Licorice Root (Gan Cao)


Licorice root (Gancao)

Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Glycyrrhizae

Botanical Name: 1. Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch.. 2. Glycyrrhiza inflata Bat.. 3. Glycyrrhiza glabra L.

Common Name: Licorice root

Source of Earliest Record: Shennong Bencao Jing

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

Therapeutic Effects:
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 Tang.

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.

By |2016-11-20T04:23:09+00:00January 1st, 2015|Categories: Medicinal Herbs|Tags: , , , , |

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Grace Chen. I’m enthusiastic about Traditional Chinese Medicine, natural healing including Chinese Medicinal Herbs, Acupressure, Qi-Gong, foot massage and more. My passion for herbs had been a lifelong journey beginning as a young girl always been fascinated by my grandfather’s Chinese Herbal Medicine chest, full of amazing goodies helping people get well. To chase my dreams, I created a website, to share my passion, my grandfather Dr. Chen’s herbal recipes, interesting new and the translation of the classical Chinese herbal formulas with the world. Hope you enjoy it!