Himalayan Thorowax
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Himalayan Thorowax
ative Photo: Thingnam Rajshree
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 is 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.
Medicinal uses: 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 substitutes.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Narkanda, Himachal Pradesh & Chakrata, Uttarakhand.

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