It is a little more challenging to answer the question of how to get healthy skin as clinically there are a lot of different skin conditions such as rashes, eczema, acne, sores, and ringworm involved. In west medicine system, the treatments vary from condition to condition.
It would be all right if inflammation isn’t accompanied in mild skin problems. Unfortunately, inflammation, more often than not, is always there. In this case, chances are scars or dark marks would be left after healing as the inflammation leads to destruction of the surrounding tissue, in which main symptoms are redness, swelling, fever, pain, itch, ooze and pus. To prevent scarring and reverse the damaged skin, it need to reduce inflammation, remove pus, and kill germs at the same time.
Is there such a thing that is capable of completing the above-mentioned tasks once for all? The answer will be yes if you know something about Chinese medicine. And Bai Xian Pi (Burning Bush Root), one of common Chinese herbs for skin, may be the solution you have been looking for.
What is Bai Xian Pi?
Actually it refers to the rhizome of Dictammnus dasycarpus Turcz, which has a variety of other names such as Dictamnus albus., Fraxinella, Adiptam, Herba Dictamni Herba., Gas Plant, and Dittany. Burning Bush is a perennial herbaceous plant and with peculiar irritant odor. It has yellowish white ligneous roots in tight clusters. Stems are erect, 50 to 65cm high. Alternate pinnately compound leaves are oval or oblong elliptic in shape, 3.5 to 9cm long, and 2 to 4cm long. And it has racemose flowers, rachis and pedicel mixed white pubescence and black glandular hair, and pink with purple red lines. The fruit is capsule, densely covered with glandular hairs, splitting into 5 segments at maturity, one prickle at the end of each segment, and 2 to 3 round black seeds inside. Flower season is April and May. Fruiting time is May to June. It grows in hillside or woods.
As a frequently used herb for healthy skin in TCM remedies, its medicinal part is dictamnus root bark, which is collected in spring and autumn in the North and summer in the East in China. The process is to dig it out, remove fibril and tertia, split lengthways when it is still fresh, take out the woodent heart, and dry in the sun.
The dried rhizome presents coiling block or double barrels in shape, 7 to 12cm long, 1 to 2 in diameter, 2 to 5mm thick, yellowish white to light brown surface, slightly smooth, and with vertical wrinkles and lateral root scars. Internal surface is light yellow, smooth, and with round holes caused by branch roots. It is crisp and easy to break, with ivory and layered cross section. Put under the sunlight or lamp, small white sparkling crystals is seen. It smells like mutton and tastes slightly bitter. Medicinally the preferred one is in coiling block, without woodent heart, thick bark, and large in size. And it is mainly produced by provinces of Liaoning, Hebei, Sichuan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui.
Why it treats skin problems?
According to theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is bitter and cold in nature. And it covers a few meridians of spleen, stomach and urinary bladder.
Main functions are to clear heat and dry damp, expel wind and stop itch, and detoxify. Main clinical usage and indications are measles due to the accumulation of wind, heat, and damp, eczema, scabies, ringworm, jaundice, and pain or numbness caused by damp and heat (arthritis). According modern researches, it is also capable of killing bacterium, diminishing inflammation, benefiting heart, fighting cancer, and contracting uterine smooth muscle. In terms of getting healthy skin naturally, it can remove dark spots, moisten skin and release toxins efficiently.
Regular dosage is 6 to 15 grams in decoction and more used externally.
In TCM practice, Ben Cao Jing Shu (Classic Theory of Materia Medica) said it should not be used in people suffering from cold and deficiency in Lower Jiao although dampness was there. Else, according to Ben Cao Jing Ji Zhu (Collected Annotation of Herbalism), it is incompatible with herbs like Sang Piao Xiao (Ootheca Mantidis), Jie Geng (Balloon Flower Rhizome), Fu Ling (Poria), and Bi Xie (Yam Rhizome).
How to get healthy skin with herbal formulas?
(1). Bai Xian Pi San, from Sheng Ji Zhong Lu (The Complete Record of Holy Benevolence), treats wind-heat hidden in lung, itch due to toxicity attack, discomfort in chest diaphragm, and fidget from time to time. Other individual herbs are Fang Feng (Ledebouriella), Ren Shen (Ginseng), Zhi Mu (Anemarrhena Rhizome), Sha Shen (Glehnia), and Huang Ling (Scutellaria Baicalensis).
(2). The Clinical Handbook of Chinese Medicinals in Qingdao said that it works with Ku Shen (Sophora) treated eczema and pruritus. And it would be better to apply its tinctures externally.
(3). For external treatment for wart and chloasma in face, it needs to combine with Ban Lan Gen (Isatis indigotica), Ku Shen, Hong Hua (Safflower Flower), Di Fu Zi (Broom Cyprus Fruit), Fan Shi (Alum), and Chan Tui (Cicada Moulting).
(4). For treating fungal infection of the hand externally, it needs to work with She Chuang Zi (Cnidium Seeds), Ku Shen, Bai Bu (Stemona), and Dang Gui (Dong Quai).
Just like love, healthy skin is always the eternal topic for women. But smooth, clear, young and beautiful look doesn’t come easy. From TCM’s point of view, the culprit of quite a big part of skin problems comes from the accumulated toxicity by wind, damp, and heat. In this case, the priority is to get rid of them all, which is exactly where Bai Xian Pi comes in. However, please note that the above are some proven remedies just for your reference, to name but a few.