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Herbs for Inducing Diuresis and Excreting Dampness
Talcum (or talc), an ore of the talcum family among silicates, is distinguished from almost all other minerals by its extreme softness. Its soapy or greasy feel accounts for the name soapstone given to compact aggregates of talc and other rock-forming minerals. One of the remarkable features of talc is its simple, almost constant composition. Talc is a basic magnesium silicate, Mg3Si4O1 0(OH)2.
Since ancient times, soapstones have been employed for carvings, ornaments, and utensils; Assyrian cylinder seals, Egyptian scarabs, and Chinese statuary are notable examples. Soapstones are resistant to most reagents and to moderate heat; thus, they are especially suitable for sinks and countertops.
Talc is also used in lubricants, leather dressings, toilet and dusting powders, and certain marking pencils. It is used as a filler in ceramics, paint, paper, roofing materials, plastic, and rubber; as a carrier in insecticides; and as a mild abrasive in the polishing of cereal grains such as rice and corn.
The Chinese has traditionally used talc as a drug for inducing diuresis and removing dampness. In China, it is mainly produced in Shandong, Jiangxi, Shanxi, Liaoning, etc. Reaped all year round, it is ground into powder for use, or further refinement of the powder with water for use.
Sweet and bland in flavor, cold in nature, it is related to the stomach and urinary bladder channels.
Induces diuresis and cures strangury (slow and painful spasmodic discharge of urine), clears and relieves summer-heat as well as removes dampness and astrings boils.
1. To treat dysuria and difficulty and pain in micturition with dribbling urine:
a) Dysuria, strangury due to heat, strangury caused by urinary stones, anuria, etc., due to the downward flow of damp-heat:
This drug is often used together with fiveleaf akebia stem (Caulis Akebiae), Asiatic plantain seed (Semen Plantaginis), fringed pink (Herba Dianthi), etc., e.g., Bazheng San.
b) Strangury caused by urinary stones:
This drug can be used in combination with climbing fern (Spora Lygodii), loosestrife (Herba Lysimachiae), fiveleaf akebia stem (Caulis Akebiae), etc., e.g., Erjin Paishi Tang.
2. To treat summer-heat and dampness and damp-warm syndromes:
a) Excessive thirst due to summer-heat and oliguria with reddish urine:
This drug can be used with licorice, e.g., Liu Yi San.
b) Summer-heat and dampness, fullness sensation in the chest and impediment in the functional activities of qi:
This drug can be used in combination with Job's tears (Semen Coicis), round cardamom, apricot kernels, etc., e.g., San Ren Tang.
3. To treat exudative skin disease and eczema:
a) Exudative skin disease and eczema:
This drug can be ground alone or together with dried alum, corktree bark (Cortex Phellodendri), etc., and spread over the affected part.
b) Prickly heat:
This drug can be made in combination with peppermint, licorice, etc. into prickly heat powder.
Dosage and Administration:
Decoct this drug for oral administration; it should be packed in cloth for decoction. Use an adequate amount externally.
Cautions on Use:
This drug should be avoided by anyone with deficiency of the spleen, anyone whose body fluids are impaired by a febrile disease or by pregnant women.
'Shen Nong's Herbal Classic' :
"Inducing diuresis and eliminating cold and heat accumulated in the stomach."
'The Compendium of Materia Medica' :
"Talcum can clear and lubricate any passage which is not limited to that of urine. It can not only clear and lubricate the passages of the striae of the skin and muscles at the upper part, but also clear and lubricate the passages of seminal fluid and urine at the lower part. This is because its sweet taste and blandness enter the stomach first, permeate and run through the channels and collaterals, moving and transporting the vital essence and qi upward into the lungs and downward into the urinary bladder. The lungs control the skin and hair as the upper water source. The urinary bladder is in charge of body fluids which can go out after gasification. Therefore talcum can induce diaphoresis at the upper part and clear and lubricate the water passage at the lower part, so it is a drug to clear away heat and remove dampness."
Toxic or Side Effects:
This drug contains magnesium silicate, aluminium oxide, nickel oxide, etc.
The magnesium silicate contained has absorbent and astringent effects and its oral administration can protect the walls of the intestines. Spreading talcum powder over the surface of a wound will form an envelope which can protect the surface of the wound, absorb secretions and promote scabbing., http://www.100md.com