Nature: sweet, warm
Enters: Spleen, Stomach
Actions: Tonifies spleen Qi; nourishes blood; calms the Shen; reduces herbs’ side effects (mild action), moderates and harmonizes the harsh properties of other herbs.
• Spleen/stomach Qi deficiency: poor appetite, loose stool, fatigue, shortness of breath (good for children).
• Blood deficiency: mental depression.
• Restless organ disorder: wan appearance, irritability, severe emotional lability.
• Good for eruptions, hives, bleeding.
• Stronger than Gan cao to tonify Qi.
• Closely related to Suan zao ren.
• Seems to normalize the liver (enzymes, recovery from toxicity).
Hsu: Anti-ulcer activity.
DY: Harmonizes and protects the stomach.
• With Sheng jiang to move the defensive Qi, nourish the constructive Qi, harmonize the constructive and defensive, fortify the spleen, and harmonize the middle burner. For indications such as:
– 1. Perspiration, fear of wind, and fever due to disharmony between the constructive and defensive Qi. (Gui Zhi Tang)
– 2. Fatigue, lack of strength, abdominal pain, and lack of appetite due to disharmony between the constructive and defensive Qi. (Xiao Jian Zhong Tang)
– This pair helps insure the proper assimilation of the active principles of other medicinal substances. These are the two main harmonizing herbs in Chinese medicine.
• With Ting li zi to powerfully drain the Lungs, disinhibit urination, and drastically evacuate phlegm without damaging Yin or the stomach. Together, they downbear Qi and calm asthma. For indications such as asthma, cough with stertor, wheezing, a swollen face, and oliguria due to accumulation of phlegm in the Lungs. (Ting Li Da Zao Xie Fei Tang)
• Da zao can be used as a harmonizing medicinal with herbs that are incompatible with Gan cao, such as Gan sui, Yuan hua, Da ji, and Hai zao, or in case of edema, anuria, or hypertension.
PCBDP: Emollient, sedative, antitussive, anti-allergic (increases cyclic AMP and GMP in leukocytes), nutritive; may inhibit anaphylaxis; in vitro anti-tumor activity.
Dose: 3-30g (3-12 dates)