Once there lived a old doctor in a village. He was invited to treat a patient and didn't come back for several days.
During these days,a lot of people were ill and were eager to invite him. The wife of the old doctor thought to herself, "Didn't he use several kinds of grass to treat the patient?" There happened a kind of stover in the kitchen. It tasted sweet.
So she cut the stover into pieces and wrapped them with paper. When the people came to invite the doctor, she gave each person a package of the stover and said, "They are the herbs prepared by him before he left and can treat various diseases. Take them back and have the decoction."
The patients were very grateful and wanna pay for that. She had to say, "Take the medicine first and you can pay it later."
Thus many patients had the stover and were covered gradually.
Several days later the old doctor came back. A lot of people came to pay for the medicine.
"How can you pay for the medicine? I didn't give you any drugs." The old doctor was baffled.;
The people said, "You have left the drugs in you house and you wife treated us with them."
So he asked his wife, "How can you treat diseases? What on earth have you given them?"
His wife had to tell him the truth secretly.
"The patients suffered from various diseases. How can this kind of stover treat various diseases?" he was even puzzled.
The second day, the old doctor inquired all the patients. Some of them suffered from spleen-stomach vacuity, some from cough and profuse phlegm, some from sore throat, some from swelling and toxin of welling abscess (yong) and flat abscess (ju), and some from infantile fetal toxin, etc. and they were all cured.
Since then, the old doctor use the kind of stover to treat the patients and found that it had the actions of supplementing qi and harmonizing the center, draining fire and resolve toxin as well as coordinating the drug actions of a prescription. Afterward, he termed it "gan-cao" (sweet herb), i.e., licorice.
3.于是，医生的老婆把有甜味的干草切好，用纸包成包，谁来找医生，就给一包，说： “这是我老头子临走时留下的，他说能治百病。拿回去煎汤喝吧！”病人非常感激，非要给钱。医生的老婆说： “你们先拿回去吃，账以后再算。”
6.老医生更湖涂了，他把老婆喊出来问： “你哪儿会治病呵？给人家吃了什么药？”医生老婆让他先收下钱，等大伙走散，才一五一十地把干草当药的事说了。老医生大吃一惊： “就算这种草能治病，人们得的病也不一样，难道它全能治？”