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Benefits of Bupleurum Root

One of the most important health benefits of bupleurum is as a liver tonic. The extracts of the root act as a hepatoprotectant (ability to prevent liver damage). This HolisticZine article talks more about the various uses of bupleurum root.
HolisticZine Staff

Did You Know?

Oral intake of bupleurum extract in conjunction with panax ginseng and licorice herb helps boost adrenal gland functioning, which works to combat fatigue.

The term bupleurum refers to a large group of plants that belong to the Apiaceae family. At least 185 species have been recorded in the genus of bupleurum plants. Out of these species, the bupleurum falcatum and bupleurum chinesis variety are said to be medicinally important. The roots of these plants have been a part of traditional Chinese and Japanese medicines for centuries. Hailed for its high medicinal value, it is often sold in the form of tincture, but is also available as a decoction and powder, which can be used to make steaming tea.
Bupleurum Root Health Benefits
Boosts Liver Health
Famed for its liver cleansing properties, bupleurum can help eliminate toxins and promote overall health. The root of this herb is an active ingredient of sho-saiko-to, a herbal product that has been used for centuries to treat liver problems in Japan. Bupleurum Liver Cleanse, another herbal formula, is recommended for a wide range of medical problems, including a sluggish liver, and hepatitis B and C. In Chinese herbal medicine too, bupleurum root extracts hold a special spot for liver treatment.
Increases Appetite
Bupleurum may work to treat the symptoms of eating disorders like anorexia. Its ability to cleanse the liver may help resolve the related issue of appetite loss.
Aids Digestion
Chinese herbalists believe that the bupleurum root helps correct the imbalances between the spleen and the liver that cause a number of digestion problems, including nausea, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and gas. Bupleurum is said to harmonize the liver and the spleen, which works to resolve digestive issues.
Relieves Menstrual Problems
It is said to be one of the best herbs for women experiencing pain with menstrual and premenstrual periods. Taking extracts of the root may relieve discomfort associated with painful periods.
Soothes Respiratory Tract Infections
The root displays antiviral activity, as found out through vitro studies. Its antiviral properties may contribute to enhance the immune system. The herb is found to be effective against a wide range of enveloped viruses that cause herpes, measles, influenza, viral pneumonia, cough, and bronchitis. However, it does not work against non-enveloped viruses like polio.
Displays Anti-inflammatory Properties
It seems to mimic the anti-inflammatory actions of steroid medications. The root contains quite a few ingredients that have shown anti-inflammatory activity. These ingredients, commonly referred to as saikosaponins, are found in higher concentrations in B. falcatum and B. chinensis species of bupleurum. The anti-inflammatory effect of this root may be helpful to treat anti-inflammatory conditions like fibromyalgia.
Relieves Muscle Cramps
According to traditional Chinese medicine, the tendons and the muscles are dominated by the spleen and liver, respectively. As we all know, the tendons and muscles also play a crucial role in proper joint movement. So, the poor working of these organs can prevent the muscles and tendons from getting adequate nourishment. This can makes these tissues weak, stiff, cause cramps, and create difficulty in joint movement. To resolve these issues, taking bupleurum extracts regularly is recommended, as it may help with liver cleaning. This may correct liver blood deficiency, and restore nourishment to muscles and tendons.
Antipyretic Agent
The bupleurum root is said to have anti-pyretic properties, which can help bring down fever associated with various infections.
Promotes Better Sleep
Those facing difficulty falling asleep or getting quality sleep may benefit from this root extract. The herb is said to provide a calming effect, which helps relax and promote sleep. Bupleurum may also help to cope with drug withdrawal symptoms that are often responsible for causing trouble sleeping. A herbal formulation containing this root and dragon bone has also been used to treat insomnia and sleeplessness.
Combats Fatigue
A tired feeling that accompanies one all day long is often an indication of a sluggish liver. The bupleurum root, with its liver detoxifying properties, may enhance liver function, in turn allowing one to enjoy increased energy levels.
Other Uses
Apart from the aforementioned benefits, the bupleurum root may help treat tinnitus, hemorrhoids, chest pain, headaches, blood disorders, malaria, and high cholesterol. Vitro studies also suggest that the root displays chemopreventative properties, which may help to treat cancer.
Though this root appears to have various health benefits, not much clinical research has been done to evaluate its efficacy. Most studies conducted are animal-based or in laboratories, in which isolated ingredients of the herb have been taken into consideration. Hence, it is too early to rate the effectiveness of the bupleurum root in treating medical conditions. So make sure you consult with your healthcare provider before you decide to use it for medical purposes.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.