Radix Bupleuri (Chaihu) As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book


Radix bupleuri, also known ax bupleurum chinense, thorowax, Chaihu (柴胡), is the dried root of Bupleurum falcatum L. In traditional Chinese medicine, radix bupleuri is used in treating infections with fever, hemorrhoids, indigestion, irritability, vaginal prolapse, malaria as well as liver diseases.

Odour & Nature:

Bitter, neutral, non-toxic,


Radix bupleuri functions by influencing the liver, gallbladder and lung.

Indications & Formulas:

A decoction of radix bupleuri and licorice root is taken orally to clear internal body heat caused by typhoid fever.

Pills made with radix bupleuri, cinnabar, pig’s bile and cooked rice is taken orally to cope with dengue fever in children and infants.

A decoction of radix bupleuri, ginseng, ginger and red dates is taken to remedy consumptive disease (various chronic debilitating disorders).

A decoction of radix bupleuri, licorice root and couch grass rhizome is taken orally to cope with jaundice due to internal damp-heat.

Powdered radix bupleuri and semen cassiae mixed with human milk is used externally to treat dim vision (dull eyesight).

A decoction of radix bupleuri, rhizome of skullcap and wine is taken to treat diarrhea caused by accumulated internal heat.

Pills made from rhizomes of picrorhizae, radix bupleuri and honey is taken orally to heal excessive sweating in infants.

A mixture of rhizome of gentiana macrophylla, radix bupleuri and licorice root are pounded and taken with warm water to treat tuberculosis (an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, it generally affects the lungs).

The Ben Cao Medical Book (also known as Compendium of Materia Medica or Ben Cao Gang Mu; Chinese: 本草纲目) is the most famous and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Compiled and written by Li Shi-zhen (1518~1593), a medical expert of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over 27 years.

The Ben Cao Medical Book records and describes all the plants, animals, minerals, and other objects that were believed to have medicinal properties in TCM. The book reflects the pharmaceutical achievements and developments of East Asia before the 16th century. On the basis of his predecessors’ achievements in the pharmacological studies, Li contributed further by supplementing and rectifying many past mistakes and misconception in relate to nature of many medicinal substances and causes of various illnesses. Charles Darwin, originator of the biological theory of evolution, regards the book as the “ancient Chinese encyclopedia”.

Disclaimer: The Ben Cao Medical Book is translated by ChinaAbout.net. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of CTM knowledge and information from the research and experience from the author Li Shi-zhen. Kindly be alert that the CTM knowledge and ancient formulas given above are likely NOT medically proven and may contain misconceptions.

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