Chaí hú, Reveal Date 4/1/24

Article published at: Mar 22, 2024 Article author: Lily Michaud
Chai hu, bupleurum chinensis, from KEW Plants of the World
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The root we tasted this week was Chaí hú, 柴胡, Bupleurum, also known as rabbit ear root. Interested in joining the mostly online Plant Meditation Club? Click here.

Bupleurum chinensis, Plants of the World, KEW

I did this meditation with my daughter.

Mouth and Taste:

This tea that looks like twigs (but is roots) was very light in flavor.

My Meditations

First one: I feel my energy at the front entry of my nose. Then then the energy is located in pathways going up my forehead. No words, completely silent. At the very end it started to look like strawberries and cream, in color. The energy pathways were pink like strawberries, and the other areas like cream.

Second one: Again, silent and empty. The first approximately 6 minutes involved energetic focus at the outward edges of my eyebrows, at acupuncture point San Jiao 23, Sizhukong, silk bamboo hole. It moved over and for the next few minutes was at the arches of my eyebrow, at Extra point, Head and Neck 4, Yu Yao. Then at the end it was at the inner edges and between my eyebrows, focused on Bladder 2Zanzhu, gathered bamboo. These points are good for the eyes. This experience reminded me of some eye massage techniques I was taught a while ago by a vision therapist.

Sketch of Chai Hu, bupleurum, plant meditation energetics. There are two images of forehands (pencil drawings) that are side by side. The image on the left is from the first plant meditation with Chai hu. It shows lines of energy going from the sides of the nose (labeled "dry nose"), straight up to the top of the forehead. Towards the end of the meditations these lines became strawberry colored and the background cream colored (strawberry is an herb, like Chai Hu, that is good for the liver). The forehead on the right show that three acupuncture points on the eye brows were activated during the meditation. This process started on at SJ 23 (at the lateral edge of the eyebrow) for about 6 minutes, then went to EX-HN 4 (at the arch of the eyebrow) for about 2 minutes, then to BL 2 (medial edge of the eyebrows) and the area in between for the last few minutes.


My daughter's Meditations:

First: I kept my eyes open because it was difficult to keep them closed. When I did close my eyes the Tunic Song for Karen. I heard, "Dreaming, dreaming.." and then I fell asleep.

Second: I think this would be helpful for trauma. I was thinking about a book I read where the character gets over trauma. The song Institutionalized by Suicidal Tendencies is in my head.

Thinking about passages in books where they descibe using drugs, and they say they 'slowly pour through my system'.

I am a little scared of this tea. It feels gross, like I am doing a drug. It felt like too much for my body.

Institutionalized lyrics (seems like a relevant vibe for this herb's uses):

Sometimes I try to do things and it just doesn't work out the way I wanted tooAnd I get real frustrated, and its likeAnd I try hard to do it and take my timeAnd it just doesn't work out the way I want it tooIt's like I concentrate on it real hard but it just doesn't work outAnd everything I do and everything I try, it never turns outIt's like I need time to figure these things outBut there's always someone there going
Hey Mike: You know we've been noticing you've been having a lot of problems latelyYou know, maybe you get away, and like maybe you should talk about it,You'll feel a lot better
And I go: No it's okay, you know I'll figure it outJust leave me alone I'll figure it outYou know I'll just work it on myself,
And they go: Well you know if you want to talk about it I'll be here, you knowAnd you'll probably feel a lot better if you talk about it, so want don't you talk about it
And I go: No I don't want to, I'm okay, I'll figure it out myselfAnd they just keep bugging me and they just keep bugging meAnd it builds up inside
So you're gonna be institutionalizedYou'll come out brainwashed with bloodshot eyesYou won't have any sayThey'll brainwash you until you see their way
I'm not crazy - institutionYou're the one who's crazy - institutionYou're driving me crazy - institutionThey stuck me in an institutionSaid it was the only solutionTo give me the needed professional helpTo protect me from the enemy - myself
I was in my room and I was just like staring at the wall thinking about everythingBut then again I was thinking about nothingAnd then my mom came in and I didn't even know she was there she called my nameAnd I didn't even hear it, and then she started screaming: MIKE! MIKE!And I go: What, what's the matter?And she goes: What's the matter with you?I go: There's nothing wrong momAnd she goes: Don't tell me that, you're on drugs!And I go: No mom I'm not on drugs I'm okay, I was just thinking you know,Why don't you get me a PepsiAnd she goes: No you're on drugs!I go: Mom I'm okay, I'm just thinkingShe goes: No you're not thinking, you're on drugs! Normal people don't act that way!I go: Mom just give me a Pepsi, pleaseAll I want is a Pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to meAll I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to meJust a Pepsi
They give you a white shirt with long sleevesTied around you're back, you're treated like thievesDrug you up because they're lazyIt's too much work to help a crazy
I'm not crazy - institutionYou're the one who's crazy - institutionYou're driving me crazy - institutionThey stuck me in an institutionSaid it was the only solutionTo give me the needed professional helpTo protect me from the enemy - myself
I was sitting in my room and my mom and my dad came inAnd they pulled up a chair and they sat down, they go:Mike, we need to talk to youAnd I go: Okay what's the matterThey go:Me and your mom have been noticing lately that you've been having a lot of problems,You've been going off for no reason and we're afraid you're gonna hurt somebody,We're afraid you're gonna hurt yourselfSo we decided that it would be in your interest if we put you somewhereWhere you could get the help that you needAnd I go: Wait, what are you talking about, we decided!?My best interest?! How do you know what's my best interest is?How can you say what my best interest is? What are you trying to say, I'm crazy?When I went to your schools, I went to your churches,I went to your institutional learning facilities?! So how can you say I'm crazy?
They say they're gonna fix my brainAlleviate my suffering and my painBut by the time they fix my headMentally I'll be dead
I'm not crazy - institutionYou're the one who's crazy - institutionYou're driving me crazy - institutionThey stuck me in an institutionSaid it was the only solutionTo give me the needed professional helpTo protect me from the enemy - myself
It doesn't matter, I'll probably get hit by a car anyway


Summary and Medicinal Use:

Bupleurum is used primarily for liver support in classical Chinese medicine and traditional Western herbalism. These meditations were really different but displayed uses accurately. In Chinese medicine the liver opens to the eyes, so supporting the liver will support eye health. The plant's intelligence covered this treatment of eye tension and strain.

This herb is also used for anger, irritability, phobias, and depression (often with mint) from liver qi stagnation (during teen years the liver is under more stress because of all the hormones it must process, this can lead to acne and mood swings) and liver toxicity from drugs and alcohol. The mood communicated through the song and the sensation of being on drugs very clearly indicated the plants ability to support these issues, including trauma. I am always grateful for the way the plants communicate so well.

This herb is also used for colds, fever and chills, immunity, liver support in general, asthma (which can be related to poor fat processing (liver), indigestion, and hemorrhoids. It is used to strengthen the spleen which helps with prolapse and decision making. I also think of herbs that work with the spleen/immunity as cleaning out psychic spaces. I love how different the experiences were--it shows that diversity of its impacts.


Have you worked with Bupleurum or Chai Hu, either personally or with clients? If so please share your experiences below and add to our knowledge base of this plant.


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