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Gan Jiang

English Name: dried ginger

Pharmaceutical Name: Rhizoma Zingiberis

Medica Category: Interior-Warming Herbs

Properties: Gan Jiang enters the Heart, Spleen, Lung, and Stomach channels; it is acrid in nature and hot in temperature.

What is Gan Jiang?:

The Chinese Herb Gan Jiang is dried ginger root (Zingiber officinale Rosc.).

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Gan Jiang:

Gan Jiang dispels cold and warms the middle jiao to address “digestive difficulties” related to cold and/or yang deficiency in the Spleen and Stomach. Clinical presentations of this imbalance include epigastric and abdominal coldness and pain (relieved with application of heat), incomplete digestion, watery diarrhea (w/undigested food bits), nausea, and vomiting.

Gan Jiang restores depleted yang and expels cold. When paired with Fu Zi, Gan Jiang both reduces its toxicity and synergistically combines with it to enhance both of their yang-restoring actions beyond what each herb could do separately (see the entry on Fu Zi for a short primer on devastated yang).

Gan Jiang warms the Lung and dissolves phlegm to address cough with profuse, clear or watery sputum, wheezing/dyspnea, and aversion to cold.

Gan Jiang warms the channels and stops bleeding characterized by deficiency and cold; in these instances, the blood will be dark in color and thin in consistency. Other clinical presentations pointing toward this use of Gan Jiang are cold extremities, a pale tongue, and a thin, thready pulse.

**safety note—Gan Jiang should be used with caution (i.e. under supervision and with smaller, controlled doses) during pregnancy.

Gan Jiang should not be used in persons showing heat signs (full or deficiency).

Pao Jiang is dried ginger that has been charred; it is bitter and astringent and it is used to stop bleeding. It treats deficiency and cold.

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