Glycyrrhiza Spp. | Licorice | Gan Cao | Yashti madhu

  • PARTS USED: Root
  • TASTE: Sweet
  • CHARACTER: Neutral
  • MERIDIANS: Heart, Lung, Spleen, Stomach
  • ACTIONS: Anti-bacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Antispasmodic, anti-allergenic, antitussive, hypotensive, steroidal action, cholagogue

As well as strengthening Qi, Gan Cao (G. uralensis) is used to clear heat, moisten the lungs, and stop coughing. In the West a related species (G. glabra) is used for digestive and respiratory problems, for gastric ulcers, and constipation. In India the plant is known as yashti madhu, or honey stick, and is mainly used to increase kapha, lubricate the lungs, and liquefy mucus. It is often used with ginger for colds with coughs.

Avoid Gan Cao in abdominal fullness; avoid licorice in excess kapha syndromes or high blood pressure; best avoided in osteoporosis.


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