Qing Dai San – Topical Application to Suit Common Skin Conditions

July 13, 2012

It’s a popular, modern formula and with its variations is widely used among practitioner in China (and some in Australia). Qing Dai San returns 230’00 search results with Google which shows that there might not be enough information or complementary products available to treat skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis.

Different compositions of Qing Dai San are available, we use (what we believe) a classical version.

  • Qing Dai (Indigo Naturalis)
  • Shi Gao (Gypsum Fibrosum)
  • Hua Shi (Talcum)
  • Huang Bai (Phellodendri Cortex)

Indigo Naturlais Qing Dai

We recommend Qing Dai San for wet or dry conditions that are red, dry and itching. Qing Dai, Huang Bai and Shi Gao clear heat and Hua Shi transform dampness effectively. It’s effective for acute eczema, contact or allergic dermatitis (including reactions to plants such as poison ivy). The leading principle in choosing this formula is redness, dryness and itching, hence heat and some dampness. [i]

As base cream (excipient), we use an only plant derived product based on coconut oil (no paraffin). It has a low allergy potential and can safely be used with a baby as young as 3 months.

Topical applications are still not used as widely as they could and perhaps should. A reason for this could be lack of knowledge or experience in choosing the right formulations. Perhaps there aren’t enough quality products available. Or perhaps there is no time for individual practitioners to make up their own topical applications.

Qing Dai San has a broad application and presents with effective and immediate results.

Qing Dai San is not a blue colour even though its main ingredient is Indigo. Why is this so? Indigo is insoluble in water, alcohol, or ether but is soluble in chloroform, nitrobenzene, and concentrated sulfuric acid.

As our liquid extracts are macerated (in ethanol) and distilled. The dark blue colour does not transfer into the end product the colour of the liquid extract is grey.  

[i] Chinese Herbal Medicine Formulas & Strategies, 2nd Edition, V Scheid, D Bensky, A Ellis, R Barolet, 2009



  1. Sonja Pereira

    My name is Sonja Pereira,

    I like to know if I can use Qing Dai Gao also for acne?

    • Safflower Team

      Hi Sonja,

      Qing Dai Gao might work well for a light acne. If there is a lot of heat/pus there, you might need to either modify with heat clearing herbs or use a different cream (Si Huang Gao or San Huang Xi Ji), but it depends entirely on the presentation. I hope that helps! Kind regards, Brigitte

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