Bupleurum (Bupleurum falciform)


Bupleurum Overview:

Bupleurum is a popular herb in traditional Chinese medicine for its ability to improve the general health of the liver. In Western herbal medicine, bupleurum is a popular antiviral, for which there has been a lot of recent scientific investigation.

Bupleurum has been found to effectively inhibit Herpes simplex, HIV, parainfluenza, poliovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus.

Bupleurum is also a reliable bitter herb, and is oten used to improve digestion and hypercholesterolemia.

+ Indications:

Hepatobiliary System

  • Autoimmune conditions affecting the liver
  • Bitter
  • Gout
  • Hepatitis
  • Liver damage
  • Weak liver function

Digestive System

  • Bitter
  • Dyspepsia
  • Poor digestion

Respiratory System

  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Asthma


  • Adjunctive cancer treatment
  • Arthritis
  • Bacterial infection
  • Cold/Flu
  • For its bitter actions
  • For its diaphoretic actions
  • Gout
  • Inflammation
  • Kidney disorders
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Rheuatoid Arthritis
  • To protect the kidneys
  • Viral Hepatitis
  • Viral infection

+ Contraindications:

None reported.

Herbal Actions:

  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Bitter
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Kidney protective
  • Diaphoretic
  • Antiviral
  • Antimicrobial

Main Uses:

Bupleurum is mainly used as an antiviral in western herbal medicine, as well as for its bitter principles. Traditional Chinese medicine has a wide range of uses for bupleurum, mainly involving its interaction with the liver. it is a common addition to many herbal formulas for a wide range of conditions.


Daily Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

3.5-8.5 mL

Weekly Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

25-60 mL


Part Used


Family Name



Sotheast Asia
United States

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Constituents of Interest

  • Quercetin
  • Rutin

Common Names

  • Bupleurum
  • Chai Hu (China)

Botanical Info:

Bupleurum is a member of the Apiaceae or "carrot family" of plants. This family contains roughly 3700 species, and 434 genera. it is in fact the 16th largest family of plants, and contains other medicinal species including Angelica, chervil, coriander, lovage, and the poisonous herb hemlock.

The Bupleurum genus contains about 190 different species, however, Bupleurum falciform is by far the most common medicinal species in this group.


Research Overview:

Level Of Research:


Clinical Applications Of Bupleurum:

Bupleurums quercetin and rutin content are thought to be the main antiviral agents. It has shown some impressive evidence so far to inhibit these, and likely other viruses systemically.

Bupleurum is also useful as a general liver tonic when combined with other herbs in formula.



Avoid if allergies to the apiaceae family.


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For a list of references, visit the full bupleurum monograph.