Introduction of Chai Hu:Radix Bupleuri or Chinese Thorowax Root.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The TCM herbalism is also known as pharmaceutics of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or Chinese pharmaceutics, is the branch of health science dealing with the preparation, dispensing, and proper utilization of Chinese herbs. It is majorly composed of Introduction of Chinese Medicinals, Classification of Chinese Herbs, Formulas, and Patent medicines.

Classifications of Herbs:Pungent-cool Exterior-releasing Herbs.

 TCM Herbs Icon01 Introduction: Pungent-cool exterior-releasing herbs: an agent or substance herbs pungent in flavor and cool in property, which is usually used for treating a wind-heat exterior syndrome.

 
Radix Bupleuri(Chinese Thorowax Root).

Bupleurum chinense DC Pin Yin Name: Chái Hú.
 English Name: Chinese Thorowax Root.
 Latin Name: Radix Bupleuri.
 Property and flavor: light cold, bitter, pungent.

 Brief introduction: The herb Radix Bupleuri is the dried root of Bupleurum chinense DC., or Bupleurum scorzonerifolium Willd.(family Umbelliferae), used (1).to reduce fever for relieving alternate spells of chills and fever, (2).to relieve liver Qi stagnation for alleviating hypochondriac and thoracic pains, and (3).to lift spleen Qi for correction of visceroptosis.

 Botanical source: The herb Radix Bupleuri(Chinese Thorowax Root) is the dry root of the (1). Bupleurum chinense DC., or (2). Bupleurum scorzonerifolium Willd., they are plants of the Bupleurum genus, the Apiaceae(or Umbelliferae) family of the Apiales order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced as:

 Bupleurum chinense DC Plant (1).The Bupleurum chinense DC.:
 Botanical description: It is commonly known as “North Bupleurum”, the plant is a perennial herb, 45~70 cm high. It grows straight, divided or not divided. Stems erect, tufted, upper branched, and slightly “zigzag” bend. Leaves alternate; wide linear-lanceolate, 3 to 9 cm long, 0.6 to 1.3 cm wide, apex acuminate, the final was short, like the entire margin, above the green, the following is light green, with parallel pulse 7 to 9. Umbrella 4 to 10, 1 to 4 cm long, emarginate; involucral bracts missing, or 1 or 2; 5~10 small beetles, ca. 2 mm; 5 small involucral bracts; flowers are small, yellow, about 1.5 mm in diameter; calyx teeth obscure; 5 petals, apex bent inwardly into 2 toes; 5 stamens, anthers ovate; 2 styles, very short. Double hanging fruit oval-shaped, left and right flat, about 3 mm long, divided into five obvious main edges, furrows usually have 3 tubings. It is flowering from August to September, fruiting from September to October. The plant grows in dry barren hills, fields, roadside, sunny hillside roadside, shore or grass.

 Growth characteristics: Strong adaptability, the plant prefers a cold and humid climate, the resistance of cold and drought, avoid waterlogging. It grows on dry grassland, sunny hillside and bush edge, etc.

 Characters of herbs: The roots are slender, conical, with many fine hairs at the tip and many unbranched or slightly branched at the bottom. The surface is reddish-brown or black-brown, with many fine rings spread near the root head. The texture is slightly soft, easy to break, the fracture surface is slightly flat, non-fibrous, light brown, forming a slightly darker ring color. There is a crude oil smell.

 Pharmacological actions: This herb has obvious sedative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, cooling, antitussive effect, also cholagogic, anti liver injury, anti-fatty liver effect. It can also enhance humoral immunity and immune function and has antibacterial, antiviral, and antimalarial effects. Crude saponins reduced blood pressure, slow heart rate, and showed significant hemolysis in rats.

 Medicinal efficacy: Dispelling wind and dissipate heat, dispersing stagnated liver Qi for relieving Qi stagnation, elevating Yang Qi, clear gallbladder and prevent malaria, it is mainly indicated for the treatment of cold and fever, alternation of cold and heat, malaria, swelling and pain in the chest and hypochondria, irregular menstruation, uterine prolapse, and rectocele.

 Administration of Radix Bupleuri(Chái Hú): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Radix Bupleuri(Chái Hú)
TCM Books: Internally:3~9 grams(CP), or water decoction,0.8~1.5 qian(about 2.4~4.5 grams),or prepared to pill, powder(DCTM); or water decoction, 3~10 grams, grinded to fine powder and prepared to pill, powder.Externally:proper amount, wash with water decoction or grinded into fine powder and apply(CHMM).


 Bupeurum scorzonerifolium Willd (2).The Bupeurum scorzonerifolium Willd.:
 Botanical description: It is commonly known as "Narrow Leaf Bupleurum", or "South Bupleurum", its root is commonly known as "Red Thorowax Root", the plant is a perennial herb, 30~65 cm high. Deep roots, no disagreement or slight disagreement, skin is reddish brown. Stems are single or several branches, the upper part of the multi-branched, smooth glabrous. Leaves alternate; root leaves and stems of the lower leaves have long-handled; leaves linear or linear-lanceolate, 7 to 15 cm long, 2 to 6 mm wide, apex acuminate, 5-7 veins, almost parallel. Compound umbel; 3~15 umbrella ternates; involucral bracts missing, or 2~3; 10~20 small umbrella stems, ca. 2 mm; 5 involucres; flowers small, yellow: 5 petals, fold; 5 stamens; ovary lower, smooth glabrous. Double-hanging fruit, oblong or oblong-ovate, 2~3 mm long, sub-fruit has 5 thick and obtuse fruit ribs, mature fruit of the furrows in the tubing is not obvious, young fruit cross-section common to each edge, there are 3 slots in the tank. Its flowering period is from July to September, fruiting in October.

 Growth characteristics: The plant grows in dry grass land.

 Characters of herbs: The herb shape of the narrow leaf Bupleurum is similar to the root of Bupleurum chinense, but the root is thinner, less diverge, more bending, and is not straight, 4 ~ 10 cm long, 6 ~ 10 mm in diameter, the surface is red-brown, there are vertical wrinkles and fibrous root marks, the top has no knobbly head, and there are hairy fibers left after the stem and leaves on the ground dried. The texture is crisp, easy to break, the fracture surface is flat, light brown. The smell is similar to the root of Bupleurum chinense. It is better to have thick and long roots without fiber roots.
 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Chai Hu:Radix Bupleuri or Chinese Thorowax Root.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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