Botanical Name:Bupleurum longiradiatum
Family: Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
Habitat: Bupleurum longiradiatum is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Siberia. It grows in forests and shrubby thickets, it is also found rarely on not excessively exposed dry slopes. Mountains all over Japan.
Bupleurum longiradiatum is a a perennial plant growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). It is in flower from August to October, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in most soils if they are well drained.
Seed – sow spring in the greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 2 – 8 weeks at 15°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division might be possible in the spring.
Edible Uses: Young leaves – cooked
According to the Flora of China there are around 180 accepted species of Bupleurum (as of 2013) of which 42 species (22 of them endemic) are found in China. Most, if not all of these Chinese species are used medicinally, with two of them (Bupleurum chinense and Bupleurum scorzonerifolium being some of the most important and widely used herbs in Chinese Herbal medicine.
Other species in the genus also have medicinal potential. The roots of Bupleurum species in general contain a range of medicinally active compounds including saponins, sterols, lignans, flavonoids, coumarins, polysaccharides and essential oils.
Traditionally the root is used to regulate the metabolism, for the treatment of fever, pain and inflammation associated with influenza and the common cold. In addition, Bupleurum species are also used as analgesics in the treatment of distending pain in the hypochondriac region of the upper abdomen and against amenorrhoea. Many Bupleuri extracts have been used for improvement and protection against chronic hepatitis, nephrotic syndrome and autoimmune diseases.
Recorded below are the specific medicinal uses we have come across for this species. Many of the Bupleurum species not included in the database are likely to also have a range of potential applications. The essential oil is antibacterial and antioxidant.
The seed is used in the treatment of amenorrhoea, catarrh, deafness, diarrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, dyspepsia, fever, flatulence, hepatitis, inflammation, malaria, vertigo and uteral prolapse. Some caution is advised – see notes below on toxicity.
Known Hazards: This is one of a few toxic species in the genus that should not be used for medicinal purposes as a substitute for chai hu.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.