Bupleurum

Bupleurum (Chai Hu)

Botanical Name: Western – Bupleurum falciform.  Eastern – B. chinense, B. scorzoneraefolium, Radix Bupleuri

Bupleurum is a classic TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) herb used to address disruptions of the liver and enhance the Free Flow of Qi in the body. It is famous for aiding immunity and helping to ease Hot external disorders that are penetrating into the body with signs of chills and fevers, headaches, chest pain, and diarrhea. It calms emotions and is also used to ease menstrual cramps.

Watch a short video, from Ann Christensen, Founder and Creator of White Rabbit Institute of Healing™ – More Than One Kind Of Bupleurum.

Below is an overview of bupleurum, combining the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of bupleurum.

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Western

Western Name: Bupleurum

Also Known As: Hare’s Ear Root, Thorowax Root

Organs/Systems: Liver, Stomach, Upper Chest, Uterus

Key Actions: Antibiotic, Antipyretic, Enhances Immunity, Antitussive, Detoxifier, Anti-inflammatory, Antiviral, Hepatic, Sedating, Analgesic

Medicinal Uses: Lowers fever, especially alternating chills and fever with a bitter taste in the mouth, helps express rashes, malaria. Irritability, vomiting, flank pain, heavy weight on the chest feeling associated with externally- contracted disorders, reduces inflammation of the liver, improves digestion, counters stress, anxiety, and anger, warms cold hands and feet, boosts the immune system, and treats dizziness and vertigo, chest, and flank pain, emotional irritability, menstrual disorders, asthma, liver cancer, disharmony between the Spleen and the Liver with bloating, gas, nausea, and indigestion. It is often used in cases of Spleen and Stomach Deficiency with hemorrhoids, anal or uterine prolapse, and diarrhea.

Eastern

Pin Yin: Chai Hu (“Kindling of the Barbarians”)

Also Known As: B. chinesis is known as Northern Bupleurum (Bei Chai Hu), Hard Bupleurum (Ying Chai Hu), or Autumn Bupleurum (Qiu Chai Hu). B. scorzoneraefolium is known as Southern Bupleurum (Nan Chai Hu) or “Soft Bupleurum” (Ruan Chai Hu).

Meridians: Gallbladder, Liver, Pericardium, Triple Warmer (San Jiao)

Key Actions: Cool, Acrid Herb that Releases to the Exterior, Releases Lesser Yang Disorders, Moves Liver Qi

Medicinal Uses: Lowers fever, especially alternating chills and fever with a bitter taste in the mouth, helps express rashes, malaria. Irritability, vomiting, flank pain, heavy weight on the chest feeling associated with externally- contracted disorders, reduces inflammation of the liver, improves digestion, counters stress, anxiety, and anger, warms cold hands and feet, boosts the immune system, and treats dizziness and vertigo, chest, and flank pain, emotional irritability, menstrual disorders, asthma, liver cancer, disharmony between the Spleen and the Liver with bloating, gas, nausea, and indigestion. It is often used in cases of Spleen and Stomach Deficiency with hemorrhoids, anal or uterine prolapse, and diarrhea.

Basic Habitat / Botany:

Bupleurum is a very large genus of plants in the Apiaceae family, with 190 species. They are members of the Umbellifers. It has delicate yellow flowers with sickle-shaped leaves that resemble fennel leaves. It is a perennial herb that can grow up to 3 feet tall. The flower’s petals are arranged in groups of five.

Native to East Asia and China. There is a native species found in Northern America, but now found throughout the U.S.

Parts Most Frequently Used: Root

Flavors/Temps: Bitter, Acrid, Cool

Caution: Considered safe, it can occasionally cause nausea or vomiting.

Key Constituents: Bupleurumol, Adonitol, Spinasterol, Adonitol, Oleic acid, Linolenic acid, Palmitic acid, Stearic acid, Lignoceric acid, Quercetin, Saponins, Polysaccharide, Calcium, Copper, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc. B. chinense also contains Rutin. B. scorzoneraefolium also contains Narcissin

History/Folklore: Bupleurm is the King Herb in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) for relieving Liver Qi Stagnation. The Chinese tend to use Bupleurum most often in formulas and not alone. It is frequently combined with other herbs to treat colds, fevers, malaria, chronic liver disorders, digestive issues, and depression. For example, Bupleurum (Chai Hu) is often combined with Skullcap (Huang Qin) to treat heat in the Lesser Yang stage of disease when the pathogen is at the half-exterior and half-internal level of advancement into the Body. Used with Angelica (Dang Gui), the two herbs will help harmonize the Blood. Blended with Mint (Bo He) it can help ease emotional depression, irregular menses, and a stifling sensation in the chest.

B. chinesis, known as “Northern Bupleurum” (Bei Chai Hu), is hard and harvested in the autumn. It is also called “Hard Bupleurum” (Ying Chai Hu) or “Autumn Bupleurum” (Qiu Chai Hu). It is considered to be better at resolving Lesser Yang disorders than B. scorzoneraefolium.

B. scorzoneraefolium is also called “Southern Bupleurum” (Nan Chai Hu) or “Soft Bupleurum” (Ruan Chai Hu). It is considered to be better than B. chinesis at spreading Liver Qi and relieving Qi Stagnation.

Bupleurum has been shown to inhibit the increase in capillary permeability caused by histamine while not affecting histamine-induced or anaphylactic shock.

In China, Bupleurum is generally considered to be better at relieving fevers than either Cimicifugae (Sheng Ma) or Puerariae (Ge Gan) which have similar functions.

It is included in the famous Chinese formula called “Free and Easy Wander,” referring to the plant’s properties to enhance the Free Flow of Qi in the Body. This formula is famous for helping a person to “go with the flow” instead of clashing with life obstacles and events. The formula also eases menstrual cramps and other forms of Qi Stagnation in the Body. For example, it is excellent for treating headaches.

Bupleurum can be grown as a beautiful ornamental flower. Its sickle-shaped leaves have led to the plant being called “Hounds Ear” or “Hare’s Ear.”

Bupleurum is an ancient symbol of energy and balance.

Bupleurum leaves are edible.

Did you know?

Good Quality

Good quality Bupleurum has a long, coarse bright yellow root with a thin cortex and very few rootlets.

Facts

Increases Effectiveness

Frying the roots helps strengthen the herb’s properties to move Liver Qi and Raise Yang Qi.

Fun fact!

Long History

In China, the use of Bupleurum roots as a medicine predates the written records.

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ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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