More often, commercially available guilinggao sold as a dessert does not contain turtle shell powder at all, despite the product name and the prominent turtle images on most brands' labels. They do, however, share the same herbal additives as the medicine and are similarly marketed as being good for skin complexion when ingested.
Guilinggao is thought to be good for the skin, allowing for a healthier complexion upon repeated consumption. However this effect, if any, is most likely attributed to the additional herbal additives within the jelly.
Preparation: Traditional guilinggao recipes require boiling turtle shell for many hours, first by itself, then with a variety of herbal ingredients, so that the liquid is gradually evaporated and a jelly-like residue forms. Rice flour and corn starch is added to "thicken" the product.
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