Chai Hu


Chai Hu in TCM:

Explore the properties of Chai Hu according to Chinese
Nutrition and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):

English Name: bupleurum, hare's ear, Chinese thorowax root, red thorowax root, "kindling of the barbarians"
Pharmacuetical Name: Radix Bupleuri
Properties: bitter, acrid, cool

Temperature: cool

Channels: LV, GB, PC, SJ

Flavors: bitter, pungent

Special Properties:
circulates qi, clears heat, disperses wind

    Alternate Forms:
  • Sheng: better for shao yang syndrome or fever (12g)
  • Cu Zhi: better for LV Qi Yu (6-9g)
  • Mi Zhi: better for SP qi sinking (3-6g)

Actions / Indications:
  • Harmonizes shao yang syndrome; reduces fever (alternating chills and fever; flank pain, bitter taste, irritability, vomit, stifling sensation in chest; fever from exterior syndromes; wind-heat headaches; particularly effective for half-interior half-exterior disorders)
  • Spreads LV qi; relieves constraint (LV qi stagnation with chest and flank pain, menstrual disorders, emotional instability; disharmony between LV and SP)
  • Lifts SP Yang (prolapse of organs or diarrhea due to sinking of SP qi; head, eye, ear disorders due to yang qi that fails to ascend)

    Special Notes:
  • Pharmacologically Chai Hu has been shown to have analgesic and antipyretic functions, sedative effects, anti-inflammatory actions, hepatoprotective functions, cholagogic functions (increases bile production), antihyperlipidemic properties (reduce triglycerides and cholesterol), immunostimulant benefits, and antibiotic actions.
  • A comparison of Ge Gen, Chai Hu, and Sheng Ma reveals that Ge Gen is weakest to lift SP yang while Sheng Ma is strongest to lift SP yang.
  • Used to treat shao yang headaches, along with Huang Qin and Chuan Xiong.

  • (cc: Since Chai Hu is acrid and dispersing it consumes LV yin. Caution with yin deficient heat, LYR, LV Wind, or rebellious qi)
  • (cc: Chai Hu may have adverse interaction with interferon, inducing LV failure)