Herb Formulas Notebook

Run Ji Gao

Skin Moistening Ointment

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Source: Orthodox Lineage of External Medicine (1617)
Author: Chen Shi-Gong

Category: Formulas that are Applied Externally

Pattern: White Scaling Wind (Bai Xie Feng) rashes due to dry skin

Key Symptoms: Dry skin rashes with white scaling

Zi Cao 3g
Dang Gui 15g
Ma You 120g
Feng La 15g

Zi Cao is not allowed to used internally in the UK due to fears over Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids but external use is still permitted.

Preparation: Soak the first two ingredients in the sesame oil for one week then gently heat until it starts to bubble. Lower the heat and cook until the Dang Gui starts to brown. Turn off the heat and cool, traditionally by placing the pan in a bowl of cold water like a double boiler. When it is cool enough to not burn the skin strain out the herbs and reheat the liquid over a low flame and stir in the beeswax until it is melted. Pour into glass containers to cool and harden into an ointment. The amount of beeswax varies according to the desired hardness of the resulting ointment and the season (more in summer, less in winter).
It may be applied gently to the area 3-4 times per day, or for acute cases spread onto a gauze pad and secured over the area and changed once per day.

Actions: Clears Heat, cools the Blood, resolves Toxicity, moistens Dryness, relieves pain and itching

This is identical to Zi Dang Cao but in a different proportion of Zi Cao and Dang Gui to make a softer ointment better suited for dryer skin conditions.

Xu's Dermatology in TCM (2004) presents a formula called Qing Lian Gao (Cool Clearing Paste) with identical ingredients except the addition of 2.25g of finely powdered Da Huang and considerably higher proportion of beeswax (equivalent to 48-72g per 120ml of oil).

Research Links:
Science Direct
Google Scholar
Journal of Chinese Medicine
American Dragon

Reference Notes: (click to display)

These pages are intended to assist clinicians and are not intended for self-diagnosis or treatment for which a qualified professional should be consulted.