Bupleurum is a distinctive genus that is easily recognized by the simple leaves and conspicuous bracts and bracteoles. Species within Bupleurum are, however, notoriously difficult to identify on account of wide morphological variation within a species, often spread across wide geographic distributions. Many Bupleurum species are difficult to characterize, as is evident by complex classifications where all possible taxonomic ranks have been used. Several taxa are recorded only from a few collections, and it is likely that future work will reduce the number of species[
Bupleurum polyclonum is a herbaceous, perennial plant growing from a slender, woody taproot. The much-branched stem is 15 - 40cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
E. Asia - southwest China (Yunnan)
Mountain slopes; at elevations around 2,200 metres[
According to the Flora of China[
] there are around 180 accepted species of Bupleurum (as of 2013) of which 42 species (22 of them endemic) are found in China. Most, if not all of these Chinese species are used medicinally, with two of them (Bupleurum chinense and Bupleurum scorzonerifolium being some of the most important and widely used herbs in Chinese Herbal medicine[
Other species in the genus also have medicinal potential. The roots of Bupleurum species in general contain a range of medicinally active compounds including saponins, sterols, lignans, flavonoids, coumarins, polysaccharides and essential oils[
Traditionally the root is used to regulate the metabolism, for the treatment of fever, pain and inflammation associated with influenza and the common cold. In addition, Bupleurum species are also used as analgesics in the treatment of distending pain in the hypochondriac region of the upper abdomen and against amenorrhoea. Many Bupleuri extracts have been used for improvement and protection against chronic hepatitis, nephrotic syndrome and autoimmune diseases[
Recorded below are the specific medicinal uses we have come across for this species. Many of the Bupleurum species not included in the database are likely to also have a range of potential applications[
The roots are used in traditional Chinese medicine[
No more information is given, but the roots of many Chinese species of Bupleurum are used as regional substitutes for the traditional Chinese medicine 'chai hu' (Bupleurum chinense) for the treatment of coughs, fevers, and influenza[
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 8 weeks at 15°c[
]. 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.