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Herbs & Botanicals

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Mirabilite (mang xiao)

What is mirabilite? What is it used for?

Also known as Glauber's salt, mirabilite is a mineral, hydrated sodium sulfate, that is found worldwide. It forms in salt lakes, springs and arid regions, and is abundant in the western and southwestern parts of the United States.

In China, mirabilite is mined in the Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces. It is clear and crystalline, and is prepared by being dissolved in hot water, filtered, then placed in cold water to remove any impurities.

According to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, mirabilite has salty, bitter and cold properties, and is affiliated with the Stomach and Large Intestine meridians. Its functions are to resolve hardness and clear heat. Mirabilite is used to treat a variety of conditions, including constipation, sore throat, red eyes and mouth ulcers. It is also used externally to treat skin ulcers and help wounds heal.

How much mirabilite should I take?

The typical dosage of mirabilite is between 10 and 15 grams, boiled in water as part of a decoction. Larger amounts can be used when mirabilite is applied topically.

What forms of mirabilite are available?

Mirabilite is available in a variety of forms, including pills and powders. Powdered mirabilite can be made into a decoction, or mixed with hot water and applied to the skin as a type of poultice.

What can happen if I take too much mirabilite? Are there any interactions I should be aware of? What precautions should I take?

Mirabilite should not be taken by women who are menstruating, pregnant or breastfeeding. In addition, it should not be used in patients diagnosed with excess heat, spleen deficiency, or edema. As always, make sure to consult with a licensed health care provider before taking mirabilite or any other herbal remedy or dietary supplement.

References

  • Bai YN. Analysis of TCM treatment according to differentiation of symptoms for 789 cases of herpes simplex keratitis. Journal of Integrated Optometry 1997;15(1):34-35.
  • Chen BL. Sixty-eight cases of senile prostatic hyperplasia treated externally with mang fan san. Journal of External Application in TCM 1999;8(2):24.
  • He Z. Tao ren cheng qi tang for treatment of chronic enteritis. Journal of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine 1990;5:20.
  • Li Y. Treating 30 cases of urinary system calculus with wu ling san. National Journal of Medicine Forum 1996;11(2):18.
  • Wang YX. Treating pelvic inflammation with jin gui da huang mu dan tang. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Information 1999;16(6):41-42.

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