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Bupleurum (generic name)

treats Fever, Hepatitis, Brain damage, Thrombocytopenic purpura, and Hepatocellular carcinoma
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WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Adrenal insufficiency (stimulation), amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), analgesia (pain relief), angina (chest pain), anorexia, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-pseudomonal, antiseptic, antitussive, antiviral, asthma, bronchitis, cancer, cirrhosis (liver disease), common cold, constipation, contraceptive, deafness, dementia, depression, diabetes, diaphoresis (excessive sweating), diarrhea, dizziness, dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), epilepsy, fatigue, fever, gastric ulcer, headache, hemorrhoids, hepatoprotection (liver protection), herpes simplex virus infection, HIV, hot flashes, hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), immunosuppression, immune system enhancement, indigestion, influenza, kidney disease, kidney protection, liver disease (chronic), liver heath, lung cancer, lung congestion, malaria, melanoma, menstrual irregularities, muscle cramps, myalgia (muscle pain), nausea, pain, pain (epigastric), pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), Parkinson's disease, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), pulmonary edema, rectal prolapse, rheumatoid arthritis, sedation, spleen disorders (liver stagnation and spleen deficiency syndrome (LSSDS)), solid tumors, systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE), tinnitus, tuberculosis (pulmonary), ulcers, upper respiratory tract infection, uterine prolapse, vertigo, viral infections (poliovirus), vomiting, wounds.


Adults (18 years and older)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for bupleurum. Bupleurum is typically taken in combination formulas with other herbs, and has not been well studied alone. Traditionally, 1.5-9 grams of bupleurum root have been used per day. Also, 1.5-3 milliliters of a fluid extract have been used daily. For hepatitis, doses of 5.4 grams of combination therapy sho-saiko-to daily have been studied for 12 weeks. For prevention of hepatocellular carcinoma, sho-saiko-to has been administered at a dose of 7.5 grams daily in combination with conventional treatment.

Children (younger than 18 years)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for bupleurum in children, and use is not recommended. Bupleurum is typically taken in combination formulas with other herbs, and has not been well studied alone.


DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.


Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to Bupleurum species, any of its constituents, the Apiaceae or Umbelliferae (carrot) families, snakeroot, cow parsnip, or poison hemlock. There are some reports that mention allergic reactions occurring in patients given intramuscular injections of bupleurum.

Side Effects and Warnings

In recommended doses, many practitioners agree that bupleurum is well tolerated. However, available safety data is lacking. Reports of adverse effects are largely theoretical and based on side effects from combination therapy; it is difficult to attribute the adverse effects to bupleurum alone.

Reported side effects include decreased appetite, nausea, reflux, abdominal distension, gas, and increased bowel movements following large doses of bupleurum. Rare instances of nausea, loss of appetite, and abdominal fullness have been reported following treatment with the combination therapy sho-saiko-to. Combinations containing bupleurum have been associated with eosinophilic pneumonia, pulmonary edema, and multiple cases of pneumonitis (inflammation of the lungs). Use cautiously in patients with hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, or edema, due to possibility of adrenal stimulation.

There have been unverified reports of sedation, drowsiness, and lethargy, which are noted as frequent side effects. Rare instances of fatigue and paresthesia (abnormal sensations) were noted in one study that investigated the combination therapy sho-saiko-to. Use cautiously in patients operating motor vehicles or hazardous machinery, due to a possible risk of sedation.

Although not well studied in humans, bupleurum may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.

Use cautiously in patients with diabetes. Saikosaponins, constituents of Bupleurum, may increase blood sugar levels.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Bupleurum is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

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