Chinese Medicine's Ancient Detox Herb Boosts Liver Health and More
7 minute read
It is never a surprise when we discover a new natural treatment for something, only to learn that ancient Chinese medicine has long been using that same herb or spice for medicinal purposes.
Specifically, it seems to benefit liver health, and Western medicine is finally catching on to what all the fuss is about.
Nature’s Magical Herb
Bupleurum is an herb native to East Asia and strongly resembles dill in appearance. Despite its beautiful yellow flowers, most of the medicinal properties are tucked away in the plant’s root.
You can buy bupleurum as a tea or in liquid pill form from health stores. You can also buy dried bupleurum root from Asian markets and make your own tea.
As with most natural supplements, you should check with your doctor before use.
The Chinese call bupleurum the “harmony herb” because it is believed to bring balance to your body. Ancient Chinese Medicine (ACM) believes that the flow of both qi and blood are essential to good health, and bupleurum prevents any obstructed flow, which can cause disease.
According to ACM, Blocked or stagnant qi essentially means that energy is not flowing through the body as it should. In the liver, for example, this can result from accumulated toxins.
The herb possesses anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and chemopreventive properties, making it a powerful medicinal resource.
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More so even than the benefits it has for overall health and well-being, bupleurum seems to be a protector of the liver and provides several impressive qualities that boost liver health and protect it from serious disease. Known as a hepatoprotective herb, bupleurum is quickly becoming the go-to resource for improving liver health.
Bupleurum and Your Liver
This medicinal herb helps support the daily function of your liver by aiding with the detoxification process.
Harmful substances can accumulate in your liver from alcohol consumption, processed foods, environmental toxins, and medications. Acting as a natural cleanser, bupleurum removes toxins from your liver.
Bupleurum helps to prevent liver cancer and protects from cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a devastating disease that is caused by the hepatitis virus as well as excessive alcohol consumption.
It causes scarring of the liver tissue, which eventually prevents the liver from performing vital functions. Liver cancer or liver failure can both result.
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Bupleurum has been shown in studies to protect the liver from the damaging effects of cirrhosis and even prevent cancer from developing.
Your adrenal gland function can also benefit from daily doses of bupleurum. Your adrenal glands are responsible for producing a variety of hormones that are essential for kidney and liver function.
When combined with licorice, this herb stimulates your adrenal glands, allowing them to maintain healthy hormonal balance. Stimulation of the adrenal glands also improves your energy levels.
Long-term use of corticosteroids can take a toll on your adrenal function, and bupleurum can reverse damage done.
Additional Benefits of Bupleurum
While the herb is primarily used to support liver function, there are additional benefits you can enjoy from daily supplementation of bupleurum.
Relief from epilepsy: Epilepsy is a disorder in which the nerve cell activity in the brain is disrupted, resulting in seizures. Herbal formulas of bupleurum, ginger root, peony root, jujube fruit, and cassia bark have been used for centuries to treat these seizures.
Even when used in conjunction with anticonvulsant drugs, there were no adverse effects, and seizures were effectively controlled.
Fight ovarian cancer: A series of testing was done to establish the effects of bupleurum on ovarian cancer cells. Researchers found that this herb possessed anticancer, apoptotic, and antioxidant properties strong enough to induce cancer cell shrinkage in patients with ovarian cancer.
The bupleurum extract used had the ability to cause programmed cell death in the cancer cells (apoptosis) as well as disrupt their metabolism. In doing so, the spread of cancer cells became marginalized.
This research along with the known protection bupleurum gives against liver cancer, makes it a top research topic for cancer prevention in general.
Treats depression: To clarify, studies have only looked at the effects with depression that are caused by PMS or menopause specifically. The typical response to depression is mood-stabilizing drugs, but these can come with their own entourage of side effects and dangers.
Traditional Chinese medicine believes that stagnated liver qi is responsible for depression. Treatment with bupleurum helps to restore liver qi by promoting a healthier energy flow through the liver, thereby treating depressive symptoms associated with PMS or menopause.
Possible Bupleurum Side Effects
While there are not any serious side effects associated with using bupleurum, there are a few facts you should be aware of before use. Again, it is always advised you speak with your doctor first, before embarking on any treatment program.
It stimulates your immune system so should be avoided by anyone with autoimmune disorders. It can also have a slight sedative effect on those with tinnitus. For the most part, only minor disruptions have been recorded such as flatulence and increased bowel movements.
Despite any potential side effects, research has shown that bupleurum provides substantial health benefits.
The Bottom Line
Cleansing your liver for more efficient function and protecting it from cancer make this herb a number one pick for hepatic health. Apart from the benefits bupleurum delivers for depression, epilepsy, and cancer, promoting liver health is very important.
Your liver is a busy organ and without optimal functioning, you are at risk for serious health problems.
You are exposed to toxins each day through food, lifestyle choices, and the environment around you. They cannot be avoided, leaving your liver to pay the ultimate price.
Give your liver the fighting power it needs to safely remove these toxins. Incorporation of bupleurum in your life, according to ancient Chinese medicine, can boost liver health and overall health.