Lian Qiao also known as Fructus Forsythiae is the fruit of Forsythia suspensa, which is a deciduous shrub belonging to the family Oleaceae. It is a relatively practical and common Chinese herbal medicine with a medicinal history of over 2,000 years.
This plant often grows in shrubs, grass, or sparse forests at an altitude of 250-2,200 meters. It can be found in many countries in Asia.
In the autumn of each year, people gather the ripe fruits of Forsythia suspensa, remove their impurities, steam them thoroughly, dry them in the sun, and make them into Chinese herbs.
Lian Qiao contains forsythol, forsythin, oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, alkaloids, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, daucosterol, β-sitosterol, vitamin P, and essential oils.
According to <Shennong Ben Cao Jing>, the medicinal property of Lian Qiao is relatively cold, with a bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the lung, heart and small intestine meridians.
In Chinese medicine, Lian Qiao is often used to clear heat and remove toxin, alleviate swelling and dissipate indurated mass, dispel wind and heat, treat acute respiratory infections, pyogenic skin infections, psoriasis, lung abscess, cervical lymphatic tuberculosis, acute infectious hepatitis, allergic purpura, and acute nephritis.
There are about 300 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions containing Lian Qiao, such as Yin Qiao San, Lianhua Qingwen capsule, and Shuang Huang Lian.
Health benefits of Lian Qiao
- Anti-inflammation, anti-virus, and anti-tumor.
- Anti-oxidation, scavenging hydroxyl radicals and superoxide anions and delaying aging.
- Dilating blood vessels, increasing cardiac output, and improving microcirculation.
- Lowering blood pressure and having antiemetic and antipyretic effects.
- Reducing vascular permeability and fragility, preventing hemolysis, cerebral hemorrhage, retinal hemorrhage, purpura.
- Treating macular hemorrhage and retinal arteriovenous thrombosis, improving vision.
- Alleviating swelling and dissipating indurated mass, treating skin redness, sores, and abscesses.
- Clearing Liver and reducing phlegm, treating scrofula and subcutaneous nodules caused by the coagulation of phlegm-fire.
- Dispelling wind and heat, treating fever, headache, thirst, and sore throat caused by wind-heat or warm diseases.
- Treating high fever and unconsciousness caused by heat attacking pericardium.
- Treating irritability, bright red tongue, unconsciousness, and macules caused by heat entering nutrient-blood.
- Inducing diuresis, relieving difficult and painful urination.
- The study found that Lian Qiao has broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties, which can inhibit Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Micrococcus luteus dysentery bacillus, Leptospira.
Lian Qiao is used with other Chinese herbs
- It with Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae), Yan Hu Suo (Rhizoma Corydalis), Bing Pian (Borneol), and Zi Cao (Radix Arnebiae) can treat oral ulcers.
- It with Pu Gong Ying (Dandelion), Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae), and Ye Ju Hua (Flos Chrysanthemi Indici) can treat sores and abscesses before tissue suppuration.
- It with Mu Dan Pi (Cortex Moutan) and Tian Hua Fen (Radix Trichosanthis) can treat skin redness and fester.
- It with Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae), Bo He (Mentha), and Niu Bang Zi (Fructus Arctii) can treat fever, headache, thirst, and sore throat caused by wind-heat or warm diseases.
- It with Che Qian Zi (Semen Plantaginis), Bai Mao Gen (Rhizoma Imperatae), Zhu Ye (Bamboo Leaf), and Mu Tong (Caulis Akebiae) can promote urination and relieve difficult and painful urination.
- It with Shui Niu Jiao (Cornu Bubali), Sheng Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae), and Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae) can treat irritability, bright red tongue, unconsciousness, and macules caused by heat entering nutrient-blood.
Side effects of Lian Qiao
Lian Qiao has been used clinically for many years, with almost no side effects.
A small proportion of patients taking it may cause dizziness or fatigue.
Precautions of Lian Qiao
- The dosage of Lian Qiao should be controlled at 6-15g.
- It can be made into decoction, pill, or powder.
- The nearly ripe Lian Qiao is recommended for clearing heat and removing toxin, the well-ripened Lian Qiao is recommended for dispelling wind and heat.
- Its seeds are recommended for purging heart fire.
- It should not be used to treat purulence caused by Qi deficiency.
- People with deficiency-cold in spleen and stomach should not take it.