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February 3, 2013

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TCM Treasures - Lian qiao 连翘

WITH a slightly bitter taste, lian qiao (weeping forsythia) is a traditional "cold" herbal medicine that kills bacteria, reduces inflammation, dispels inner heat, stops vomiting and is said to help prevent meningitis.

The lian qiao shrub, which has golden yellow blooms in spring, is found in areas including Shanxi, Liaoning, Gansu and Hebei provinces. It is also the city flower of Seoul, capital of South Korea.

Its fruit is made into medicine, also used to clean the blood, treating fevers.

Lian qiao forms a protective layer on the skin to fight inflammation, and is thus often used to treat pimples and acne by controlling skin oil.

In China, the combination of lian qiao and jin yin hua (honeysuckle flower) - together known as "yin qiao" for short - is a very popular prescription for treating coughs, sore throats, headaches and a dry mouth caused by a bad cold.

As well as its medicinal properties, lian qiao, with its bright spring flowers, is also a delightful landscaping plant, flourishing on riverbanks, beside fences and along roadsides.

Ancient Chinese also extracted oil from lian qiao seeds for cooking.

Prescriptions & Usage:

Lian qiao water

Boil lian qiao with water for 20 minutes.

Wash your face with it twice daily.

Benefits: It is anti-bacterial and can fade blemishes, treat acne and smooth wrinkles.

Lian qiao tea

Mix honeysuckle flower, lian qiao, da qing gen (isatis tinctoria), lu gen (reed rhizome) and gan cao (radix glycyrrhiza), each 15g.

Boil them with water.

Drink every day for three to five days.

Benefits: Helps prevent meningitis.

Lian qiao mouth-washing water

Boil 25g lian qiao, 15g huang bo (amur corktree bark) and 10g gan cao (radix glycyrrhiza) with water for 20 minutes.

Rinse your mouth with it daily.

Benefits: Treats mouth ulcers.


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