Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Glycyrrhizae
Botanical Name: 1. Glycyrrhiza uralensis
Fisch.; 2. Glycyrrhiza inflata Bat.; 3. Glycyrrhiza
Common Name: Licorice root
Source of Earliest Record: Shennong Bencao
Part Used: The rhizomes are dug in spring
or autumn. After the fibrous roots and bark
have been removed, the rhizomes are cut into
slices and dried in the sun.
Natural Properties & Taste: Sweet and neutral
Meridians : Heart, lung, spleen and stomach
1. To tonify the spleen and replenish qi;
2. To moisten the lungs and stop coughs;
3. To relax spasms and stop pain;
4. To moderate the action of herbs;
5. To reduce fire and release toxins
Indications & Combinations:
1. Deficient qi of the spleen and stomach
manifested as poor appetite, loose stool and
lassitude. Licorice root (Gancao) is used
with White atractylodes (Baizhu), Poria (Fuling)
and Ginseng (Renshen) in the formula Sijunzi
2. Cough and asthma. Licorice root (Gancao)
is used with Apricot seed (Xingren) and Ephedra
(Mahuang) in the formula Sanniu Tang.
3. Carbuncles, furuncles, sore throat and
swelling due to toxic heat. Licorice root
(Gancao) is used with Platycodon root (Jiegeng),
Scrophularia (Xuanshen) and Arctium fruit
(Niubangzi) for sore throat; Licorice root
(Gancao) can also be used with Honeysuckle
flower (Jinyinhua) and Forsythia fruit (Lianqiao)
for carbuncles, furuncles and swellings.
4. Abdominal pain due to spasms of the stomach
or intestines. Licorice root (Gancao) is used
with White peony root (Baishao).
5. Moderating the action of other herbs.
For example, Licorice root (Gancao) with Prepared
aconite root (Fuzi) and Dried ginger (Ganjiang)
can weaken the heating properties and lessen
the side effects of some herbs. This combination
is called Sini Tang.
Dosage: 2-10 g
Cautions & Contraindications: This herb
is contraindicated during cases of excess
dampness causing distension and fullness in
the chest and abdominal region, or vomiting.
It counteracts Peking spurge root (Daji),
Genkwa flower (Yuanhua), Kansui root (Gansui)
and Seaweed (Haizao). Prolonged overdosing
of the herb may cause edema.