Radix Bupleuri (BUPLEURUM) Overview Information
Bupleurum is a plant. People use the root for medicine.
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.
Bupleurum is included in many herbal combination products. For example, it is included in a Chinese herbal formula used for treating a blood disorder called thrombocytopenic purpura and in a Japanese herbal formula (Sho-saiko-to, TJ-9, Xiao-chai-hu-tang) used for treating various chronic liver diseases such as hepatitis. Sho-saiko-to is currently being evaluated in a phase II trial at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for use in treating hepatitis C.
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.
How does it work?
Bupleurum might stimulate the cells of the immune system to work harder. It might also have other effects, but none of these are proven in humans.
Radix Bupleuri (BUPLEURUM) Side Effects & Safety
There isn't enough information to know if bupleurum is safe. However, some side effects have been reported, including increased bowel movements, intestinal gas, and drowsiness. In combination with other herbs, such as in the Japanese herbal formula called Sho-saiko-to, it has caused serious lung and breathing problems.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking bupleurum if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
“Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Bupleurum might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it’s best to avoid using bupleurum.
Bleeding disorders: Chemicals in bupleurum, called saikosaponins, might slow blood clotting. In theory, taking bupleurum might make bleeding disorders worse.
Diabetes: Chemicals in bupleurum, called saikosaponins, might slow blood clotting. Monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use bupleurum. The dose of your diabetes medication may need to be changed.
Surgery: Chemicals in bupleurum called saikosaponins might prolong bleeding. Stop taking saikosaponins at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with BUPLEURUM
Bupleurum might increase the immune system. By increasing the immune system, bupleurum might decrease the effectiveness of medications that are used to decrease the immune system.
Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.
Radix Bupleuri (BUPLEURUM) Dosing
The appropriate dose of bupleurum depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for bupleurum. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.