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The role of licorice in traditional Chinese medicine


Invigorate the spleen and replenish qi


Li Dongyuan pointed out: "Sufficiency of vitality comes from the filling of spleen and stomach qi, which can then nourish vitality", emphasizing the role of spleen and stomach in nourishing vitality. Whether it is "innate essence" or "acquired essence", it needs the spleen and stomach to provide nutrients continuously in order to flourish and maintain the normal progress of life activities. It can be seen that spleen and stomach maintenance is the top priority of health preservation.


It is used for deficiency of heart qi, palpitations, intermittent pulse, deficiency of spleen and stomach qi, fatigue, etc.


The former is often combined with Guizhi, such as Guizhi Gancao Decoction and Zhi Gancao Decoction. The latter is often used together with Codonopsis pilosula and Atractylodes macrocephala, such as Sijunzi Decoction and Lizhong Pills.


For stomach pain, abdominal pain and gastrocnemius spasm acute pain, etc.


It is often used together with peony, which can significantly enhance the curative effect of treating acute pain, such as Shaoyao Gancao Decoction.


For carbuncle sores, sore throat, etc.


It can be used alone, orally or externally, or in combination. Carbuncle sores are often used with honeysuckle and forsythia to play a role in clearing away heat and detoxification, such as Xianfang Huomingyin. For sore throat, it is often used together with orange terrier, such as orange terrier soup. In case of pesticide or food poisoning, it is often mixed with mung beans or decocted with Fangfeng Shui.




Licorice is warm in nature and has a certain effect on treating toxic diseases, pain, swelling and furunculosis with the functions of clearing away heat and detoxifying heat.


Pain relief


After being compatible with other medicines, it can gradually relieve more acute and severe symptoms step by step.


for asthma cough


It can be used alone or in combination with other drugs. For example, Erchen Decoction for damp phlegm and cough, Linggan Wuwei Jiangxin Decoction for cold phlegm, cough and asthma, Sangxing Decoction for dry phlegm and cough, Jugeng Decoction for lung abscess, cough, saliva and foul-smelling purulent phlegm caused by heat-toxin, cough Salivating licorice and dried ginger soup, etc. In addition, wind-heat cough, wind-cold cough, and heat-phlegm cough are often used in combination.


Reconcile various medicines, used to reconcile the potency of certain medicines


For example, seasoning Chengqi soup uses this product to alleviate the diarrhea effect of rhubarb and Glauber's salt and stimulate the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, this product is also commonly used to reconcile various medicines in many prescriptions. Gan has a slowing effect. After using licorice, the medicinal properties of each medicine are slightly slowed down, which naturally means a little harmony, and it also has the effect of delaying and prolonging its effective period.


Anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic


Licorice also has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects, and can protect the inflamed throat and tracheal mucosa. Licorice extract and glycyrrhizic acid have a detoxification effect similar to glucuronic acid on certain poisons. the


Protect liver and nourish liver


Licorice contains active ingredients such as glycyrrhizic acid, which can prevent liver cell damage by inhibiting complement, thereby protecting the liver, and preventing viruses from entering liver cells by changing the permeability of cell membranes, achieving antiviral effects.


Protect gastrointestinal health


Licorice has a similar effect to adrenal cortex hormones. It can inhibit the hypersecretion of gastric acid caused by histamine; it also has the effect of antacid and relieving spasm of gastrointestinal smooth muscle.


Antitussive effect


Licorice flavonoids, licorice extract, and glycyrrhetinic acid all have obvious antitussive effects, and the expectorant effect is also more significant, and the action intensity is glycyrrhizic acid > licorice flavonoids > licorice extract.


Licorice can enhance the efficacy of other medicines in the prescription


This is related to the glycyrrhizic acid, liquiritinin and isoliquiritinin contained in licorice. For example, paeoniflorin glycyrrhizinate has synergistic effects on analgesia, antispasmodic, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, inhibition of gastric juice secretion and relaxation of smooth muscle.


Eliminate bad breath


Make tea with Ophiopogon japonicus and licorice, or put a plum, green olive, or hawthorn in your mouth to prevent bad breath.

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