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Zao Jiao (Chinese Honeylocust Fruit)

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Warm Zao Jiao (Gleditsiae Sinensis Fructus)
Spicy, Warm, Slightly Toxic
Gleditsiae Sinensis Fructus
Tone Marks:
zào jiăo
Soap Thorn


  • Dispels Phlegm
    For cough, dyspnea and chest congestion with difficult to expectorate, copious sputum and/or phlegm nodules.
  • Opens Orifices
    For resuscitation of unconscious patients with locked jaw, pale face, and difficulty breathing possibly due to stroke. Also for sudden loss of consciousness with seizures or facial paralysis due to excess phlegm.
  • Reduces Swelling and Abscesses, Dissipates Clumps
    For initial stages of boils, abscesses and clumping prior to ulceration
  • Unblocks Bowels, Expels Roundworms
    For constipation with roundworms by stimulating peristalsis

Contraindications and Cautions

  • Do not use in cases with Qi or Yin Deficiency
  • Do not use during pregnancy
  • Do not use in cases with bleeding diathesis

Herb-Drug Interactions

  • This section is being researched, and is not completed.

Toxicity and Overdose

  • This herb is considered toxic (while some Chinese herbs are toxic, it must be noted that many come prepared, or are combined, to mitigate their toxicity).


  • 1-1.5 grams in decoction, 0.6-1.5 grams of powder (Chen)
  • 1-1.5 grams in decoction (Bensky)

This Herb Appears in the Following Formulas:

Go to the Endangered/Toxic List This herb is considered endangered, toxic, or is illegal in the United States