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Gan Qi

English Name: dried lacquer

Pharmaceutical Name: Resina Toxicodendri

Medica Category: Blood-Invigorating and Stasis-Removing Herbs

Properties: Gan Qi enters the Liver and Stomach channels; it is acrid and bitter in nature and warm in temperature.

What is Gan Qi?:

The Chinese Herb Gan Qi is derived from the resin collected from the Chinese lacquer tree (Toxicodendron vernicifluum). The mature trees are tapped, producing a sap which contains some of the same allergic irritant found in poison ivy (urushiol oil—see safety note below). This sap is processed into lacquer, which is then dried and ground into powder for use as medicine.

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

Gan Qi breaks blood stagnation, eliminates blood stasis, and opens the channels to treat severe cases of amenorrhea, abdominal masses, and hardness (e.g. nodules and other accumulations).

Gan Qi was used historically to kill parasites (but has been replaced in modern times by more effective herbs for this purpose).

–safety notes:

Contraindicated during pregnancy.

Contraindicated in the absence of blood stasis.

This herb should on be used in very small doses (60 – 100 mg) in powdered form only. It should not be used in herbal decoctions.

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