Bupleurum Health Benefits & Medicinal Uses

Nature’s pharmacy often holds incredible secrets, and Bupleurum, an herbaceous plant native to East Asia, is no exception. With its slender stems and tiny yellow flowers, Bupleurum might seem unassuming, but its potential benefits have intrigued herbalists for centuries.

The Plant Itself

Bupleurum, also known as Chinese thoroughwax, belongs to the Apiaceae family and typically thrives in regions with well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. Its use isn’t solely rooted in traditional Chinese medicine; it’s found a place in various herbal practices worldwide.

Historical Context

This herb boasts a rich historical background, revered in ancient Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. Initially documented in the ancient Chinese medical text, the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing, Bupleurum was believed to harmonize and balance the body’s energy, or Qi. This balancing act was thought to be integral for overall health and well-being.

Traditional Uses

In traditional herbal practices, Bupleurum has been a go-to remedy for an array of ailments. From liver support and detoxification to managing stress and boosting immunity, this herb has a versatile reputation.

Modern Applications

The plant has also piqued the interest of modern science. Research suggests that Bupleurum contains compounds, such as saikosaponins, that exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These properties might contribute to its potential health benefits.

Exploring Its Potential

While Bupleurum holds promise, it’s essential to recognize that research on its specific effects and mechanisms is ongoing. As with many herbs, understanding its full scope of benefits requires further exploration and study.

Spiritual and Ceremonial Importance

Bupleurum holds a revered place in various cultural and spiritual practices. Its significance transcends the realm of healing, intertwining with ceremonial and symbolic contexts.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

In TCM, Bupleurum is considered a vital herb for balancing Qi, the body’s life force. It’s often utilized in herbal formulas to regulate the liver, reduce heat in the body, and promote emotional harmony. The liver, according to TCM, plays a crucial role in the smooth flow of Qi, making Bupleurum’s liver-supporting properties highly valued.

Energetic Balance

The herb’s association with harmonizing energies extends beyond physical health. Practitioners of TCM believe that emotional imbalances can disrupt the flow of Qi, leading to various health issues. Bupleurum is thought to restore this balance, helping individuals achieve emotional equilibrium.

Ritualistic Use

Bupleurum has been a part of ceremonial practices in East Asian cultures for centuries. Its use in rituals is often linked to the herb’s perceived ability to cleanse and purify, making it a symbolic element in ceremonies aimed at spiritual purification or healing.


Symbolically, Bupleurum represents resilience and flexibility. Its slender stems, which bend without breaking, are often seen as a metaphor for adaptability and strength in the face of challenges.

Contemporary Context

In today’s world, while the ceremonial and spiritual aspects might not be as prominent, the symbolism and traditional significance of Bupleurum continue to intrigue and resonate with individuals seeking holistic well-being.

Find the Best Bupleurum Products

Thousands of customer reviews are available to help you make the right choice. Embrace the power of nature!

Bupleurum Health Benefits

Bupleurum’s potential health benefits span a diverse range, drawing attention from both traditional herbalists and modern researchers alike. While its uses are varied, here are some notable medicinal benefits associated with this herb:

Liver Support and Detoxification

Central to traditional Chinese medicine, Bupleurum is revered for its liver-supporting properties. It’s believed to aid in detoxification, promoting the liver’s natural ability to eliminate toxins from the body. This support may contribute to overall well-being.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Compounds found in Bupleurum, such as saikosaponins, have shown potential anti-inflammatory effects in preliminary studies. These properties may help reduce inflammation in the body, which is often linked to various health conditions.

Stress Management

In traditional practices, Bupleurum is used to soothe the effects of stress and tension on the body. It’s believed to have adaptogenic qualities, assisting the body in adapting to stressors and promoting a sense of calm.

Immune Support

Some studies suggest that Bupleurum may possess immune-modulating properties, potentially enhancing the body’s natural defense mechanisms. This could contribute to better immune function and resilience against illnesses.

Gastrointestinal Health

Bupleurum has been historically used to support digestive health. It’s thought to promote healthy digestion and ease discomfort associated with certain gastrointestinal issues.

Mood and Emotional Balance

According to traditional beliefs, Bupleurum helps regulate emotions and support emotional well-being. It’s considered an herb that aids in achieving emotional balance and reducing mood swings.

Respiratory Health

In certain traditional applications, Bupleurum is used to support respiratory health. It’s believed to help ease respiratory discomfort and promote clear breathing.

bupleurum benefits

Herbs That Work Well With Bupleurum

In the world of herbal supplements, synergy often plays a pivotal role. Bupleurum, while remarkable on its own, can harmonize with various other herbs, enhancing its effects and expanding its potential benefits. Here are some herbs that complement Bupleurum:

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Known for its digestive properties, Ginger pairs well with Bupleurum in supporting gastrointestinal health. It can help alleviate nausea and improve digestion, complementing Bupleurum’s digestive support.

Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Licorice root is often used alongside Bupleurum to enhance its effects. It’s believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and may support adrenal function, aiding in stress management.

Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis)

Schisandra, an adaptogenic herb, can complement Bupleurum’s stress-relieving properties. It’s thought to enhance resilience against stressors and support overall well-being.

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)

Both Bupleurum and Milk Thistle are associated with liver health. Milk thistle, with its antioxidant properties, may further support liver function and detoxification when used in conjunction with Bupleurum.

Peony (Paeonia lactiflora)

Peony is often combined with Bupleurum to address mood-related concerns. It’s believed to have calming effects and may assist in promoting emotional balance.

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)

Astragalus, known for its immune-boosting properties, can complement Bupleurum in supporting immune function. Together, they may enhance the body’s defense mechanisms.

Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinale)

Similar to Bupleurum, Dandelion root is associated with liver support and detoxification. When used together, they may provide comprehensive support to the liver.

Find the Best Bupleurum Products

Thousands of customer reviews are available to help you make the right choice. Embrace the power of nature!

Side Effects, Warnings & Drug Interaction

While Bupleurum holds promise as a natural remedy, it’s essential to understand potential side effects, precautions, and interactions, especially when integrating it into your wellness routine.

Side Effects:

  • Rare Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to Bupleurum. Symptoms could include skin irritation, rashes, or respiratory discomfort. Monitoring for any adverse reactions is important.
  • Gastrointestinal Issues: In some cases, using Bupleurum might lead to digestive discomfort, such as upset stomach or diarrhea. Adjusting the dosage or discontinuing use if these symptoms arise is recommended.


  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Limited information exists regarding Bupleurum’s safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals should consult healthcare professionals before using it.
  • Medical Conditions: Those with pre-existing medical conditions, especially liver disorders or hormone-sensitive conditions, should exercise caution. Consulting healthcare providers becomes crucial in such cases.

Drug Interactions:

  • Medication Interactions: Bupleurum may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners, sedatives, or medications processed by the liver. This could potentially alter their effects or lead to complications.
  • Herb-Drug Interactions: When used in combination with other herbs or supplements, interactions might occur, impacting the efficacy or safety of either Bupleurum or the other herbs/supplements.

Dosage Considerations:

  • Determining the appropriate dosage of Bupleurum can vary based on various factors, including age, health status, and the specific formulation. Seeking guidance from healthcare professionals or herbalists can ensure safe usage.

Bupleurum Dosage and Forms

Bupleurum is available in various forms, each with its unique considerations regarding dosage and usage. Understanding these forms can help individuals make informed decisions about incorporating Bupleurum into their wellness routines.

Forms of Bupleurum:

  • Capsules and Tablets: These are convenient forms, and offer standardized dosages. However, individuals should follow the recommended dosage on the product label or as advised by healthcare professionals.
  • Tinctures and Extracts: Liquid extracts and tinctures offer flexibility in dosage adjustment. They can be diluted in water or other liquids and taken accordingly.
  • Powdered Form: Bupleurum in powdered form can be mixed into beverages or consumed by blending it into smoothies or food. Dosage guidelines provided by manufacturers should be followed.

Dosage Considerations:

  • Consultation is Key: Determining the appropriate dosage depends on various factors, including the individual’s health status, age, and specific health goals. Consulting healthcare providers or herbalists becomes essential to establish the right dosage.
  • Start Low, Go Slow: Especially for those new to using Bupleurum, starting with a low dosage and gradually increasing it while monitoring for any adverse effects is a prudent approach.
  • Adherence to Instructions: Adhering to dosage instructions provided on product labels or as advised by healthcare professionals is crucial for safe and effective usage.

Considerations for Safe Usage:

  • Duration of Use: Bupleurum’s extended use may not be suitable for everyone. Discussing the duration of usage with healthcare providers can help prevent any potential risks associated with prolonged use.
  • Monitoring and Adjustments: Regular monitoring of how the body responds to Bupleurum is important. Adjusting the dosage or discontinuing use if any adverse effects manifest is advisable.
  • Combination Formulas: Bupleurum is often part of herbal formulations or blends. Understanding the composition and recommended dosage within these formulations is necessary for safe usage.

Individualized Approach: Personal factors significantly influence the ideal dosage and form of Bupleurum. Healthcare professionals or herbalists can provide tailored recommendations based on an individual’s unique health profile.

Find the Best Bupleurum Products

Thousands of customer reviews are available to help you make the right choice. Embrace the power of nature!


Bupleurum, with its rich history deeply rooted in traditional medicine, continues to captivate attention in the modern world of herbal supplements. Its versatility and potential health benefits make it an intriguing addition to holistic wellness practices.

Let’s recap the key takeaways of our research:

  • Bridging Tradition and Modernity: Bupleurum’s rich history in traditional medicine aligns with its modern exploration in scientific research, showcasing its relevance across time.
  • Holistic Wellness Embrace: Bupleurum offers a comprehensive approach to health, addressing various facets like liver support, stress management, immunity, and emotional balance.
  • Tailored Guidance Matters: Consulting healthcare professionals or herbalists ensures personalized advice, essential for safe and effective use based on individual health profiles.
  • Synergistic Herbal Blends: Exploring Bupleurum’s compatibility with other herbs highlights the potency of combined formulations in herbal supplements for holistic well-being.
  • Cautious Inclusion and Awareness: Understanding potential side effects, precautions, and drug interactions associated with Bupleurum is crucial for informed choices and safe usage.
  • Continued Exploration and Research: Ongoing research and exploration into Bupleurum’s mechanisms and applications contribute to a deeper understanding of its role in promoting health.

Questions About Bupleurum

Bupleurum: A Comprehensive Guide through 50 Questions & Answers

Article Sources

At AncientHerbsWisdom, our content relies on reputable sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to substantiate the information presented in our articles. Our primary objective is to ensure our content is thoroughly fact-checked, maintaining a commitment to accuracy, reliability, and trustworthiness.

  1. Packer M, Kligler B. Bupleurum for the treatment of epilepsy. Int J Chin Med 1984;1:55-8.
  2. Jiang, Y. W., Li, H., Zhang, Y. Y., Li, W., Jiang, Y. F., Ou, Y. Y., & Chen, D. F. (2012). Beneficial effect of Bupleurum polysaccharides on autoimmune-prone MRL-lpr mice. Clinical & developmental immunology, 2012, 842928. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/842928 
  3. Bone K. Bupleurum—a natural steroid effect, part 2. MediHerb Professional Newsletter 1996;51:1-2.
  4. Ishizaki, T., Sasaki, F., Ameshima, S., Shiozaki, K., Takahashi, H., Abe, Y., Ito, S., Kuriyama, M., Nakai, T., & Kitagawa, M. (1996). Pneumonitis during interferon and/or herbal drug therapy in patients with chronic active hepatitis. The European respiratory journal, 9(12), 2691–2696. https://doi.org/10.1183/09031936.96.09122691
  5. Oka, H., Yamamoto, S., Kuroki, T., Harihara, S., Marumo, T., Kim, S. R., Monna, T., Kobayashi, K., & Tango, T. (1995). Prospective study of chemoprevention of hepatocellular carcinoma with Sho-saiko-to (TJ-9). Cancer, 76(5), 743–749. https://doi.org/10.1002/1097-0142(19950901)76:5<743::aid-cncr2820760506>3.0.co;2-v 
  6. Yamashiki, M., Nishimura, A., Suzuki, H., Sakaguchi, S., & Kosaka, Y. (1997). Effects of the Japanese herbal medicine “Sho-saiko-to” (TJ-9) on in vitro interleukin-10 production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with chronic hepatitis C. Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.), 25(6), 1390–1397. https://doi.org/10.1002/hep.510250615
  7. Piras, G., Makino, M., & Baba, M. (1997). Sho-saiko-to, a traditional Kampo medicine, enhances the anti-HIV-1 activity of lamivudine (3TC) in vitro. Microbiology and immunology, 41(10), 835–839. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1348-0421.1997.tb01937.x 
  8. Sugaya, E., Ishige, A., Sekiguchi, K., Yuzurihara, T., Iizuka, S., Sugimoto, A., Takeda, S., Wakui, Y., Ishihara, K., & Aburada, M. (1991). Protective effects of TJ-960 herbal mixture on hippocampal neuron damage induced by cobalt focus in the cerebral cortex of rats. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 34(1), 13–19. https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-8741(91)90184-f 
  9. Tajiri, H., Kozaiwa, K., Ozaki, Y., Miki, K., Shimuzu, K., & Okada, S. (1991). Effect of sho-saiko-to(xiao-chai-hu-tang) on HBeAg clearance in children with chronic hepatitis B virus infection and with sustained liver disease. The American journal of Chinese medicine, 19(2), 121–129. https://doi.org/10.1142/S0192415X91000193 
  10. Gu, L. Y., Chen, Z., Zhao, J., Ruan, X. J., Zhao, S. Y., & Gao, H. (2015). Antioxidant, anticancer and apoptotic effects of the Bupleurum chinense root extract in HO-8910 ovarian cancer cells. Journal of B.U.ON. : official journal of the Balkan Union of Oncology, 20(5), 1341–1349. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26537084/ 
  11. Kim, S. O., Park, J. Y., Jeon, S. Y., Yang, C. H., & Kim, M. R. (2015). Saikosaponin a, an active compound of Radix Bupleuri, attenuates inflammation in hypertrophied 3T3-L1 adipocytes via ERK/NF-κB signaling pathways. International journal of molecular medicine, 35(4), 1126–1132. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2015.2093
  12. Sato, A., Toyoshima, M., Kondo, A., Ohta, K., Sato, H., & Ohsumi, A. (1997). Nihon Kyobu Shikkan Gakkai zasshi, 35(4), 391–395. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9212662/ 
  13. Nagakubo, S., Niwa, S., Kumagai, N., Fukuda, M., Anzai, N., Yamauchi, T., Aikawa, H., Toyoshima, R., Kojima, T., & Matsuura, M. (1993). Effects of TJ-960 on Sternberg’s paradigm results in epileptic patients. The Japanese journal of psychiatry and neurology, 47(3), 609–620. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1819.1993.tb01807.x 
  14. Miyazaki, E., Ando, M., Ih, K., Matsumoto, T., Kaneda, K., & Tsuda, T. (1998). Nihon Kokyuki Gakkai zasshi = the journal of the Japanese Respiratory Society, 36(9), 776–780. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9866980/ 
  15. Yamamoto, S., Oka, H., Kanno, T., Mizoguchi, Y., & Kobayashi, K. (1989). Gan to kagaku ryoho. Cancer & chemotherapy, 16(4 Pt 2-2), 1519–1524. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2543309/ 
  16. Gao, X. H., Hao, X. F., Ji, X., Xin, J. J., & Xu, G. H. (2017). Zhonghua gan zang bing za zhi = Zhonghua ganzangbing zazhi = Chinese journal of hepatology, 25(9), 715–716. https://doi.org/10.3760/cma.j.issn.1007-3418.2017.09.013