Gan Cao


Gan Cao written in Chinese

Pinyin Name: Gan Cao

English Name: Radix Glycyrrhizae Uralensis

Other Names: Licorice Root, Lin Cao, Mi Gan

Tastes: Slight Smell, Sweet

Origin: China, Asia, Europe

Benefits of Gan Cao:

Gan Cao is usually harvested during spring and autumn. Typically the one in autumn is preferred. After harvesting, remove its fibrous roots, dry it in the sun, and slice it thickly. Gan Cao covers meridians of heart, lung, spleen and stomach. Main functions are invigorating spleen-stomach and replenishing qi, relieving urgency and stopping pain, moistening lung to relieve cough, purging fire for removing toxin.

Common uses include lassitude and reduced appetite, emaciation with sallow complexion, palpitations and short of breath, abdominal pain and loose stools, pain and hypertonicity of the limbs, hysteria, cough and asthma, sore throat, skin ulcer, congenital disease and more. Recommended dosage is from 2 to 6 grams.

Gan Cao is widely used in Chinese herbal formulas. 1) Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang is used for abdominal spasm and pain due to the combination of liver-yang hyperactivity and spleen deficiency and limb spasm and pain caused by yin-blood deficiency. 2) Zhi Gan Cao Tang is formulated for palpitation and irregular pulse due to qi-blood deficiency. Its ingredient herbs include Gan Cao, Ren Shen, E Jiao, Shu Di Huang and more.

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