This month’s spotlight on Chinese herbs focuses on freshwater pearl, or zhen zhu (Margarita). Pearl has been used for centuries to create a smooth, radiant complexion. Not only is it a valuable source of minerals — including calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, strontium, copper, and selenium — it contains dozens of amino acids and antioxidants that are necessary for maintaining health. Studies show that hydrolyzed pearl extract is easily absorbed, generates new skin cells and tissue, and controls acne. Other benefits include improving eyesight and reducing anxiety and insomnia.I prescribe pearl extract created by Far East Summit, an Oregon-based producer of state-of-the-art herbal formulas. Far East only imports Chinese raw herbs from companies that adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) as mandated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to verify quality control, safety and effectiveness. "Luminous Pearl Extract Skin Formula" is available by prescription only from a licensed acupuncturist.