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Alumen

Bai Fan
Bai Fan #

Naming

Bai Fan (Alumen)——Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (Shen Nong’s Herbal)

  1. Bai Fan
  2. 白礬
  3. 白矾

The Processing of Alumen

Origin

The extraction of alley-stone of sulfates mineral, mainly containing KAl(SO4)2. •12H2O.

Location

Mainly in Anhui, Zhejiang and Shanxi provinces of China.

Harvest

Mined during whole year.

The actual smell and taste

Light smell, sour, slightly sweet and extremely astringent taste

Best quality

Large, colorless and transparent.

Processing

Unprocessed or calcined; calcined to call Ku Fan.

The Effect of Alumen

Property

Sour, astringent, cold; lung, spleen, liver and large intestine meridians entered.

Actions

Astringe dampness and relieve itching and counteract toxic pathogen and killing parasites for external application, stop bleeding and check diarrhea and resolve phlegm for internal application.

Indications

A. Pruritus of eczema, sores and ulcers, scabies and ringworm

It is good at astringing dampness and relieving itching so it is suitable for treating eczema, manifested as pruritus, wet and rotten surface of sores. For eczema pruritus with pus discharging, it can be indicated singly in powder by dissolving it in cold water to wash topically. It also can be combined with dampness-astringing herbs to obtain the action of clearing heat and drying dampness, healing wound and relieving itching, such as calcined Shi Gao, Bing Pian and Huang Lian, etc. For scabies, ringworm with pruritus, it is often combined with parasites-killing and ringworm-curing herbs to reinforce the action of counteracting toxic pathogen and killing parasites and curing ringworm and relieving itching, such as Liu Huang.

B. Bleeding syndrome

It has the action of stopping bleeding for both external and internal application. It can be indicated for kinds of bleeding syndromes such as hematemsis, epistaxis, hematochezia, metrorrhagia and metrostaxis, traumatic bleeding. It can be used singly or combined with other astringent hemostatics to reinforce the action of stopping bleeding. For epistaxis endlessly, it is applied singly in powder to blow into nose. For chronic hematochezia, it is often combined with Pao Jiang to make into pills. For bleeding due to incised wound, it is often combined with Song Xiang to grind into powder for external application.

C. Chronic diarrhea, chronic dysentery

It can astringe intestines to check diarrhea and counteract toxic pathogen to cure dysentery and stop bleeding for internal application. For chronic dysentery with purulent and bloody stool, it can obtain the action of treating both fundamental and incidental aspect of disease. It is combined with intestine-astringing herbs such as Wu Bei Zi and He Zi, etc. to reinforce the action of astringing intestine to check diarrhea.

D. Wind stroke, phlegm syncope, epilepsy, cough and dyspnea due to phlegm-fluid retention

It is cold in nature and can clear and resolve heat-phlegm. For wind-phlegm syncope, it is combined with other herbs of resolving phlegm for resuscitation to obtain the action of resuscitation. For instance, it is combined with Zhu Ya Zao in Jiu Ji Xi Xian San from Shen Ji Zong Lu. For epilepsy with mania due to phlegm obstruction of heart, it is combined with heart-clearing and stagnation-smoothening herbs. For instance, it is used with Yu Jin in powder to make into pills with Bo He, in Bai Jin Wan from Yi Fang Ji Jie. For phlegm-fluid retention cough and dyspnea with distention and fullness in septum pectorale, it is often combined with phlegm-resolving and qi-regulating herbs to obtain actions of drying dampness and resolving phlegm and regulating qi and soothing chest, such as Ban Xia and Xiang Fu, etc.

In addition, it can be indicated for anal prolapse, prolapse of uterus, leukorrhea and pruritus vulvae.

Dosage and Administrations

Take proper dose for external application, ground into powder for direct use, mixed with other liquid or dissolved in water to wash topically. Take powder or pills 0.6~1.0 g for internal application.