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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dr. Leung on Skin Care with Herbs - Part 3 of 3

The following information was originally published in Dr. Leung's newsletter in 1997. Today's post concludes the series with Dr. Leung's discussion of a report on using Sanqi (Panax notoginseng) in treating severely chapped skin.

Note: Contains material derived from Sanqi (Panax notoginseng) powder for treating severely chapped skin [Jiangxi Zhongyiyao, 23(1): 35(1992)].

In addition to other effects (immunomodulating, antiinflammatory, antioxidant, etc.), sanqi is well known for its hemostatic and wound-healing properties. In this report, results of treating 68 patients with chapped skin are presented. Thirty-six patients were complicated with ringworm of the feet and 41 experienced different degrees of pain or bleeding. Duration of illness ranged from 6 months to 15 years. Method: Mix 30 g of sanqi powder well with an adequate amount of sesame oil to form a uniform paste, place it in a sealed clean container, and reserve for later use. Soak the afflicted areas with hot but tolerable water for 10-20 minutes before applying the oily paste. Do this 3-4 times daily for 30 days. Results: After treatment, 45 patients were healed, with no recurrence after more than 1 year; and 23 showed improvement, with longer periods between recurrences, which again responded to the same treatment. The fastest response was 3 weeks and the longest 7 weeks, with an average of 3.7 weeks. It is recommended that the paste be also used as a preventive by applying it to affected areas once every 1 to 2 days.

Sanqi or tienchi ginseng is readily available in any Chinese herb shop. It comes in spindle-shaped whole roots, 2-4 cm long and 1-3 cm in diameter, and is very hard. Unless you have a Chinese bronze mortar and pestle with a lid, it is not easy to powder this herb. You may have to break it up with a hammer first and then grind it in a sturdy coffee mill.

These and more herbal remedies are available from the volumes of Dr. Leung’s newsletter, of the same name as this blog (Leung’s Chinese Herb News). This newsletter was published and sent to subscribers (most were industry-insiders) from 1996 to 2004. The collected works now serve as an excellent reference work, created with Dr. Leung’s frank, honest opinions and down-to-earth communication style.

For more information about Dr. Leung and his writings, visit www.earthpower.com. To order the newsletter mentioned above, visit the bookstore, click “Buy Now” on the newsletter, and select Issue # 10 from the drop down list.

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