests that Dai-kenchu-to is effective for reducing the duration of LTD and saving costs.