Common name: Himalayan Thorowax, Bupleurum, Hare's Ear, Thorowax Root
Botanical name: Bupleurum candollei Family: Apiaceae (carrot family)
Himalayan Thorowax is a medicinal plant whose Chinese cousin is popular in
Chinese medicine. It is an erect perennial herb which grow upto 1 m high.
Oblong-ovate stem leaves are almost without stalk, and have an smooth margin.
Tiny flowers appear in compound umbels 2.5–4 cm across, typical of the carrot
family. The flowers themselves are very small, and
appear in a bunch of 10-15 in secondary umbels 8–12 mm across, enclosed in
unequal bracts which looks like leaves. The flowers petals are either pale
yellow or dark purple. Himalayan Thorowax are found in mixed forests on shady
slopes, open forests, mountain slopes, grassy places, at altitudes 2400-4000 m.
This genus is very confusing and species are highly variable.
The roots of several species of Bupleurum are famous for their use as the
traditional Chinese medicine “chai hu” for treatment of coughs, fevers, and
influenza. Almost all of the species are recorded in the literature as
regional substitutes for “chai hu” or for other local medicinal purposes.
However, caution should be applied as a very few species are toxic (e.g., B.
longiradiatum) and can result in “toxic strike” if misused as such
Identification credit: Navendu Pagé
|Photographed in Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand.|