Additional notes (click to expand)


Bupleurum falcatum (Sho-saiko-so) has been widely used in Chinese medicine for centuries where it is regarded as a liver tonic. A wide range of benefits are claimed including protection from liver cancer and hepatitis B. Given that China has one of the highest incidences of hepatitis B and liver cancer worldwide it seems unlikely that this easy to grow plant offers major benefits. A small scale open label trial in America examined the alleged liver protective effect of plant extracts in patients with hepatitis C but was not able to provide evidence of benefit. The advent of highly effective antiviral treatments for viral hepatitis are likely to reduce the enthusiasm for a repeat of the study. GRF December 2018

Geographical distribution

  • Asia-Temperate, Caucasus
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia
  • Europe
  • Europe, Northern Europe, Great Britain

Bupleurum falcatum L.

Genus: Bupleurum
Species: falcatum L.
Common names: Sickle-leaf hare's-ear, Thorow Wax
Distribution summary: Europe to C.Asia
Habit: Biennial
Hardiness: H4 - Hardy; average winter
Habitat: Wasteland and well drained soils
Garden status: Not currently grown
Flowering months: July, August, September, October
Reason for growing: Medicinal

Back to List