Bupleurum falcatum

Botanical Name : Bupleurum falcatum
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Bupleurum
Species: B. falcatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms:
Bei chai hu, Beichaihu, Bupleuran 2IIc, Bupleurum chinese D.C., Bupleurum exaltatum, Bupleurum falcatum, Bupleurum falcatum L. var. scorzonerifolium, Bupleurum fruticosum L., Bupleurum ginghausenii, Bupleurum longifolium, Bupleurum multinerve, Bupleurum octoradiatum, bupleuri radix (Latin), bupleuri radix saponins, bupleurum root, Bupleurum rotundifolium L., Bupleurum scorzonerifolium Willd, Bupleurum stewartianum, chai hu, chaifu, chaihu (Chinese), chai hu chaiku-saiko, Chinese thoroughwax root, echinocystic acid 3-O-sulfate, hare’s ear root (English), He Jie Decoction, hydroxysaikosaponins, isochaihulactone, juk-siho, kara-saiko, Minor Bupleurum Decoction, mishima-saiko, nanchaihu, northern Chinese thorowax root, phenylpropanoids, radix bupleur, saiko (Japanese), saikospanonins, segl-hareore (Danish), shi ho, sho-saiko-to, shoku-saiko, shrubby hare’s-ear, sickle-leaf hare’s-ear, siho (Korean), thorowax, thoroughwax, TJ-9, triterpene saponins, Umbelliferae (family), wa-saiko, xiao chai hu tang, yamasaiko.

Common Name :Bupleurum, Chinese Thoroughwax and Sickle-leaf hare’s ear,Chai Hu, Hare’s Ear Root

Italian name / Nome italiano: Bupleuro falcato
English name: Thorow-wax
German name: sichelblättriges Hasenohr

Habitat :Scattered throughout Europe, including Britain, and Asia north to the subarctic, east to Japan.Waste places and hedgebanks

Description:
Bupleurum falcatum is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone 3. It is in flower from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile….

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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
An easily cultivated plant, it succeeds in a sunny position in most fertile well-drained soils.

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Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 2 – 8 weeks at 15°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer or following spring. Division in spring. Very easy, larger clumps can be planted direct into their permanent positions. It is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are well rooted before planting them out in the summer.

Edible Uses: Leaves and young shoots – cooked and eaten.The new growth in spring and autumn is used. It is a good source of rutin.

Medicinal Uses:
Alterative;  Analgesic;  Antibacterial;  Antiinflammatory;  Antiperiodic;  Antipyretic;  Antiviral;  Carminative;  Diaphoretic;  Emmenagogue;  Haemolytic;
Hepatic;  Pectoral;  Poultice;  Sedative.

A paste of the plant is applied to boils. The juice of the roots, mixed with the juice of Centella asiatica, is used in the treatment of liver diseases. This species is closely related to B. chinense and quite possibly has the same uses. It is certainly worthy of some research. The uses of B. chinense are as follows:- Bei chai hu root has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for at least 2,000 years. It is a bitter herb that is used to harmonize the body, balancing the different organs and energies within the body. It strengthens the digestive tract, acts as a tonic for the liver and circulatory system, lowers fevers and has anti-viral effects. The root is alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiperiodic, antipyretic, antiviral, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, haemolytic, hepatic, pectoral, sedative. It is taken internally in the treatment of malaria, blackwater fever, uterine and rectal prolapse, haemorrhoids, sluggish liver, menstrual disorders, abdominal bloating etc. The roots are harvested in the autumn and can be used fresh or dried. The root contains saikosides. These saponin-like substances have been shown to protect the liver from toxicity whilst also strengthening its function, even in people with immune system disorders. These saikosides also stimulate the body’s production of corticosteroids and increase their anti-inflammatory affect. The plant is often used in preparations with other herbs to treat the side effects of steroids

Internally used for malaria, blackwater fever, uterine and rectal prolapse, herpes simplex, hemorrhoids, sluggish liver associated with mood instability, menstrual disorders and abdominal bloating.  Often used raw with wine for feverish illnesses, with vinegar as a circulatory stimulant, and mixed with tortoise blood for malaria. First mentioned in Chinese medical texts around AD200, it is one of the most important Chinese herbs for treating the liver because it acts on diseases of a mixed conformation, both internal and chronic and both external and acute, both hot and cold, both deficient and excess.  It is one of the major chi regulating or carminative herbs that help regulate moodiness.  It has a strong ascending energy, so that it is also added in small amounts to tonic formulas to raise the yang-vitality, treat organ prolapse and raise sagging spirits.  It is used for hepatitis and all liver disorders and to help resolve and bring out eruptic diseases.  One of the peculiarities of Bupleurum is its capacity to ‘dredge’ out old emotions of sadness and anger that may be stored in the organs and tissues of the body.

The root contains saikosides. These saponin-like substances have been shown to protect the liver from toxicity whilst also strengthening its function, even in people with immune system disorders. These saikosides also stimulate the body’s production of corticosteroids and increase their anti-inflammatory affect. The plant is often used in preparations with other herbs to treat the side effects of steroids. Promising new research out of China and Japan has shown Bupleurum’s ability to protect the adrenal glands from steroid-induced atrophy.

In Ayurvedic medicine it would be considered to be anti-kapha and anti-pitta but pro-vata.  Ayurvedic doctors do not normally used this herb but a combination of turmeric and barberry root.

Other Uses : The old plant is used as a fuel.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bupleurum_falcatum
http://www.globalherbalsupplies.com/herb_information/bupleurum.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Bupleurum%20falcatum
http://luirig.altervista.org/schedeit/ae/bupleurum_falcatum.htm

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