Lian Qiao – Forsythia fruit

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.

Dose: 6-15g
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.

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