Theory

Chai Hu Thorowax Root, Bupleurum - Chinese Herbal Medicine


Chai Hu Names

  • English Name: Thorowax Root, Bupleurum
  • Pinyin Name: Chai Hu

Chai Hu Image

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Chai Hu Cautions


    Contraindication Notes:

    • Due to its rising and dispersing nature avoid in yin deficiency or liver yang rising.
    • May cause nausea or vomiting - use a smaller dose if necessary.


Chai Hu Clinical Usages and Indications

  • Clears shao yang disorders and reduces fever - alternating chills and fever, bitter taste in the mouth, irritability, vomiting, stifling sensation in the chest.
  • Relieves liver qi stagnation (often used with Bai Shao) - vertigo, menstrual disorders, chest and flank pain, the most common herb to treat stress, irritability, depression, etc.; also for liver and spleen disharmony - bloating, nausea, indigestion, flank pain.
  • Raises yang qi in spleen and stomach deficiency patterns (often used with Sheng Ma) - prolapsed organ, diarrhea, hemorrhoids.


Chai Hu Dosage and Prep Notes

  • Dosage: 3-12g




Clinician Notes

  • Compare with Ge Gen and Sheng Ma.
  • Research indicates antibiotic, antiviral, and tranquilizing effects.

Chai Hu Appears In 18 Formulas

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan

  • Tonify the Middle and Augment the Qi Formula
    • Coldness of the limbs, borborygmus with loose stools or diarrhea due to spleen yang deficiency.
    • Spontaneous or easy sweating, general fatigue, changes in appetite due to spleen qi deficiency.
    • Pale complexion and preference for warm food or drinks due to spleen yang and qi deficiency.
    • Shortness of breath and noticable lack of desire to speak may present if both spleen and stomach qi are weak.
    • This formula is also commonly used for prolasped organs.
  • Tonify
  • Tonify the Qi
  • Cautions
    • Use with caution for yin deficient patients.

Chai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu Li Wan

  • Bupleurum, Dragon Bone, and Oyster Shell Formula
    • Palpitations, anxiety, restlessness, agitation/irritibility, and insomnia from heat due to liver yang or fire.
    • Mental disorders such as including biopolar and schizophrenia resulting from distrubed shen.
    • This formula is useful for treating symptoms of addiction recovery.
  • Calm The Spirit
  • Sedate and Calm the Spirit

Chai Hu Shu Gan Wan

  • Bupleurum Powder to Spread the Liver
    • Hypochondriac pain with possible breast tenderness.
    • Irregular menstruation and or amenorrhea, PMS symptoms that result from liver qi stagnation.
    • Irritability and or depression may also manifest as the emotional component of liver qi stagnation.
  • Harmonize
  • Regulate and Harmonize the Liver and Spleen

Er Long Zuo Ci Wan

  • Deafness Left Supporting Pills
    • Ringing in the ears/tinnitus.
    • Unblocks the ears - useful for diminished hearing or temporary hearing loss.
    • Red/dry eyes with blurry vision.
  • Tonify
  • Tonify the Yin

Gan Bing Zhi Ben Wan

  • Liver Disease Recovery Pills
    • Irritibility or easily prone to outburts or anger.
    • Liver disease such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, fatty liver.
    • Jaundice - yellowing of the skin, brittle nails, pale complexion.
  • Regulate the Qi
  • Promote the Movement of Qi
  • Cautions
    • Ovoid foods and drugs that tax the liver such as coffee, alcohol, fried foods, etc.
    • Use with caution during pregnancy.

Geng Nian An Wan

  • Peaceful Menopause
    • Menopause symtpoms including hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, restlessness and anxiety as a result of yin deficiency.  
    • Can be used for other yin deficient symtpoms such as tinnitus, dry skin, and lightheadedness.
  • Tonify
  • Tonify the Yin
  • Cautions
    • Use with caution during pregnancy.
    • Do not use if patient presents with true heat or exterior heat.

Jia Wei Gui Pi Wan

  • Augmented Restore The Spleen Decoction
    • A combination of jia wei xiao yao wan and gui pi wan - similar effects but with more spleen qi and blood tonification.
    • A range of stress related issues - essentially mixes of stagnation with underlying deficiencies.
    • Potential uses with immune / idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and other bruising/bleeding issues with appropriate diagnostic factors.
  • Harmonize
  • Regulate and Harmonize the Liver and Spleen

Jia Wei Xiao Yao Wan

  • Free and Easy Wanderer Pills
    • Derived from the base formula, xiao yao wan, an important formula for liver qi stagnation with herbs added to clear heat.
    • Liver qi stagnation - menstrual issues, painful cycles, irregular cycles, breast distention, PMS, acne.
    • A range of mild to moderate psychological issues arising from liver qi stagnation such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, insomnia, anger issues, etc.
    • Physical symptoms from liver qi stagnation such as headaches, tightness in the chest, cold hands and feet, various eye issues.
  • Harmonize
  • Regulate and Harmonize the Liver and Spleen

Jing Fang Bai Du Wan

  • Schizonepeta and Siler Powder to Overcome Pathogenic Influences
    • Early stages of disease arising from wind cold damp - common cold, flu, bronchitis, mumps.
    • Early stages of skin diseases - boils, carbuncles, eczema, dermatitis with the right underlying factors.
    • Mastitis arising from cold/damp.
  • Release the Exterior
  • Release Exterior Cold
  • Cautions
    • Avoid with issues arising from wind-heat, possibly yin qiao would be far more suitable.

Long Dan Xie Gan Wan

  • Gentiana Purge Liver Formula
    • Hypochondriac pain, bitter taste in the mouth, irritability, easily angered, headache, dizziness, red, and possibly sore, eyes resulting from liver fire rising.
    • Urinary symptoms such as painful, hot urination perhaps with swollen genitalia, dark and/or turbid urine from damp heat accumulation in the lower jiao.
    • Leukorrhea of yellow color with a strong odor.
  • Clear Heat
  • Clear Heat From The Organs
  • Cautions
    • Not for long term use.
    • Not for patients who present with yin, yang, and/or blood deficiency.
    • Use with caution with patients that present with spleen qi deficiency.

Ming Mu Di Huang Wan

  • Rehmannia Pills to Brighten the Eyes
    • Blurry vision, floaters, possibly with dryness of the eyes as a result of the liver yin failing to nourish the eyes and kidney yin failing to brighten the vision.
  • Tonify
  • Tonify the Yin

Ren Shen Bai Du Wan

Si Ni San Wan

  • Frigid Extremities Powder Pills
    • Coldness in the limbs with simultaneous heat in the body.
    • Irritibility, possibly with fullness in the chest or epigastrium. 
  • Harmonize
  • Regulate and Harmonize the Liver and Spleen
  • Cautions
    • Not for cold extremities from yang or Blood deficiency.
    • Use with caution or avoid in very weak patients who cannot sustain the movement that this formula creates.

Wu Ling San Wan

Xiao Chai Hu Tang Wan

  • Minor Bupleurum Decoction
    • Shao Yang Syndrome (or "lesser yang stage") - alternating fever and chills, hypochondriac pain, irritability, bitter taste in mouth, poor appetite, nausea.  Often used for illnesses (chronic or short-term) such as the flu, etc. that have "cleared" but not completely.  People will describe not feeling quite right or having a range of low level symptoms for months or longer after a particular illness.  Instead of fever and chills alternating they may manifest with cold extremities and warm interior or other variations.
    • A range of liver related conditions including malaria, jaundice, hepatitis, liver cancer, meniere's disease, general protection from medicines that may harm the liver, etc. among issues with other digestive organs - pancreatitis, stomatitis, gastritis.
    • Liver/speen disharmonies resulting in broader issues such as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, menstrual irregularities (PMS, cramping, etc.).
    • Other general immune issues such as the common cold, flu, tonsillitis, general seasonal allergies with the right underlying factors.
  • Harmonize
  • Regulate and Harmonize the Liver and Spleen
  • Cautions
    • Use with caution with yin and/or blood deficiencies.
    • Avoid cold, raw, and spicy foods while taking xiao chai hu tang.

Xiao Yao Wan

  • Free and Easy Wanderer
    • Depression, anxiety, loss of motivation - resulting from liver qi stagnation.
    • Fatigue, bloating, changes in appetite from the combination of spleen qi deficiency with liver qi stagnation.
    • PMS, breast distention, irregular menstruation and in some cases infertility.
  • Harmonize
  • Regulate and Harmonize the Liver and Spleen
  • Cautions
    • Use with caution during pregnancy.

Xue Fu Zhu Yu Wan

  • Blood Stasis Relief Pills
    • Qi and Blood stagnation - pain, cardiovascular issues, physical organ issues.
    • Coronary artery disease, angina and other cardiovascular issues.
    • Hepatitis and other liver function issues.
    • Migraines, headaches, neuralgia from most causes.
    • A range of menstrual issues including dysmenorrhea, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibroids - particularly with pain and/or bleeding.
    • Certain diagnostic types of psychological illness, schizophrenia, bipolar, chronic depression, etc.
  • Invigorate the Blood
  • Invigorate the Blood and Dispel Blood Stasis
  • Cautions
  • Pregnancy
    • Avoid during pregnancy.
    • Avoid with heavy menstrual bleeding.
    • Use only under direction if you are taking blood thinners.
    • Generally not for long term use.

Yi Zi Wan

  • Decoction B
    • Hemorrhoids and/or constipation from an accumulation of damp-heat and toxins in the lower jiao - possibly bleeding hemorrhoids, pain, rectal prolapse, anal itching.
    • With the right underlying factors may also be useful for vaginal bleeding with abdominal pain, possibly with dark clots.
  • Clear Heat
  • Clear Heat and Relieve Toxicity



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