What Does it Do
The Chinese name Xiao Feng Pian literally translates as “clear wind pills.” This classical formula is used for various skin discomforts such as red, itchy, scaly skin, and rashes.
Xiao Feng San effectively expels wind, eliminates dampness, clears heat and cools the blood. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), skin conditions such as those mentioned above present when external wind-heat or wind-dampness is allowed to enter the body (often due to a deficiency of protective Qi) where it encounters pre-existing damp-heat. The wind then becomes trapped between the flesh and skin and is unable to vent externally or drain internally. Eventually, it transforms into wind-toxin presenting as red, itchy and/or purulent type skin lesions. The tongue may have a white or yellow coating (indicating the level of heat penetration) and the pulse may be forceful, floating and rapid.
The pattern associated with the formula Xiao Feng San has three primary aspects: wind-heat, dampness and blood-heat. The herbs which compose the formula therefore can be understood by dividing them into three groups.
The first group of herbs include Jing Jie (Schizonepeta), Fang Feng (Siler root), Niu Bang Zi (Burdock seed) and Chan Tui (Cicada moulting) which disperse external wind, clear heat from the skin and relieve itching.
The deputy herbs Cang Zhu, Tong Cao and Ku Shen (Sophora root) dry dampness and clear damp-heat. The Dui Yao pair (traditional combination) of Shi Gao (Gypsum) and Zhi Mu (Anemarrhena rhizome) clear Qi level heat which is an important consideration here in order to prevent the heat from penetrating into even deeper levels of the body which would only exacerbate the condition. Shi Gao and Zhi Mu are used together specifically because they are able to strongly clear excess heat while protecting precious fluids and Yin which may otherwise be damaged not only by the heat but by the use of cold and drying medicinals essential to this formula. Shi Gao and Zhi Mu both clear heat from the Lung which is the Zang-Fu organ that dominates the exterior, and therefore directly influences the skin and interstices.
The herbs Di Huang (Rehmannia root) and Dang Gui (Chinese Angelica root) cool, nourish and gently invigorate the blood which aid in extinguishing wind. Gan Cao (Licorice) clears heat, relieves toxicity and harmonizes the formula.
Xiao Feng Pian is powerful and highly effective Traditional Chinese herbal formula for supporting skin health.