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Sunday, March 16, 2014

March 16th WHMonth: CHINESE HERBOLOGY: Bupleurum

TO CELEBRATE WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH (WHM), during the month of March ~ in addition to my weekly postings ~ I will be making DAILY postings of time tested herbal and medicinal foods used from a Medicine Woman's bag, which holds many, many herbs, generating many, many formulas, as one herb used for a cold (mullein), when combined with totally different herbs, can be used as an antispasmodic for inflammation or as an expectorant to relieve asthma or general lung congestion.


This week will be dedicated to Chinese herbs. For the 30 years that I have traveled around 
the country treating health imbalances with herbs and teaching herb courses and 
holding workshops, Chinese herbs have always made up a very large 
percentage of my inventory, and the success I've had with the 
efficacy of Chinese herbs are unmatched.

BUPLEURUM (Bupleurum chinese) root is bitter and pungent in taste, and cooling (anti-inflammatory) in action. It releases internal tension and lowers mental stress, anxiety and anger (including PMS); reduces dizziness and vertigo; warms coldness of hands and feet caused by tension; stimulates the immune system; improves circulation; reduces fever and liver inflammation; stimulates bile flow; protects the liver; and improves digestion. It is one of the most highly revered herbs in Chinese medicine for detoxifying (and is almost always used together with Peony) the liver.  Its therapeutic properties include antipyretic, analgesic, antinauseant.

Bupleurum is used for respiratory infections, including the flu (influenza), swine flu, the common cold, bronchitis, and pneumonia; and symptoms of these infections, including fever and cough.

Some people use bupleurum for digestion problems including indigestion, diarrhea, and constipation.

Women sometimes use it for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and painful periods (dysmenorrhea).

Bupleurum is also used for fatigue, headache, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), trouble sleeping (insomnia), depression, liver disorders, and loss of appetite (anorexia).

Other uses include treatment of cancer, malaria, chest pain (angina), epilepsy, pain,muscle cramps, joint pain (rheumatism), asthma, ulcers, hemorrhoids, and high cholesterol.

One of my favorite (and world renown) combinations is Bupleurum (tomorrow's featured herb) and Peony. Allow me to share one of the formulas I have to treat diabetes: LIVER REJUVENATE: Schizandra, Blessed Thistle, Bupleurum, Peony, Golden Seal, Licorice. Two capsules are taken both morning and night. This formula is taken as a supplement to the "LIVER REBUILD FORMULA" (part of a complete regimen) which aids in purifying the blood and resolving liver problems.

Bupleurum is also used in combination with Panax ginseng and licorice to help stimulate adrenal gland function, particularly in patients with a history of long-term use of corticosteroid drugs.

This herb is very useful for some circulation issues if caused by internal tension, such as with erection problems, neck tension, "freezing up" under stress, Pre-menstrual tension, and it even sometimes helps with dizziness caused by Meniere's disease. It also helps with tension caused by exposure to excess drugs, chemicals and other toxins, or a diet high in poor quality fats.

Its primary use for a "tense restricted liver" includes symptoms such as anger, tension in the center of the body that you can't release, and various liver issues such as heat sensations, itching, a feeling of being toxic, headaches, irritability, etc. But, beyond that, the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) concept of liver energy regulation can be applied in a wide variety of seemingly unrelated health problems such as infertility (the liver regulates hormones), emotional issues (the liver regulated some neurotransmitters), heart health (the liver manufactures cholesterol) and many others.

Bupleurum root is a main ingredient in a formula called "Rambling without a destination," which is the formula  used to treat the same conditions as the root, but in persons with additional signs of weakness and nutrient deficiency. Drs. Dan Bensky and Randall Barolet, in their excellent 1990 professional TCM textbook Formulas and Strategies, quote an ancient text that recommends this formula for "girls with weak blood and Yin deficiency."