Herbal Exhibition
Radix Bupleuri
Chinese Thorowax Root


The root of Bupleurum chinense DC. (Fam. Umbelliferae). Customarily called " Bei chaihu"(North Chinese Thorowax Root).

Mainly in Chinese provinces such as Hebei, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Henan and Shaanxi.

Harvest & Processing
Dig out roots in spring and autumn; remove leaves and soil; dry under the sun. Commonly used in Hong Kong in the form of length-wise cut slices.

Cylindrical, or long and conical; 6-15 cm long, 3-8 mm in diameter. Top part bulgy; top end with remnants of 3-15 caudexes or short fibrous leaf bases; lower part often rameous (branched). Outer surface dull blackish-brown or light brown, marked with longitudinal wrinkles, lateral root scars and lenticels. Hard and pliable, does not break easily. When broken, surface fibrous and lobate (lobe-like); cortex light brown; xylem yellowish-white. Odour: slightly fragrant; taste: slightly bitter.

1. Common cold
2. Fever
3. Cholecystitis
4. Menstrual disorders

Chemical Composition
Contains essential oils, and triterpene saponins such as saikosaponins a, d, s.

According to C.P., also used for medicinal purposes is the root of B. scorzonerifolium Willd.


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Remark: C.P. = Chinese Pharmacopoeia

The information and images in this Online Herbal Exhibition is form the book, "An Illustrated Chinese Materia Medica in Hong Kong", edited by Professor Zhao Zhongzhen, School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University. For the complete collection of Chinese Materia Medica compiled by Professor Zhao, please go to this website: http://www.bucmm.org.

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