Bupleurum | Chai Hu
COMMON NAME (Chinese Name)

Bupleurum (Chai Hu)


Bupleurum Chinense


Bupleurum’s proven uses suggest that it might stimulate immune cells. Specifically, folks who take it to fight off respiratory infections at the first sign of illness find that their symptoms — especially coughing and fever — are less severe. What’s more, treatment with bupleurum may speed healing for complex injuries, and also slow the onset of osteoporosis and other age-related conditions that women tend to develop after menopause. These benefits of regular supplementation are in addition to quality-of-life improvements, like getting relief from hemorrhoids, indigestion, constipation, and a number of stress-induced conditions like headache, tinnitus, angina (chest pain), anorexia, and insomnia.

Bupleurum is used for constrainid Liver qi which expresses itself in female reproductive problems like PMS and painful menstruation.

Additionally, bupleurum root extract is an effective addition to anti-aging cosmetic products. Its effectiveness in repairing sun damage is empirically proven (though that doesn’t mean using bupleurum skin salves and masks should be a substitute for a good SPF).

Bupleurum is described in Chinese medicine as cool, dry, bitter and spicy.  It is classified there as an herb that causes sweating, as in sweating out a fever.


Bupleurum root is most commonly sold as either powder or extract, both of which can be ingested. Low-doses can be taken regularly for as long as five years, though there is a risk of complications (which presents as liver damage with apparent jaundice) with frequent or long-term high-dose use. Those effects do go away once you stop taking it.


Side effects include gas and a mild laxative effect. People who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or who are taking immune-suppressing or blood-thinning medications, should not take bupleurum. What’s more, because it may slow blood clotting, you shouldn’t take bupleurum for at least two weeks before having surgery or while you’re healing, afterward. Chinese medicine warns that taking buplerum when one shows no signs of inflammation or fever can damage the digestion. There is also one documented case of hives appearing when combined with amoxicillin use.

You should consult with a certified herbalist, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking Bupleurum.




Dai, Jinran, et al. “Crude Polysaccharide from an Anti-UVB Cell Clone of Bupleurum Scorzonerifolium Protect HaCaT Cells against UVB-Induced Oxidative Stress.” Cytotechnology, Springer Netherlands, Dec. 2011

Lee, Jee Youn, et al. “Ethanol Extract of Bupleurum Falcatum Improves Functional Recovery by Inhibiting Matrix Metalloproteinases-2 and -9 Activation and Inflammation after Spinal Cord Injury.” Experimental Neurobiology, The Korean Society for Brain and Neural Science, Dec. 2010

Teschke, Rolf. “Traditional Chinese Medicine Induced Liver Injury.” Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology, XIA & HE Publishing Ltd, June 2014

Yeom, Mijung, et al. “High Doses of Bupleurum Falcatum Partially Prevents Estrogen Deficiency-Induced Bone Loss With Anti-Osteoclastogenic Activity Due to Enhanced INOS/NO Signaling.” Frontiers in Pharmacology, Frontiers Media S.A., 16 Nov. 2018

“Bupleurum: Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects, Dosage & Interactions.” RxList, RxList, 17 Sept. 2019,

“Bupleurum: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning.” WebMD, WebMD


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