What Is Bupleurum Used For?

Medically Reviewed on 8/24/2022
Chinese medical practitioners use the root of bupleurum for treating a number of conditions.

Bupleurum is a traditional herb used in Asian countries such as China and Japan. It is frequently prescribed in combination with other herbs to treat colds, fever, digestive disorders, chronic liver diseases, and depression symptoms.

What is Bupleurum?

Bupleurum is an ancient herb used in Chinese and Japanese countries and is usually prescribed with other herbs. It is a very ancient herbal medicine that started getting popular in recent days.

  • It is a woody shrub plant native to Asian countries.
  • It belongs to the family Apiaceae and its roots are used for medicinal purposes.
  • Thorow wax is the common name for one of the species of bupleurum.
  • Bupleurum can be used in dried, powdered, or grounded forms.
  • It has become very popular in Western countries due to its purported liver cleansing properties.
  • Few studies have reported that intake of bupleurum will enhance the immune system.
  • It is always very important to take advice from your physician before taking any herbal supplements to know their health benefits and risks.

What are the health benefits of bupleurum?

Chinese medical practitioners use the root of bupleurum for treating the following conditions:

  • Various types of infections
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Digestive problems
  • Liver problems
  • Uterine prolapse
  • Menstrual problems

Regulates blood sugar level

  • Intake of bupleurum regulates blood sugar levels. An increase in blood sugar levels causes eventual damage to the nerves, which leads to diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy can be treated using this herbal plant.
  • Limited research claims that using bupleurum for diabetes control was more effective in improving the host of diabetic markers than placebos, concluding that it is an effective choice of treatment for type II diabetes.
  • Bupleurum eases the complications of diabetes such as diabetic nephropathy and yields positive results in improving gut bacteria.

Enhances immune system

  • Bupleurum can increase lymphatic system activity. The lymphatic system performs several immune and drainage functions that help protect your body from illness. 
  • Because of its antiviral qualities, bupleurum could complement various Western flu treatments (more research needed).
  • By supporting the efforts of cytokines (proteins that help the body respond to infections), Bupleurum helps regulate the immune system and improve the fighting mechanism.


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What is the role of bupleurum in liver support and repair?

Modern medicine is investigating bupleurum’s applications for liver and allied conditions related to bile and biliary ducts.

  • Limited evidence suggests that bupleurum reduces liver cell injury by regulating levels of proinflammatory markers in the body in case of a trauma response or infection. 
  • Other research from preliminary trials shows that bupleurum may alleviate hepatitis symptoms and reduce the risk of liver cancer in people with hepatitis or cirrhosis.
  • A recent study reported that bupleurum and scutellaria (aka skullcap) had synergistic effects. The duo was able to target and penetrate the liver better and treat liver disorders.

In ancient times, it was used to treat the following:

However, there is no evidence that taking bupleurum is safe and effective for treating the aforementioned conditions.

What are the possible side effects of bupleurum?

  • Few species of bupleurum are toxic, so it is very important to choose nontoxic bupleurum species.
  • Excessive doses of nonpoisonous bupleurum are toxic and can cause neurotoxicity and leads to seizures.
  • Overdoses of bupleurum oil are dangerous and cause liver damage.
  • In a few cases, it may lead to the death of the individual.
  • In a few cases, there may be allergic reactions such as:

It is always advised to consult a physician before beginning any type of supplement regimen. bupleurum can interact with other medications and specific supplements.

Who should not take bupleurum?

Here is a quick rundown of some people for whom bupleurum may not be a healthy fit:

You should always be very concerned about taking bupleurum.


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 8/24/2022
Image Source: iStock image

https://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/kbase/topic.jhtml?docId=hn-2056002: health benefits

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-650/buplerum: side effects and precautions