October 11, 2010

Using high dosages of Bai Hua She She Cao in the treatment of Acne

Chinese Medical department affiliated with Ning Xia medical school
Ma Xiao-Yong, Ding Yu-Mei

Journal of Traditional Chinese medicine, 2008, Vol. 49, No. 8

Bai Hua She She Cao (Herba Hedyotidis Diffusae) 白花蛇舌草 is slightly bitter, sweet and cold. This medicinal enters the stomach, large intestine and small intestine channels. Its main functions are to clear heat, disinhibit dampness, resolve toxicity and disperse abscesses. This year we have been employing Bai Hua She She Cao quite often in combination with other medicinals in the treatment of acne. The following are a couple of case studies representing the positive results we have experienced.

Case 1: Wang, a 26 year old male presented in December 2006 with red papules on his face that had been present for 3 months. The papules were pus filled, nodular, painful and quite itchy. This was accompanied with a bitter taste in the mouth, dry stools, red tongue, slippery-yellow tongue coat, and a wiry-slippery pulse. The diagnosis was acne with the pattern belonging to accumulation and exuberant toxic heat in the Lungs and Stomach. The formula prescribed was:

Bai Hua She She Cao 60g
Sheng Shi Gao 45g (cooked first)
Huang Qin 15g
Bai Xian Pi 15g
Pu Gong Ying 15g
Sheng Di Huang 10g
Kun Bu 10g
Chi Shao 10g
Hong Hua 12g
San Leng 12g
E Zhu 12g
Yan Hu Suo 12g
Dan Shen 20g
Da Huang 10g
Gan Cao 6g

After taking 7 packages of the above formula the papules along with the pus were beginning to recede and were more of a pale color. The nodules were slightly softer, bowel movements were smoother and the bitter taste in the mouth, pain and itching were pretty much resolved. The tongue coat was now thin slippery-yellow. The above formula was given with Da Huang reduced to 5g and with the additions of Cang Zhu 12g and Sha Ren 6g. After taking 30 packages of this formula, the papules and pustular nodules had receded. The patient was advised to eat less acrid, spicy and greasy foods. On a two month follow up, the patients’ condition had completely resolved.

Case 2: A 21 year old female patient presented in January 2006, with small red facial papules, that had been present for 2 years. The papules were slightly itchy and were accompanied with a sticky bitter taste in the mouth, slightly dry stools, a slightly red tongue with a thin slippery-yellow coat and a slippery pulse. She had previously used an external cream with no effect. The diagnosis was acne with the pattern belonging to heat exuberance in the lungs and stomach. The formula prescribed was:

Bai Hua She She Cao 30g
Huang Qin 15g
Sheng Di Huang 10g
Chi Shao 10g
Mu Dan Pi 10g
Bai Xian Pi 10g
Hong Hua 12g
Sang Bai Pi 12g
Dan Shen 20g
Da Huang 6g
Gan Cao 6g
Zhu Ye 6g

After taking 7 packages of this formula, the papules were clearly improving. The bitter-sticky taste, and itchiness were relieved to some extent but she was experiencing thin and watery bowel movements occurring twice daily. Da Huang was removed from the above formula, while Bai Hua She She Cao was increased to 60g and 10g each of Sha Ren and Huo Xiang were added to the formula. After taking 14 packages of the formula the papules had disappeared and the condition had resolved.

In Traditional Chinese medicine acne is commonly seen in conditions of the Lungs and Spleen. The ‘Orthodox Lineage of External Medicine’ says “Acne belongs to the lungs, while red sores on the nose belong to the spleen. This is caused by the non scattering of depressed and stagnant blood heat”. According to this passage in order to treat acne we must clear and diffuse heat in the lungs and stomach. Due to Bai Hua She She Cao’s functions, it is commonly combined with heat clearing, blood cooling medicinals in order to soften hardness, clear heat in the lungs and stomach, harmonize Qi and blood and resolve papular eruptions.

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