Bupleurum is a plant whose root is used for medicine. The plant is used for treating a wide range of health conditions, including respiratory infections the common cold, influenza, pneumonia, bronchitis, and swine flu as well as symptoms of a cough and fever.
There are people who use bupleurum to alleviate digestion issues including constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion. In some cases, it is used for relieving premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and painful periods (dysmenorrhea). Bupleurum is also effective for liver disorders, headache, fatigue, insomnia, tinnitus, depression, and anorexia.
The health benefits of bupleurum include:
Contains Anti-inflammatory Properties
Bupleurum appears to mimic the anti-inflammatory activity of steroid medications. The root has a few ingredients that have displayed anti-inflammatory activity. These ingredients, popularly known as saikosaponins, are present in higher concentrations in B. falcatum and B. chinensis species of bupleurum. The anti-inflammatory effect of this root may be effective for treating anti-inflammatory conditions such as fibromyalgia.
Promotes Liver Health
Bupleurum is popular for its liver cleansing properties and is effective for removing toxins from the liver and boosting overall health. In fact, the root of the herb, for centuries, has been an active ingredient in making herbal products for treating liver problems. Bupleurum herbal products are recommended for a number of health problems, including hepatitis B and C. Bupleurum root extracts are very effective as liver treatment.
Soothes Respiratory Tract Infections
According to some studies, bupleurum root displays antiviral function, which may contribute to boosting the immune system. The herb is said to be effective against a number of viruses that lead to a cough, herpes, bronchitis, measles, influenza, and pneumonia.
Bupleurum may be effective in treating the symptoms of eating disorders such as anorexia. Its ability to cleanse the liver may help take care of the related issue of appetite loss.
Relieves Menstrual Problems
Bupleurum is believed to be one of the best herbs for women who experience pain associated with menstrual and premenstrual periods. Taking bupleurum root extracts may help relieve discomfort connected with painful periods.
Aids in Digestion
Bupleurum root helps to regulate the imbalances between the liver and the spleen that result in a number of digestion problems, including diarrhea, nausea, bloating, constipation, and gas. Bupleurum is said to balance the liver and the spleen, which functions to resolve digestive issues.
Relieves Muscle Cramps
As you must have already known, the tendons and muscles also play an important role in ensuring the proper movement of the joints. So, when these organs do not function at their maximum, it can prevent the muscles and tendons from receiving adequate nourishment. This, in turn, can make these tissues stiff, weak, resulting in cramps, and leading to difficulty in joint movement. To handle these issues, taking bupleurum extracts on a regular basis is recommended, as it may help with liver cleansing. In fact, this may also correct liver blood deficiency, and restore nourishment to muscles and tendons.
The bupleurum root is believed to contain anti-pyretic properties, which can help reduce fever associated with a number of infections.
Promotes Better Sleep
For people having difficulty falling asleep or getting quality sleep, bupleurum root extract may be of immense benefit. The herb is believed to supply the body with a soothing effect, which helps you relax and promote sleep. Bupleurum may also be effective for coping with drug withdrawal symptoms that are commonly responsible for leading to sleep issues like insomnia.
That tired feeling that some people experience all day long is most likely a symptom of a sluggish liver. The liver-detoxifying properties of bupleurum root may boost liver function and so, increases energy levels.
Other Health Benefits
Apart from the aforementioned benefits, the bupleurum root may help in treating malaria, tinnitus, headaches, high cholesterol, hemorrhoids, angina, and blood disorders. According to some studies, bupleurum root contains chemopreventative properties, which may be effective for treating cancer.
Side Effects and Precautions
While there isn’t enough information to ascertain whether bupleurum is safe, some side effects have been reported, including drowsiness, gas, and frequent bowel movements. When used in combination with other herbs, bupleurum can lead to chronic lung and breathing problems.
- Since there is limited information on how safe bupleurum is, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are advised to stay on the side of caution and avoid its use.
- Bupleurum might result in the immune system becoming more active, especially for people with auto-immune diseases like lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other health conditions. This could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you suffer any of these conditions, it’s advisable not to use bupleurum.
- The chemicals present in bupleurum, known as saikosaponins, might reduce the rate of blood clotting. In fact, consuming bupleurum might worsen bleeding disorders.
- It is advisable to monitor your blood sugar if you are diabetic and use bupleurum. The dose of your diabetes medicine may need to be altered.
- The chemicals in bupleurum called saikosaponins might prolong bleeding. It is advisable to stop taking saikosaponins at least two weeks before your scheduled surgery.
The Bottom Line
Bupleurum root is used for treating respiratory infections such as the common cold, the flu (influenza), pneumonia, swine flu, and bronchitis. It also alleviates digestion issues, including constipation, indigestion, and diarrhea. In fact, it is beneficial for women with premenstrual syndrome and painful periods.
Bupleurum is also used for anorexia, headaches, fatigue, depression, tinnitus, insomnia, and liver disorders. The other uses of the herb include its ability to treat malaria, cancer, hemorrhoids, rheumatism, angina, high cholesterol, epilepsy, muscle cramps, asthma, and ulcers.
While bupleurum root seems to possess many health benefits, not much clinical research has been conducted to ascertain its potency. The studies carried are mostly on animals or in laboratories, in which only isolated ingredients of the herb were considered. So, ensure you consult with a medical doctor before deciding to use bupleurum.