Bupleuri Radix

Chai Hu

Chai Hu

Cool, Acrid Herbs that Release the Exterior

Taste: Bitter, acrid
Temperature: cool
Channels Entered: Gallbladder, Liver, Pericardium, San Jiao (Shao Yang and Jue Yin)

Dosage: 3-9g (up to 18g)

Cautions & Contraindications:

  • Should not be used when the true yin has been severely damaged, as it is a rising and dispersing herb.
  • Do not use with hyperactivity of Liver yang.

Actions & Indications:

Chai Hu

Chai Hu

  • Resolves lesser yang disorders and reduces fever: for alternating chills and fever accompanied by a bitter taste, flank pain, irritability, vomiting, and a stifling sensation in the chest.  Also used as an auxiliary herb for heat from deficiency. (9g)
  • Spreads Liver qi and relieves constraint: for constrained Liver qi: with such symptoms as dizziness, vertigo, chest and flank pain, emotional instability, or menstrual problems.  (6g)
  • Harmonizes the Liver and Spleen: for symptoms such as epigastric and flank pain, stifling sensation in the chest, abdominal bloating, nausea, and indigestion.
  • Raises and lifts the yang qi, specifically the clear qi of the Stomach and Gallbladder: for prolapse, sensations of dragging downward, hemorrhoids, vaginal discharge, bleeding or exhaustion (all of these symptoms indicate an abnormal descent of qi). (3g)



  • Chai Hu is the primary herb to treat Liver qi stagnation.  It releases constrained Liver qi and Shaoyang disorders.
  • Strongly lifts and ascends to teat prolapse (with Sheng Ma and Huang Qi).
  • Pao Zhi: vinegar fry to guide to the Liver.  Prevents the Liver from attacking other organs.
  • Few herbs enter the San Jiao channel.  Others include Mu Xiang, Zhi Zi, and Xiang Fu.