Nature: bitter, slightly cold
Enters: Heart, Lung, Liver, Gallbladder
Actions: Disperses internal stagnant heat (from Qi stagnation); clears heat; eliminates toxicity; can separate a mixture of Yang pathogenic factors.
• Wind-heat or early stage attack of warm-heat pathogen: fever, headache, thirst, sore throat, slight chills.
• Heat and toxicity: various kinds of carbuncles, nodules, boils, lymph swellings, all hot sores.
• Some benefit in acute nephritis and macular hemorrhage.
• May possess antiemetic properties.
• Doctrine of signatures: resembles the heart and, like the heart, it is light when open.
• Broad spectrum antimicrobial like Jin yin hua. Lian qiao is better against Shigella and Staphylococcus aureus, while Jin yin hua is better against Salmonella and hemolytic Streptococcus.
HF: A San Du, scattering toxin medicinal, typically found in Gu Zheng (Gu parasites) formulas.
Hsu: Antiviral, cardiotonic, diuretic.
DY: Clears heat from the whole body; clears the heart and upper burner fire; treats skin inflammations; scatters nodulation and disperses swelling.
• Do not exceed 15g/day – can damage the stomach Yang (sometimes 30g per day can be tolerated for a short time).
• With Jin yin hua to strongly and effectively clear heat and resolve toxins. See Jin yin hua above for specific indications of this combination.
• Lian qiao is superior to Jin yin hua for clearing heat-toxicity, but (unlike Jin yin hua) Lian qiao does not reinforce the expelling actions of herbs which disperse wind-heat.
Two types of Lian qiao: (B&G, DY)
• Qing lian qiao or Qing qiao: the blue-green fruit which has just begun to ripen. It is superior for clearing heat, resolving toxins, and treating warm diseases, fever, and erysipelas.
• Huang lian qiao or Lao qiao: the ripe, yellow fruit – called “Old” qiao. It is superior for dispersing abscesses and swelling, scattering nodulation, and treating goiter, subcutaneous nodules, skin inflammations, and carbuncles.
Lian Qiao Xin: the seed
• Clears heat-toxicity which have entered the pericardium causing vexation, agitation, irritability, insomnia, high fever with delirium, mental confusion, loss of consciousness.