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Why licorice is the first of all medicines


Among the traditional Chinese medicines, there is a herb that is widely used, and it is listed as the first of the hundred medicines in "Compendium of Materia Medica", and this herb is licorice. In the decoctions, granules, powders, pills and other prescriptions of traditional Chinese medicine, nine out of ten are licorice. There has been a saying in the field of Chinese medicine since ancient times that "nine (licorice) grasses in ten directions" shows the importance of licorice. As one of the commonly used medicinal materials, licorice is used in a very large clinical dosage. In addition to its proper efficacy, it can also reconcile various medicines. It is called "Guo Lao" in traditional Chinese medicine.


Licorice is a leguminous plant, which belongs to the same family as the soybeans we eat. Its medicinal parts are dry roots and rhizomes. The production areas of licorice are mainly in Gansu, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang. Because the main production areas have distinct seasons throughout the year, coupled with spring growth and autumn harvesting, the licorice is relatively rich in rusticity, which can greatly benefit the spleen and stomach.




The efficacy of licorice


Licorice is flat in nature and sweet in taste, and enters the heart, lung, spleen, and stomach meridians. It has the effects of invigorating the spleen and replenishing qi, clearing heat and detoxification, moistening the lungs and relieving cough, relieving spasms and relieving pain, and harmonizing the properties of medicines.


Invigorate the Spleen and Qi


Licorice has the effect of invigorating the spleen and replenishing qi. It is used for weak spleen and stomach, deficiency of middle qi, shortness of breath and fatigue, lack of food and loose stools. This product is mostly compatible with ginseng, Atractylodes macrocephala, Poria cocos and other qi-invigorating and spleen-invigorating medicines to form a famous spleen-invigorating prescription-Sijunzi Decoction. This product is also used for heart palpitations and irregular pulse rate caused by heart qi deficiency and blood deficiency. It is often used in combination with ginseng, donkey-hide gelatin, and cassia twig.


Moisturizing the lungs and relieving cough


Licorice can moisturize the lungs and relieve coughs, and is used for cough and asthma. Because of its mild nature and flavor, it can be used in combination with lung cold and lung heat. For example, ephedra and almonds are combined to form Sanao Decoction, which can cure cough caused by wind-cold invading the lung; raw gypsum is added on top to form Maxing Shigan Decoction, which can cure cough caused by lung heat. According to modern pharmacological analysis, licorice can act on the inflamed pharyngeal mucosa, alleviate inflammatory irritation, play an anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and antitussive role. At the same time, licorice can also promote the secretion of mucus in the pharynx and bronchial mucosa, making it easier to cough up phlegm.


Clear heat and detoxify


Licorice has a good detoxification effect. For carbuncle sores, food or drug poisoning, such as compatibility with platycodon grandiflorum, it can cure sore throat; with honeysuckle, dandelion and other heat-clearing and detoxifying drugs, it can cure carbuncle sores. For the treatment of food poisoning, drug poisoning and pesticide poisoning, this product can be used alone in decoction or taken together with mung beans to enhance the curative effect.


Pain relief


Licorice is often used for epigastric or extremity spasm and acute pain. There is a saying in traditional Chinese medicine that "sweetness can relieve emergencies and relieve pain". For example, it can be combined with cinnamon twigs, peony, maltose, etc. to form the famous prescription Xiaojianzhong Decoction, which can treat epigastric and abdominal cramps and acute pain caused by deficiency and cold of the spleen and stomach; it can be used with peony to treat limb spasms and pain caused by deficiency of yin and blood and lack of nourishment of tendons and arteries. Don't rush.


Reconcile medicinal properties


This product also has the effect of alleviating the nature of the medicine and harmonizing all kinds of medicines. The ancients said: "Among all medicines, licorice is the king, and its functions harmonize all medicines, so it has the name of the old man." Transformation can be described as the good phase in medicine.


If licorice is used together with aconite, dried ginger and other large pungent and hot medicines, it can alleviate the heat of aconite and dried ginger to prevent damage to Yin and blood; The coldness of gypsum and Anemarrhena prevents the stomach from hurting the stomach; it can be used together with rhubarb and mirabilite and other drugs that have too strong laxative force to relieve the laxative effect of rhubarb and mirabilite, so that the diarrhea will not hurt the righteousness; Used together with tonic medicines such as Rehmannia glutinosa, Rehmannia glutinosa, and Angelica, it can ease the tonic and make the effect slow and long-lasting; it can also play a coordinating role with hot and cold medicines such as pinellia, dried ginger, coptis, and scutellaria baicalensis, so licorice has " The reputation of the old country".


In addition, modern pharmacology has found that licorice has glucocorticoid-like effects, and its chemical composition is glycyrrhetinic acid, which can play anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects.

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