Excerpted from Bensky: Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica, 3rd ed.
- Tonifies the Spleen and augments the qi: commonly used for Spleen deficiency with shortness of breath, lassitude, and loose stools. Also for qi or blood deficiency patterns with an irregular or intermittent pulse and/or palpitations.*
- Moistens the Lungs and stops coughs: for cough and wheezing. Because of its neutral properties, it can be used for either heat or cold in the Lungs and for either productive or nonproductive coughs.*
- Moderates spasms and alleviates pain: for painful spasms of the abdomen or legs. Traditionally, this effect is only seen when combined with Paeonia Radix alba (bai shao), as in Peony and Licorice Decoction ( shao yao gan cao tang).*
- Clears heat and resolves fire toxicity: used unprepared for carbuncles, sores, or sore throat due to fire toxin. For this purpose, it can be taken internally or applied topically.*
- Also used as an antidote for a variety of toxic substances, both internally and topically.*
- Moderates and harmonizes the characteristics of other herbs: by virtue of its sweet, neutral, and moderating properties, this herb moderates hot and cold herbs, and mitigates the harsh properties of other herbs. Because it is said to enter all twelve primary channes, it can lead and conduct other herbs into the channels.*