English Name: pangolin scales, anteater scales
Literal Translation: in Cantonese the word “pangolin” translates as “the animal that digs through the mountain”.
Pharmaceutical Name: Squama Manis
Medica Category: Blood-Invigorating and Stasis-Removing Herbs
Properties: Chuan Shan Jia enters the Liver and Stomach channels; it is salty in nature and cool in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Chuan Shan Jia is derived from the scales of the Chinese pangolin/anteater (from Manis pentadactyia L.) that have been processed by first dry-frying or vinegar-frying them so that the active (medicinal) constituents of the scales can be extracted in decoction.
Chuan Shan Jia penetrates into every channel and collateral as well as each organ in the body to activate blood circulation and disperse stagnation. Clinically it is used to address amenorrhea, abdominal masses, and bi zheng (painful obstruction syndrome).
Chuan Shan Jia promotes lactation when blood stagnation is impeding the flow of milk.
Chuan Shan Jia reduces swelling and drains pus and is used to treat various types of sores, nodules (soft and hardened), other swellings relate to insufficient blood flow due to stagnation (with or without pus– however ulcerated sores with pus should not be treated with this herb).