Author(s): Klein SD, Becker S, Wolf U
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Chai hu (Bupleuri radix), one of the most frequently used herbs in Chinese herbal medicine, has 3 major functions, depending on dosage and combination with other herbs. The aim of this study was to investigate how chai hu is prescribed in everyday practice in Switzerland, and whether these prescription patterns reflect its various applications. METHODS: A random sample of 1,053 prescriptions was drawn from the database of Lian Chinaherb AG, Wollerau, Switzerland, and analyzed regarding the most frequently used classical formulas containing chai hu, daily dosages and combinations with other herbs. RESULTS: 29.0\% of all prescriptions contained chai hu, and 98.0\% of these were in granular form. The most frequently used classical formulas were xiao yao san ('rambling powder'), jia wei xiao yao san ('augmented rambling powder') and chai hu shu gan san ('Bupleurum powder to spread the liver'). In more than half of the prescriptions, chai hu was combined with bai shao (Paeoniae Radix Alba), dang gui (Angelicae sinensis radix) or fu ling (Poria). 51.8\% of the prescriptions contained a low daily dosage of chai hu, 24.9\% a medium and 15.1\% a high dosage. CONCLUSION: Chai hu was generally prescribed in classic combinations with other herbs and in a medium dosage. Due to the addition of supplementary herbs to classical formulas, its daily dose was often diminished from a high or medium dose to a low dose. This raises the question if chai hu would then still exert its desired function of, e.g., moving liver-qi in these prescriptions.
This article was published in Forsch Komplementmed
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy