Gan Cao is a useful herb to have in your home because it is cheap yet packs a punch when it comes to health benefits.
Gan Cao is known as Liquorice which is sold mostly as thinly sliced roots. It is a sweet herb with a neutral character and it is helpful for the heart, lung, spleen and stomach meridians.
It is also said that Gan Cao is a life prolonging herb. How true this is I don't know but I do know that I like the smooth taste of this herb.
As it benefits the heart, lung, spleen and stomach, Gan Cao therefore helps with Qi. It also stops coughing and clears heat, with an ability to detox poisons.
I usually use Gan Cao by steeping one piece (cut up into 3 pieces) in my hot Chinese tea (Ti Kuan Yin or a light mellow tea). This way I can taste the mouth-lingering taste of this herb.
Another way is to pop one slice of the root and chew as if you are chewing gum! Chew for 10 minutes or until you have dehydrated the root of its juices. Spit out the chewed root. (This method is great if you are always coughing).