Processing of Chinese Medicinals 4

Water Processing
Moistening with water or other liquids has aim of increasing the water content of medicinals to soften them and facilitate cutting. There are many distinct types of moistening such as sprinkling with water washing in water, soaking and covered moistening. Jingjie (Schizonepetae Herba) is moistened by sprinkling it with water (“sprinkle-moistening”). Binglang (Arecae Semen) is moistened by soaking it in water (“soak-moistening”).
This is a process whereby materials are placed in a constant stream of water, i.e., they are soaked in water that is constantly being changed. The aim is to reduce fishy smells, salt content and toxic substances. Kunbu (Laminariae Thallus) and Haizao (Sargassum) are long-rinsed to remove salt. Ziheche (Hominis Placenta) is long-rinsed to remove its fishy smell.
Water-grinding means grinding things such as minerals in water to produce an extremely fine powder, which is needed for topical applications in sensitive areas such as the eyes. When things are ground in water, the smallest particles are held in suspension at least temporatily in the water. When the particles are allowed to settle and the water is drained and dried off, the result is very fine powder. Zhusha (Cinnabaris), Luganshi (Calamina) and Xionghuang (Realgar) are often treated in this way.
Water Processing
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