Nipple chapping and cracking are variously called ru tou po sui, nipple cracking, ru tou jun lie, nipple chapping, ru tou feng, nipple wind, and ru xian, suckling lichen. According to Liang Jian-hui, in A Handbook of Chinese Dermatology (Blue Poppy Press, 1993):
Failure to discharge liver fire and accumulation of damp heat in the yang ming are the causes. It is also believed that the baby’s suckling and the stimulation of their saliva are also factors.
According to Yang Shi-xing and Qiao Cheng-lin, in Zhong Yi Fu Ke Zhi Liao Shou Ce ("A Handbook of Chinese Medical Gynecological Treatments"), Shanxi Science & Technology Press, Xian, 1991):
"The disease mechanisms are due to depression and anger damaging the liver or liver channel
damp heat smoldering and binding. Treatment should course the liver and resolve depression or clear heat and disinhibit dampness."
This formula is a minor modification of a formula found in Wang Jin- quan and Cai Yu-hua’s, Nu Bing Wai Zhi Liang Fang Miao Fa ("Fine Formulas & Miraculous Methods for the External Treatment of Women’s Diseases"), Chinese National Chinese Medicine & Medicinals Press, Beijing, 1993.
Pure vegetable oils
Zhe Bei Mu (Bulbus Fritillariae thunbergii)
Beeswax Bai Zhi (Radix Angelicae Dahuricae)
Zi Cao (Radix Arnebiae/ Lithospermi)
Ru Xiang (Olibanum)
Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis)
Mo Yao (Myrrha)
Sheng Di (uncooked Radix Rehmanniae)
Bing Pian (Borneolum)
Method of Use
Apply several times per day directly to the affected nipple(s). For best results, this treatment should be combined with internally administered Chinese medicinals based on the mother’s personal pattern discrimination. In addition, the baby should be checked for oral thrush and treated for that commonly seen condition if present. Wash the nipples with soap before breast-feeding.
Zi Cao (Radix Arnebiae/ Lithospermi) clears heat from the blood aspect . It is particularly effective as a topical medicinal and is commonly used in heat-clearing ointments. Sheng Di (uncooked Radix Rehmanniae) cools and quickens the blood, while Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis) nourishes and quickens the blood. Because blood and fluids share a common source, nourishing the blood moistens dryness. However, blood stasis hinders the engenderment of new or fresh blood. Bai Zhi (Radix Angelicae Dahuricae) disperses swelling and expels pus in the early stages of sores. It is a particularly good medicinal for the treatment of various dermatomycoses and is commonly used in topical preparations. Zhe Bei Mu (Bulbus Fritillariae Thunbergii) clears heat and scatters binding or nodulations. It is also used in the early stages of welling abscesses . Ru Xiang (Olibanum) and Mo Yao (Myrrha) quicken the blood and free the flow of the network vessels. Bing Pian (Borneolum) acridly resolves depressive heat.
For external use only. Not for internal consumption. Keep out of the reach of children.