What Is Shi Gao (Gypsum)

Shi Gao also known as Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral, which belongs to mineral medicine. It has a medicinal history of more than 2,000 years.

Many countries have gypsum. Among them, the main producers are the United States, China, Iran, Spain, Germany, and France.

The use of gypsum is very wide. It can be made into food coagulants and pill binders. Also, it is often used in industrial applications to make cement retarders, gypsum boards, paper fillers, paint fillers, and sulfuric acid.

Every winter, people gather gypsum, remove their impurities, clean them, dry them, crush them into small pieces, make them into Chinese medicine, or calcine them for local application. Generally, white, translucent and soft Shi Gao with a silky glossy cross-section is the best.

The main component of Shi Gao is hydrous calcium sulfate (CaSO4 · 2H2O), and the content of CaSO4 · 2H2O is not less than 95%. It also contains organic compounds, sulfur compounds and trace elements such as titanium, aluminum, and silicon.

According to <Shennong Ben Cao Jing>, the medicinal property of Shi Gao is extremely cold, with a pungent and sweet taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the lung and stomach meridians.

In Chinese medicine, Shi Gao is often used to clear heat and reduce fire, relieve irritability, cough, asthma, headache, toothache, and oral ulcers caused by febrile disease, treat pneumonia, epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, epidemic encephalitis B and surgery Acute inflammation.

About 200 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions contain Shi Gao, such as Bai Hu Tang, Da Qing Long Tang, Niu Huang Jie Du Pian, and Huang Lian Shang Qing Wan.

Health benefits of Shi Gao (Gypsum)

  • Anti-virus and anti-inflammation.
  • Increasing muscle and peripheral nerve excitability.
  • Increasing urine output and bile excretion, lowering blood sugar.
  • Reducing capillary permeability and preventing capillary rupture and bleeding.
  • Supplementing calcium, reducing the excitability of skeletal muscle, and relieving muscle spasm.
  • Reducing blood clotting time, treating traumatic bleeding and acute contusion, and accelerating fracture healing.
  • Clearing heat and reducing fire, relieving high fever, sweating, irritability, and thirst caused by seasonal febrile disease.
  • Relieving gum bleeding, gum swelling and pain, aphtha and headache caused by the flaring-up of stomach fire.
  • Treating asthma, cough, and yellow phlegm caused by lung heat.
  • Treating chronic ulcers, eczema, and burn.
  • Treatment of lobar pneumonia, children pneumonia, epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, epidemic encephalitis B and other febrile infectious diseases.
  • Enhancing the phagocytosis ability of macrophages to Staphylococcus Albus and colloidal gold, and promoting maturation of phagocytes.
  • The study confirmed that small doses of gypsum immersion liquid can excite the heart, and large doses of gypsum immersion liquid can inhibit the heart.

Shi Gao is used with other Chinese herbs

  • It with Zhi Mu (Rhizoma Anemarrhenae) can treat acute pneumonia, bronchitis, and peribronchitis.
  • It with Chuan Xiong (Rhizoma Chuanxiong) and Bai Zhi (Angelica Dahurica) can treat headaches caused by wind-heat or the flaring-up of stomach fire.
  • It with Huang Lian (Rhizoma Coptidis) and Sheng Ma (Rhizoma Cimicifugae) can alleviate gum swelling and pain, gum bleeding, and aphtha caused by the flaring-up of stomach fire.
  • It with Ma Huang (Ephedra), Xing Ren (Semen Armeniacae), and Gan Cao (Licorice Root) to relieve fever, thirst, cough, and asthma caused by lung heat.
  • It with Ren Shen (Radix Ginseng) and Mai Dong (Radix Ophiopogonis) can benefit qi, nourish yin, and relieve fever, upset and thirst caused by summer heat.

Side effects of Shi Gao

Shi Gao has been used clinically for many years, with almost no side effects. Taking it in excess may cause fatigue, depression, loss of appetite, nausea, stomach upset, and dull expression.

If you take Shi Gao with high arsenic content, it may cause toxic reactions, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Individual patients may experience contact dermatitis, pruritus, skin burns, diffuse erythema, and miliary rash after the external application of plaster bandages.

Precautions of Shi Gao

  • The dosage of Shi Gao should be controlled at 15-60g.
  • It can be made into decoction or calcined for external use.
  • The unprocessed Shi Gao is mainly used for heat-clearing, and calcined Shi Gao is recommended for external use.
  • Its texture is hard. When using it with other Chinese medicine, it is recommended to boil it for a while before adding other Chinese medicine.
  • It should not be used to relieve internal heat caused by yin deficiency.
  • People with deficiency-cold in spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • Heart patients or pregnant women should not take it.