Bupleurum Health Benefits: Helps Stomach, Liver & Spleen

Picture Of Bupleurum Flower

Bupleurum health benefits include harmonizing the stomach, liver, and spleen and clearing many of the conditions controlled by these three organs.

Many of the herbal formulas used here at Natchez Trace Veterinary Services contain Buplerum as one of the main ingredients, so we thought you may be interested in the history, use, and effects of this amazing herb.

One of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Bupleurum blends used in our clinic is Bupleurum Harmonize Stomach.

Bupleurum Harmonize Stomach contains:

  • Bupleurum (Chai Hu) – main ingredient 
  • Angelica Tang Kuei (dang gui)
  • Peony Root (bai shao)
  • Atractylodes (bai zhu)
  • Mentha (bo he)
  • Ginger Rhizome (gan jiang)
  • Licorice Root (gan cao)
  • Poria (fu ling)

Bupleurum Harmonize Stomach is an ancient herbal blend that is used to address the root cause of a finicky stomach by soothing the liver and helping stomach function improve.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, the following are signs of disharmony in the liver:

  • gurgling noises from the abdomen
  • picky appetite
  • sporadic or continuous vomiting

TCVM practitioners call this Liver Overacting on Spleen/Stomach. And, dogs often suffer from it.

Several different factors may cause disharmony.

And, some dogs have a genetic propensity to develop liver disharmony.

Such dogs are:

  • high energy
  • occasionally anxious
  • easily aroused
  • athletic
  • love to run.

Dogs who were previously balanced may suddenly develop disharmony from:

  • exposure to toxins
  • anesthesia
  • high stress
  • frustrating situations
  • commonly used pharmaceuticals

If a liver disharmony develops, it will soon begin to affect the function of the stomach causing the symptoms described above.

About Bupleurum

chai hu
Image courtesy of chineseherbsforyou.

Bupleurum (Bupleurum Chinese) is a perennial herb native to East Asia.

It can grow in all types of soil as long as there are good drainage and full sun.

It grows to approximately one meter in height and characterized by a single stem with alternating broad, lance-shaped leaves.

This herb bears small yellow to green flowers which develop into an oblong fruit.

Bupleurum Health Benefits in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine considers Bupleurum to be a “harmony herb”.

Harmony herbs are certain plants which maintain internal energy (Chi) and maintain a balance of all internal organs.

The part of the plant used in TCM herbal medicine is the root.  

Bupleurum is most commonly used in formulas in combination with many other herbs.

The properties of Bupleurum are bitter, pungent and cool.  

The meridians affected are gallbladder, liver, and pericardium, and triple heater.

Bupleurum is most commonly used for:

  • Clearing Shao Yang disorders: alternating chills and fever, irritability, pain, bitter taste in the mouth, vomiting, pressure sensation in the chest, and bloating
  • Liver Qi stagnation: menstrual disorders, chest pain, flank pain, bloating, vertigo, stress, irritability, depression
  • Spleen and stomach deficiency: hemorrhoids, prolapsed organ, diarrhea

Bupleurum Contraindications, Side Effects, and Signs of Overdosage

Occasionally bupleurum has been shown to cause flatulence, bowel movement issues, numbness, and sedation.

Signs of overdosage and/or sensitivities include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • gum bleeding.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, because of its rising and dispersing nature, Bupleurum should be avoided in yin deficiency or liver yang rising.


Bupleurum longiradiatum, a related species, is poisonous and should not be used.


Note: It is always best to consult with your veterinarian before concluding that your pet has a particular ailment. Your veterinarian will also be able to recommend the best dosage of a particular remedy for your pet based on its symptoms, age, size, and specific needs. 

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