Gan Jiang – Dry Ginger rhizome – Zingiber

Nature: acrid, hot

Enters: Spleen, Stomach, Heart, Lung

Actions: Warms the middle Jiao; rescues collapsed Yang; expels interior cold; warms the Lungs, resolves harmful body fluid, transforms phlegm; warms the channels, stops bleeding.

• Yang collapse: very weak pulse, cold limbs, etc. Gan jiang alone cannot be counted on. Combine it with Fu zi.
• Yang deficiency cold: hemorrhage of various types, especially uterine bleeding – only when the bleeding is chronic, pale in color, with cold limbs, white face, and a soggy, thin pulse.
• Spleen and stomach cold (either Yang deficiency or externally-contracted excess cold): cold and pain in the epigastrium and abdomen, vomiting, diarrhea.
• Lung cold: cough with thin white sputum, difficulty breathing, cold in the back.
• Raises blood pressure (by acting on central sympathetic centers).
• Downregulates some detoxification genes ““ may prevent some drugs from working
DY: Gan jiang is often used to reinforce the action of Fu zi. As a pair, they are used to return Yang and stem counterflow. For specific indications and notes on this combination, see Fu zi in this category.
Gan jiang warms the spleen and stimulates its functions of transformation and transportation. This has the effect of promoting the upbearing of the clear toward the Lungs and the downbearing of the turbid toward the large intestine. Furthermore, it prevents development of phlegm which the spleen tends to discharge into the Lungs. It transforms cold phlegm (the Chinese word for transform literally means “to melt”) in the Lungs by warming the Lungs. This then promotes diffusion and downbearing [by the Lungs]. In turn, this has the effect of regulating and freeing the flow of the water passageways in order to prevent the development of new phlegm, and downbearing the rebellious Lung Qi.
Gan jiang has clearly demonstrated its efficacy for cold-type asthma in clinical practice. It is, therefore, often systematically added to reinforce the impact of conventional treatments for this pattern of cough and asthma.
• With Wu wei zi: While Gan jiang treats the disease mechanism (see previous bullets), Wu wei zi treats the branch manifestations (i.e. cough and asthma) by securing the Lung Qi by its astringent nature. As a pair, Gan jiang andWu wei zi effectively warm the Lungs, transform phlegm, stop cough, and calm asthma. For indications such as cough and/or asthma with profuse, clear, and white phlegm due to cold in the Lungs, Lung Yang deficiency, or phlegm-cold. For these indications, the combination is used in Xiao Qing Long Tang accompanied by Xi xin.
• With Huang lian to eliminate cold accumulation and depressive heat, drain mixed cold and heat, in order to stop vomiting and diarrhea. The pair allows one to regulate upbearing and downbearing, to harmonize Yin and Yang, and to treat mixed cold and heat. The ratio of the two herbs can be adjusted (3-10g each) depending on whether heat or cold is predominant (use equal doses if heat and cold exist in equal proportion). For indications such as:
– 1. Vomiting, acid regurgitation, belching, epigastric pain or distention, and clamoring stomach (a feeling of hunger, burning, emptiness, unease, and sometimes pain in the stomach with nausea and acid regurgitation) due to a mixture of cold and heat in the stomach. (Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang) Use stir-fried Huang lian unless heat is severe.
– 2. Diarrhea, dysentery, and stomach rumbling due to mixed heat and cold and/or disharmony between the stomach and intestines. (Use stir-fried Huang lian unless heat is severe.)
– 3. Glossitis, stomatitis, and chronic, recalcitrant mouth ulcers due to spleen Yang deficiency and stomach fire.
Yoga: Sunthi, Nagara (dry), Ardraka (fresh): V, K-; P+
• Pungent, sweet/heating/sweet. The most Sattvic spice.
• With honey, it relieves Kapha.
• With rock candy, it relieves Pitta.
• With rock salt, it relieves Vata.
• Dry ginger is better than fresh as a stimulant and expectorant for reducing Kapha and increasing Agni.
• Fresh ginger is a better diaphoretic, better for colds, cough, vomiting and deranged Vata.
• The herb is also a heart tonic.
• Use as a paste for pain and headache.
BII: Carminative, intestinal spasmolytic.
• For all symptoms of motion sickness, and also for morning sickness in pregnancy.
• Some anti-inflammatory effects.
• Useful for migraines, arthritic conditions.
• Also useful in: atherosclerosis, headaches, inner ear dysfunction, nausea, vomiting, osteoarthritis, pain (rheumatic), rheumatoid arthritis.
Hsu: Raises blood pressure – reflexively stimulates the vasomotor center and stimulates the sympathetic nervous system.
• Anti-emetic, anti-diarrheal.
DY: This herb is specifically the older, more mature (dried) rhizome.

Dose: 3-12g
Pao Jiang: Quick-fried Ginger (or fried until slightly blackened)
• Bitter, astringent, warm. Enters the liver and spleen. Warms the channels, stops bleeding, alleviates pain.
• Stops bleeding associated with cold from deficiency: bleeding with defecation or uterine bleeding due to Spleen Qi/Yang deficiency such that blood is not held in the vessels.
• Less potent than Gan jiang at warming the interior, though may be better at treating lower abdominal disorders.

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