Plum Dragon Herbs

Zao Jiao (Honey Locust Fruit)


Chinese Herb Zao Jiao (Honey Locust Fruit)

Other Names: 

Zao Jiao, Honey Locust Fruit, Thorny Locust, Gleditsia Fruit, Gleditsia Sinensis Lam., Fructus Gleditsiae


Salty, Warm, Acrid, Slightly Toxic

Channels Entered:

Lung, Large Intestine, Stomach


Stops Coughing, Transforms Cold Phlegm

Other Information:

Zao Jiao is great for dissolving stubborn phlegm that impairs Lung Qi from its normal decent. Where there are abscesses present, especially those where discharging pus is difficult, Zao Jiao can provide some relief, as well as relieving clogged bowels. 

Another use for the Honey Locust Fruit is its relieving effects of seizures caused by excessive Phlegm, such as facial paralysis or sudden loss of consciousness. Thorny Locust provides treatment for the manifestation of symptoms but should be combined with other herbs to treat the underlying cause. 

Zao Jiao is commonly combined with Xi Xin, Jin Yin Hua, Bai Zhi, and Vinegar as a repository and nasal insufflation, to treat boils, to treat abscesses with pus, and as a topical treatment, respectively. Many other combinations are also used to treat constipation as well as open offices. 

The overuse of Zao Jiao can lead to vomiting and diarrhea and should not be used in those with Qi or Yin Deficiency. Additionally, caution should be used when combining Thorny Locust with other drugs: allow for two hours between ingestion to avoid binding of the herb and drugs, which can create an indigestible mass.

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