Chai Hu (Radix Bupleuri)

Source: Chai Hu (Radix Bupleuri) is the dried root of Bupleurum chinense Dc. or B. scorzonerifolium Willd. These are know as Bei Chai Hu and Nan Chai Hu respectively. After harvesting, the roots are dried and cut into pieces. It is used in this raw form or after being fried with vinegar.

Category: Exterior releasing.

Common Name: Bupleurum, Thorowax Root or Hare’s Ear Root.

Channels Entered: Liver and Gallbladder.

Properties and Functions: Chai Hu (Radix Bupleuri) is bitter, pungent and cool in nature. Its’ principal functions or actions are:

  1. Harmonising the interior and exterior.
  2. Dispersing Liver qi stagnation and relieving constraint.
  3. Raises up the Yang qi.

Indications: Chai Hu can be used for the following:

  1. Fever due to external pathogenic factors accompanied with alternating chills and fever. This is usually accompanied by bitter taste, hypochondrium pain, irritability, vomiting and feeling of chest oppression.
  2. Depression and Liver qi stagnation manifesting as irregular menstruation, chest and hypochondria pain, dizziness and vertigo.
  3. Prolapse due to qi deficiency, such as rectal (haemorrhoids) or uterine prolapse. General weakness and shortness of breath, along with bleeding are other manifestations.

Dosage: 3 – 10g

Cautions and Contra-indications: Chai Hu is contra-indicated in cases of Liver fire or Liver Yang rising.