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Lu Gan Shi
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Lu Gan Shi (Calamina)——Wai Dan Ben Cao (Materia Medica of Vermilion Pill)

  1. Lu Gan Shi
  2. Calamina
  3. 爐甘石
  4. Calamine

The Processing of 炉甘石


The smithsonite of carbonate mineral, mainly containing ZnCO3.


Mainly in Guangxi, Hunan and Sichuan provinces of China.


Mined during whole year.

The actual smell and taste

Without bad smell, slightly astringent taste.

Best quality

Light weight, loose texture and white.


Calcined, or calcined then quenched with vinegar or calcined then quenched with San Huang Tang (Huang Lian, Huang Bai and Da Huang), refined with water.

The Effect of 炉甘石


Sweet, neutral; liver and stomach meridians entered.


Remove toxicity and improve vision and remove nebula, astringe dampness and relieve itching and heal wounds.


A. Blood-shot eyes, vision-disturbed ophthalmopathy, eyelid itching due to dampness with discharge

Being sweet, neutral and without toxin in property and with actions of removing toxin, improving vision and removing nebula, it is good at treating eye diseases. It is a common ophthalmology herb and indicated for removing nebula and curing vision-disturbed ophthalmopathy in external application. For blood-shot eyes, nebula and vision-disturbed ophthalmopathy, it is combined with Qing Fan and Po Xiao to dissolve in boiling water to wash topically. It is good at astringing dampness to relieve dacryorrhea and itching and indicated for injured eye sockets, photophobia. It is combined with toxicity-removing, dampness-drying and itching-relieving herbs to obtain the actions of clearing heat and removing toxicity, astringing dampness, preventing corrosion and promoting tissue regeneration, such as Huang Lian and Bing Pian and so on.

B. Unhealing of ulcer, eczema

It has actions of removing toxicity, promoting tissue regeneration and healing wound and astringing dampness and relieving itching. Among the actions it is good at astringing dampness, so it is indicared for sores and ulcers especially for discharging of pus and unhealing sores after ulceration. It is mainly indicated for itching of skin due to dampness with discharge in eczema and often combined with heat-clearing and dampness-drying herbs to reinforce the action, such as calcined Shi Cao, Long Gu, Qing Dai and Huang Lian and so on.

In addition, it can be indicated with heat-clearing and corrosion-preventing herbs, such as Bing Pian to treat scalds or burns.

Dosage and Administrations

Take proper dose for external application, grind into powder for direct use or mix with other liquid. Refined with water for eye drop application. It is commonly not for internal application.