Please note that you should never self-prescribe TCM ingredients. A TCM ingredient is almost never eaten on its own but as part of a formula containing several ingredients that act together. Please consult a professional TCM practitioner, they will be best able to guide you.
Preparation: Collect the mineral and remove impurities. Crush to powder before use.
Main actions according to TCM*: Stops bleeding. Stabilizes and stops diarrhea. Removes Dampness and sores.
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 12 herbs
Formula key actions: Extinguishes and pacifies Wind with heavy medicinals. Calms the Mind. Clears Heat.
Bai Shi Zhi is a deputy ingredient in Feng Yin Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
In Feng Yin Tang, Bai Shi Zhi is heavy in nature and is used to pacify the Wind. It also counterbalances the draining nature of Rhubarb and the heaviness of the mineral and animal herbs.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Bai Shi Zhi belongs to the 'Herbs that stop bleeding' category. Like the name indicates these herbs tend to have hemostatic properties, meaning that they help stop various types of hemorrhages and echymosis. Unlike other herbs they often tend to be used externally.
Furthermore Bai Shi Zhi is Neutral in nature. This means that Bai Shi Zhi typically doesn't affect the balance in your body. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Eating too many "Hot" (Yang) ingredients can lead to an imbalance whereby one has a Yang Excess. The inverse is true as well: too many "Cold" (Yin) ingredients can lead to a Yin Excess. The Neutral nature of Bai Shi Zhi means that you don't have to worry about that!
Bai Shi Zhi also tastes Sweet. The so-called 'Five Phases' theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Sweet ingredients like Bai Shi Zhi tends to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They also have a tonic effect because they replenish Qi and Blood.
The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such Bai Shi Zhi is thought to target the Large intestine. In TCM the Large Intestine receives the "impure" parts of the digested food from the Small Intestine, absorbs the remaining fluids and excrete the remainder as feces.