Few sweets do divide people as much as liquorice – some cringe from the pure thought of it, others can’t get enough .. plain, with chocolate, the salty versions ..
But liquorice has had a firm place in the medicine cabinet for a long time now. Did you know that if you eat large quantities of liquorice, it can increase you blood pressure? It also reduces coughing – that’s why you might recognise a liquorice taste in quite a few cough medications.
In herbalism, liquorice forms part of many formulae in Chinese medicine, either in its pure form (Gan Cao) or in its honey-fried form (Zhi Gan Cao). Usually, a small amount is sufficient. It is said to ‘harmonize’ a formula, balancing out other, potentially more aggressive herbs. It is considered a guide, as it has ascending and descending properties, thus directing the other herbs into various areas of the body.
Obviously, it is contained in most Lung-related herbal formulae.
And, as you may have guessed, Gan Cao is neutral in energetic temperature, while the honey-fried Zhi Gan Cao is warm.
Enjoy your liquorice (or not …) 😊