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Lián Qiáo 連翘

Pharmaceutical name Forsythiae Fructus Forsythia (suspense) fruit
Category Clear Heat, Resolve Toxicity
Key Properties Cools & vents Heat, esp HT & Upper Jiao
Resolves toxicity
Disperses clumps
Properties Bitter
Sl. Acrid
Sl. Cold
Tropism HT, LU, GB
Actions & Indications 1) Clears Heat & Resolves Toxicity (Wind-Heat & Qi level)
2) Reduces Abcesses & Dissipates Clumps
Carbuncles (Yang), superficial excess “King of Carbuncles”
Heart Fire: vexation, delirium from febrile disease
Dosages 6-15g
Contraindications (TCM) Caution with patients experiencing diarrhea or sores which are neither red nor painful; No side effects within normal dosage
Contraindications (Western) One report of photodermatitis, w/ erythema & papular rashes on skin areas exposed to light
Chemical Composition Lignoids: (phillyrin, phillygenin, (+)-pinorseinol, (+)-pinoresinol-β-D-glucoside), oleanolic acid, betulic acid, ursolic acid, rutin, forsythoside A, C, D; essential oils (α-pinene, β-pinene; terpinen-40ol; β-cymene)
Pharmacological Effects • Antibiotic: essential oil demonstrated broad spectrum inhibitory effects against S. aureus, Diplococcus pneumoniae, Bacillus dysenteriae, α-hemolytic streptococcus, β-hemolytic streptococcus, Neisseria catarrhalis, Salmonella typhi, E. coli, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Bacillus proteus, Bordetella pertussis, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, leptospira, and some dermatophytes and influenza viruses
• Anti-inflammatory: injection decreases permeability of blood vessels to reduce inflammation in guinea pigs
• Cardiovascular: mixed effect on blood pressure; in anesthetized cats in shock, intravenous injection (dosage equivalent to 8 g/kg of dried herb) associated with increases of blood pressure and cardiac contraction; in another study with healthy subjects, injection of a water extract associated with reduction in blood pressure
• Others: hepatoprotective, antipyretic, antiemetic and diuretic effects
Herb-Drug Interactions
Classical Formula(s)

Bao He Wan (Preserve Harmony Pill) 保和丸

Gan Lu Xiao Du Dan (Sweet Dew Special Pill to Eliminate Toxin) 甘露消毒丹

Jing Jie Lian Qiao Tang (Schizonepeta and Forsythia Decoction) 荊芥連翹湯

Liang Ge San (Cool the Diaphragm powder) 涼膈散

Pu Ji Xiao Du Yin (Universal Benefit Drink to Eliminate toxin) 普濟消毒飲 (普济消毒饮)

Qing Gong Tang (Clear the Palace Decoction) 清宫湯

Qing Wen Bai Du Yin (Xi Jiao substituted with Shui Niu Jiao) (Clear Epidemics and Overcome Toxicity Drink 清瘟敗毒飲

Qing Xin Li Ge Tang (Clear the Heart and Enable the Diaphragm Decoction) 清心利膈湯

Qing Ying Tang (clear the nutritive-level decoction)清營湯 (清营汤)

San Zhong Kui Jian Tang (Decoction to Disperse Swelling and Ulcerate What is Hard) 散腫潰堅湯

Sang Ju Yin (Mulberry Leaf and Chrysanthemum Drink) 桑菊飲

Xin Jia Xiang Ru Yin (Newly Augmented Mosla Drink) 新加香薷飲

Yin Qiao San (Honeysuckle and Forsythia Powder) 銀翹散 (银翘散)

Fang Feng Tong Sheng San (Saposhnikovia powder that sagely unblocks) 防風通聖散

Hai Zao Yu Hu Tang (Sargassum decoction for the Jade Flask) 海藻玉壺湯

Xuan Bi Tang (Disband Painful Obstruction Decoction) 宣痺湯


This information is a reference tool for Chinese herbal studies. It is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Please consult a primary health professional if you require health advisory.