Nature: sweet, bitter, astringent, neutral, slightly toxic
Enters: Lung, Kidney
Actions: Astringes the Lungs to relieve wheezing; expels phlegm, softens stubborn phlegm; eliminates dampness; stops discharge; stabilizes the lower Jiao.
• Difficult breathing, wheezing, coughing, with copious sputum.
• Kidney or spleen Qi deficiency or damp-heat: vaginal discharge, turbid urine.
• Lower Jiao instability: frequent urination, incontinence, spermatorrhea.
• Use raw for treating phlegm and clearing heat.
• Use prepared to stop wheezing and restrain urine.
• May aid in alcohol withdrawal by causing a distaste for alcohol.
• Because of its greater toxicity, when the raw herb is used, its dosage is usually reduced.
• Usually the husk is removed and the seed is crushed before use.
• Cautiously used for coughs with thick and sticky sputum, and in cases of excess.
• Symptoms of overdose include vomiting, headache, fever, tremors, irritability, dyspnea. The antidote is 60g of boiled Gan cao or 30g of boiled ginkgo shells. This reaction may be avoided by including the hard shells and thin linings of the seeds when using this herb.
• Bensky/Gamble classifies this herb as an astringent.
Hsu: Antibacterial, antiviral effects.