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Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl. Ac., LAc.
Gumgig Pean (甘桔喉糖片) is a simple, compact Chinese formula designed for acute cough and sore throat due to wind-heat, which is understood as the combination of wind and a bacterial or viral pathogen that enters the body.
Wind-heat signs include: red eyes, sore scratchy throat, thirst, productive cough with yellow phlegm, or nasal discharge that is yellow. The formula takes advantage of some great herbs that are commonly combined for the above indications.
The ingredients are as follows:
1. Glycyrrhiza Glabra L. – Licorice root (Gan Cao /甘草)
Gan Cao is a honey coated licorice root that has been baked until dark. It’s sweet, neutral and enters all 12 meridians, but primarily the Heart, Lung, Stomach and Spleen channels.
Chinese herbal actions include: Tonifies the Spleen & boosts Spleen Qi; moistens the Lungs, dispels phlegm and stops cough; stops spasms and alleviates pain; clears heat and reduces toxins; used as an antidote for various forms of poisoning such as, food, drug herb and chemical poisoning; and guides herbs into the 12 channels.
The biomedical actions are: Anti-inflammatory, anti-allergen, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antitussive.
2. Platycodon Grandiflorum A. DC. – Balloon flower root (Jie Geng /桔梗)
This herb has a bitter and acrid taste with a neutral temperature, and an affinity for the Lung meridian.
Chinese herbal actions include: Opening up the Lungs, disseminating or spreading Lung Qi, dispelling phlegm, expelling pus, raising Lung Qi and helping guide other herbs to the upper body; particularly the Lungs.
The biomedical actions are: Anti-inflammatory, expectorant and inhibits cough.
3. Tea – This is most likely green tea, because green tea contains a chemical constituent called theophylline, which acts as a bronchodillator, and has both an anti-inflammatory and an antitussive effect.
4. Mentha Arvensis L. – Common mint (Bo He /薄荷)
Bo he is an acrid, aromatic and cooling herb that enters the Lung and Liver meridians.
Chinese herbal actions include: Dispersing wind-heat, cools and clears the head and eyes and benefits the throat; vents rashes and disperses Liver Qi.
The biomedical actions are: Antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, relieves sinus congestion, and promotes perspiration.
The herbs in this simple formula work together to quickly bring you relief from some common irritating symptoms that can make your holiday very unpleasant. You can find it in most Boots pharmacies or in locally run pharmacies that carry Chinese patent medicine products.
A great formula to have in your backpack when traveling through Southeast Asia!