Nature: bitter, acrid, slightly cold
Actions: Descends Lung Qi; eliminates phlegm; mildly disperses wind-heat.
• Lung heat or Lung Qi stagnation with failure of the Lung Qi to descend: cough with thick and sticky sputum, wheezing.
• Wind-heat or wind-cold: cough, copious sputum. Most often for wind-heat.
• Can be used with Chai hu for externally-contracted diseases presenting with cough, rebellious Qi, thick sputum, and/or malarial disorders.
DY: With Bai Qian, for mutual reinforcement in dispersion of phlegm. The two herbs 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.
Hsu: Dilates coronary artery; expectorant – stimulates secretions of the respiratory tract (effect similar to Jie geng, but weaker antitussive action); antihistamine action.