Bupleurum

18/Description

About

Bupleurum is a plant. People use the root for medicine.

Bupleurum is used for respiratory infections, including the flu (influenza), swine flu, the common cold, bronchitis, and pneumonia; and symptoms of these infections, including fever and cough.

Some people use bupleurum for digestion problems including indigestion, diarrhea, and constipation.

Women sometimes use it for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and painful periods (dysmenorrhea).

Bupleurum is also used for fatigue, headache, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), trouble sleeping (insomnia), depression, liver disorders, and loss of appetite (anorexia).

Other uses include treatment of cancer, malaria, chest pain (angina), epilepsy, pain, muscle cramps, joint pain (rheumatism), asthma, ulcers, hemorrhoids, and high cholesterol.

Bupleurum is included in many herbal combination products. For example, it is included in a Chinese herbal formula used for treating a blood disorder called thrombocytopenic purpura and in a Japanese herbal formula (Sho-saiko-to, TJ-9, Xiao-chai-hu-tang) used for treating various chronic liver diseases such as hepatitis. Sho-saiko-to is currently being evaluated in a phase II trial at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for use in treating hepatitis C.

Bupleurum is also used in combination with Panax ginseng and licorice to help stimulate adrenal gland function, particularly in patients with a history of long-term use of corticosteroid drugs.

How it works

Bupleurum might stimulate the cells of the immune system to work harder. It might also have other effects, but none of these are proven in humans.

Effectiveness

Not Proven
Fevers
Flu
The common cold
Cough
Fatigue
Headache
Ringing in the ears
Liver disorders
Blood disorders
Stimulating the immune system
Other conditions

Concerns

There isn't enough information to know if bupleurum is safe. However, some side effects have been reported, including increased bowel movements, intestinal gas, and drowsiness. In combination with other herbs, such as in the Japanese herbal formula called Sho-saiko-to, it has caused serious lung and breathing problems.

18/Warnings

Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking bupleurum if you arepregnantorbreast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

“Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Bupleurum might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it's best to avoid using bupleurum.

Bleeding disorders: Chemicals in bupleurum, called saikosaponins, might slow blood clotting. In theory, taking bupleurum might make bleeding disorders worse.

Diabetes: Chemicals in bupleurum, called saikosaponins, might slow blood clotting. Monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use bupleurum. The dose of your diabetes medication may need to be changed.

Surgery: Chemicals in bupleurum called saikosaponins might prolong bleeding. Stop taking saikosaponins at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interactions

Always consult with your doctor.
Moderate
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)

Chemicals in bupleurum, called saikosaponins, might increase blood sugar. Diabetes medications are used to lower blood sugar. Taking bupleurum along with diabetes medications might interfere with blood sugar control. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.Bupleurum might increase the immune system. By increasing the immune system, bupleurum might decrease the effectiveness of medications that are used to decrease the immune system.Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.Chemicals in bupleurum, called saikosaponins, might slow blood clotting. Taking bupleurum along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin; clopidogrel (Plavix); nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others); dalteparin (Fragmin); enoxaparin (Lovenox); heparin; warfarin (Coumadin); and others.

The information provided on this page is for reference purposes and is not meant to be used as a medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with a medical professional.