From the category archives:


First Aid Kit

by Ed

Carrying on from my last post, today I’ll talk about Chinese remedies that are good for first aid.

For burns, nothing beats Ching Wan Hung. It is an ointment about the consistency of skin cream. I am amazed by how well it works. If you can’t find it aloe vera is next best. Keep a plant around, and when you burn yourself, just cut off a leaf and squeeze the juice out of it onto the burn. Warning, home remedies are good for first degree and mild second degree burns. If you have severe blistering or any charred skin, please see your doctor.
For bumps, bruises, and sprains, there are a number of ointments. Traditionally in China the martial artists also knew enough about medicine to treat themselves for their injuries, as well as toughening their skin and bones to make it harder to injure them. This branch of medicine is called Hit Medicine.

Dit Da Jow is the most common name for ointments for sprains, etc. There are many brands. Most of the commercial ones are ok to pretty good. If you want really good quality, find a martial artist that makes his own, preferably from an old family recipe.

Zheng Gu Shui is very similar. Originally it was of very good quality. It was designed specifically to speed healing of broken bones. About ten years ago they changed the recipe, and now it is not as good as it was. If you can’t find a good quality dit da jiao, this is a reasonable replacement.

White Flower Oil is good for insect stings and bites. It is also a pretty good analgesic. Rub it on a painful area and it will ease the pain. Great for headaches, but don’t get too close to the eyes. The volatile oils in it can sting them.

Yunnan Paiyao is probably the most important thing to put in your first aid kit. It stops bleeding and greatly speeds healing of injuries. It can be used topically on bruises and cuts, as well as internally to reduce inflammation and speed the healing of all injuries. Some women with painful periods say it relieves the pain. Taking it before surgery improves recovery time significantly. Taken internally, it can also help with altitude sickness. If you are going mountain climbing, start taking it about a week before your trip.