Nature: acrid, sweet, neutral
Actions: Strongly eliminates phlegm; descends Lung Qi, relieves coughing.
• Lung Qi stagnation and failure to descend: cough with thick, sticky sputum, gurgling in the throat, wheezing, difficulty breathing.
• Not drying.
• Combine with acrid herbs for wind-cold or wind-heat
• Bai qian’s ability to descend rebellious Lung Qi is similar to, but weaker than, Ma huang’s. Bai qian can be used to treat wheezing and coughing in patients who are not strong enough to tolerate Ma huang.
DY: This herb “disperses” phlegm – xiao tan – close to the Western idea of expectorating phlegm.
• Can be used in the treatment of almost every type of cough. Due to its neutral nature, it can be used for coughs due to either cold or heat.
• With Qian hu, for mutual reinforcement in dispersion of phlegm. They complement each other to downbear (mainly via Bai qian) and diffuse (mainly via Qian hu) the Lung Qi in order to effectively treat cough. For such indications as: cough with abundant phlegm or phlegm which is difficult to expectorate, itchy throat, chest oppression due to blockage of the Lung Qi and Lung Qi counterflow. The combination can be used in the treatment of numerous respiratory diseases: chronic bronchitis, dyspnea, asthma, whopping cough, cough associated with a cold, etc.
• In case of cough due to wind-cold or wind-heat, the uncooked form of the herb should be prescribed.
• In case of cough caused by an accumulation of phlegm in the Lungs, the herb should be stir-fried until scorched.
• In case of chronic cough, dryness in the Lungs, or if the patient is old, use the honey mix-fried form of the herb.