What is pangolin scales? What is it used for?
Pangolin scales come from the pangolin (also called a scaly anteater), a toothless, scale-covered mammal native to Africa and China, belonging to the Manidae family.
Pangolins actually resemble armadillos in appearance, with small heads, long, broad tails and well-developed claws. They have poor eyesight but extremely good hearing, and a formidable sense of smell. Pangolin scales are harvested from the pangolin through a process that involves boiling and parching.
In traditional Chinese medicine, pangolin scales are associated with the Liver and Stomach meridians, and are considered to have salty and slightly cold properties. The scales of the pangolin are used in conjunction with herbs to treat a host of conditions, including masses in the abdomen, amenorrhea, rheumatism, arthralgia, postpartum galactostasis, skin and external diseases, and scrofula (tuberculosis of lymph nodes, especially in the neck). Pangolin scales are also used to invigorate the blood and promote menstruation, promote lactation, reduce swelling and dispel pus.
How much pangolin scale should I take?
The typical dose of pangolin scale is between 3 and 10 grams, taken as a decoction or 1-1.5 grams when ground into powder for oral administration.
What forms of pangolin scales are available?
Pangolin scales typically come dried and whole, and can be ground into a powder. They are extremely difficult to obtain.
What can happen if I take too much? Are there any interactions I should be aware of? What precautions should I take?
Pangolin scales should be avoided by pregnant women or anyone with a burst carbuncle or swelling. The scales should be used cautiously when administered to sores that have already ulcerated. As always, make sure to consult with a licensed health care provider before taking pangolin scales or any other dietary supplement or herbal remedy.
It should also be noted that all trade of the Asian pangolin has been declared illegal since 2000, due to high volumes of unregulated trade. Pangolins are not considered an endangered species, although their numbers have dwindled significantly as a result of harvesting by humans.