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Bupleurum chinense - DC.

Common Name Bei Chai Hu
Family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Grassy areas on hills and mountain slopes in Korea[279]. Grasslands, stream banks, sunny slopes and roadsides at elevations of 100 - 2700 metres in China[266].
Range E. Asia - China, Korea.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Bupleurum chinense Bei Chai Hu


Bupleurum chinense Bei Chai Hu

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Bupleurum chinense is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower from July to October, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Root
Edible Uses: Rutin

Leaves and young shoots - cooked[2, 105, 177].The new growth in spring and autumn is used[178, 179]. It is a good source of rutin[179]. Root - cooked. A famine food, used when all else fails[177, 179].

Medicinal Uses

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Alterative  Analgesic  Antibacterial  Antiinflammatory  Antiperiodic  Antipyretic  Antiviral  Carminative  
Diaphoretic  Emmenagogue  Haemolytic  Pectoral  Sedative

Bei chai hu root has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for at least 2,000 years[238]. It is a bitter herb that is used to harmonize the body, balancing the different organs and energies within the body[254]. It strengthens the digestive tract, acts as a tonic for the liver and circulatory system, lowers fevers and has anti-viral effects[238]. The root is alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiperiodic, antipyretic, antiviral, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, haemolytic, hepatic, pectoral, sedative[116, 147, 174. 176, 178, 218, 238, 254]. It is taken internally in the treatment of malaria, blackwater fever, uterine and rectal prolapse, haemorrhoids, sluggish liver, menstrual disorders, abdominal bloating etc[238]. The roots are harvested in the autumn and can be used fresh or dried[238]. The root contains saikosides[254]. These saponin-like substances have been shown to protect the liver from toxicity whilst also strengthening its function, even in people with immune system disorders[254]. These saikosides also stimulate the body's production of corticosteroids and increase their anti-inflammatory affect[254]. The plant is often used in preparations with other herbs to treat the side effects of steroids[218].

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Other Uses

Fuel

The old plant is used as a fuel[178, 179].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

An easily cultivated plant[1], it succeeds in a sunny position in most fertile well-drained soils[138, 233, 238]. This species is closely related to B. falcatum, and is included in that species by some botanists.

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 8 weeks at 15°c[138]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer or following spring. Division in spring. Very easy, larger clumps can be planted direct into their permanent positions. It is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are well rooted before planting them out in the summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Bupleurum falcatumThorow-WaxPerennial1.0 3-7  LMHSNDM22 
Bupleurum fruticosumShrubby Hare's EarShrub2.5 6-9 SLMSNDM00 
Bupleurum longiradiatum Perennial1.0 -  LMHNM12 
Bupleurum octoradiatum Perennial0.8 -  LMHSNM11 
Bupleurum rotundifoliumHare's EarAnnual0.4 5-9  LMNDM100

 

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Expert comment

Author

DC.

Botanical References

266

Links / References

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