Chinese Herb of the Month – May

or… You expect me to drink a tea made with what…?

Lian Qiao – Forsythia Fruit (Forsythiae Suspensae Fructus)

Lian Qiao


Properties: bitter, acrid, cool
Channels entered: Liver, Gallbladder, Lung, Heart

Indications1: symptoms of a cold or flu with fever, chills, sore throat, headache.





It was difficult to ignore the first colors of spring this month. One brilliant yellow has been the forsythia bushes. The chinese herb, Lian Qiao, is the dried fruit of the forsythia plant. By the way, the botanical definition of a fruit is the part of the plant that contains the seed – so many botanical fruits are not edible fruits as we think of them.

Lian Qiao is commonly used to treat colds and flus. It is one of the major ingredients in the popular patent medicine “Yin Qiao” (Qiao refers to Lian Qiao).  People take Yin Qiao at the first signs of a cold to prevent a full-blown illness. It may also be taken if you have succumbed to a cold to alleviate your symptoms and speed recovery.


NOTE: Chinese herbs are typically used in combination (typically 8-16 herbs together) as a prescribed formula. A common method of preparation is to cook the herbs in water to make a tea.

1 Disclaimer – These indications are based on translations of the traditional Chinese material medica that have been researched and developed for over 15 centuries. Needless to say, they have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.