Bupleurum Health benefit
June 10 2016 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Bupleurum chinense is one of the well-known and important traditional Chinese herbs. In China it is often used to treat the common cold with fever. As of 2016, I could not find any human studies done with bupleurum herb performed in Western countries.

Chemical composition
Saikosaponin - Bupleurum Extract 5% Bupleurum saikosaponins.

Cancer
Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2014. Research on effect of minor bupleurum decoction of proliferation and apoptosis of esophageal cancer cell strain eca-109 cell. Bupleurum decoction had anti-tumor effect and can influent proliferation and apoptosis of esophageal cancer cell strain Eca-109 cell.

J BUON. 2015. Antioxidant, anticancer and apoptotic effects of the Bupleurum chinense root extract in HO-8910 ovarian cancer cells. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the anticancer, apoptotic and antioxidant properties of Bupleurum chinense root extract against human epithelial ovarian cancer cells (HO-8910) in vitro. The anticancer effects of Bupleurum chinense extract were mediated through the induction of apoptosis, DNA fragmentation and disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential.

Bupleurum on neurotransmitter levels
Effects of chai hu (radix burpleuri) containing formulation on plasma beta-endorphin, epinephrine and dopamine on patients.
Am J Chin Med. 2005. Department of TCM Diagnostics, School of Pre-clinical Medicine Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China.
Chai Hu (Radix Burpleuri), a major ingredient in many traditional Chinese medicine formulas, such as Xiao Yan Wan, is used in the treatment of liver stagnation and spleen deficiency syndrome. The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of Xiao Yao Wan containing Chai Hu on the changes of plasma indices. Fifty-eight cases of liver stagnation and spleen deficiency syndrome were randomly divided into two groups: 41 cases in the experimental group were treated with Xiao Yao Wan containing Chai Hu and 17 cases in the control group were treated with Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan for one consecutive month in a single blind design. Compared to baseline levels, plasma beta-endorphin was significantly increased, while epinephrine and dopamine were markedly decreased after the administration of Xiao Yao Wan in the experimental group. The other indices did not change. This is the first evidence showing that the effect of Xiao Yao Wan containing Chai Hu on the treatment of patients with liver stagnation and spleen deficiency syndrome may be through enhancing plasma beta-endorphin and decreasing epinehrine and dopamine release. We conclude that Xiao Yao Wan containing Chai Hu regulates nervous and endocrine systems and contributes to the improvement of the clinical status of patients with liver stagnation and spleen deficiency syndrome.

Research, ulcer treatment
In vitro anti-Helicobacter pylori action of 30 Chinese herbal medicines used to treat ulcer diseases.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2005.
Infection by Helicobacter pylori has been ascertained to be an important etiologic impetus leading usually to chronic active gastritis and gastric ulcer with growing incidences worldwide. Utilizing as the test pathogen a standard and five clinic strains of Helicobacter pylori, the antibacterial action was assessed in vitro with ethanol extracts of 30 Chinese herbal medicines which have been frequently prescribed since ancient times for treating gastritis-like disorders. Among the 30 tested materials, the ethanol extracts of Abrus cantoniensis (Fabaceae), Saussurea lappa (Asteraceae) and Eugenia caryophyllata (Myrtaceae) were strongly inhibitory to all test strains (MICs: approximately 40mug/ml), and Hippophae rhamnoides (Elaeagnaceae), Fritillaria thunbergii (Liliaceae), Magnolia officinalis and Schisandra chinensis, Corydalis yanhusuo, Citrus reticulata, Bupleurum chinense and Ligusticum chuanxiong (Apiaceae) substantially active with MICs close to 60.0mug/ml. As to antibacterial actions of the aqueous extracts of the same drugs, those derived from Cassia obtusifolia (Fabaceae), Fritillaria thunbergii and Eugenia caryophyllata were remarkably inhibitory against all the six Helicobacter pylori strains (MICs: approximately 60mug/ml). The work compared almost quantitatively the magnitude of the anti-Helicobacter pylori actions of the 30 most prescribed gastritis-treating Chinese herbal drugs, and located as well some source plants where potent anti-Helicobacter pylori phytochemicals could be characterized.

Chemical constituents of the roots of Bupleurum longicaule Wall. var. franchetii de Boiss and B. chaishoui Shan et Sheh
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1996.
From the roots of Bupleurum longicaule var. franchetii, B. chaishoui and the official species B. chinense, ten saikosaponins have been isolated and identified as saikosaponin a, saikosaponin d, saikosaponin c, saikosaponin e, saikosaponin b2, acetylsaikosaponin a, 3"-O-acetylsaikosaponin a, 3"-O-acetylsaikosaponin d, 6"-O-acetylsaikosaponin a and 6"-O-acetylsaikosaponin d respectively. It has been shown that the chemical constituents of these three Bupleurum plants are very similar, therefore, the medicinal value of B. longicaule var. franchetii and B. chaishoui is further verified.

Treatment of primary thrombocytopenic purpura by modified minor decoction of bupleurum.
J Tradit Chin Med. 1995. Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, People's Hospital of Langfang City, Hebei Province.