Article #3 - History of Liniments, Dit Da Jows, and Balms



Dit Da Jow is a generic name for Chinese liniments sold to heal 
external damage such as bruises or sore muscles. There are 
several different recipes for Dit Da Jow, most of which are 
considered to be a "secret formula" passed down though oral and 
written history of traditional Chinese medicine, martial arts, and 
modern western science. Although Chinese tradition traces the 
origins of Chinese medicine to demigods named the Divine 
Plowman (Sheng Nung) and the Yellow Emperor (Huang Ti), who 
are said to have lived in the early 3rd millennium B.C., the earliest 
available historical records of Chinese medicine are medical texts 
dating from the Han Dynasty via several Chinese Materia Medica.

Dit Da Jow is an analgesic liniment traditionally preferred by 
martial artists. Often a martial arts master blended his unique 
mixture of many aromatic herbs such as myrrh and ginseng, which 
were combined to stimulate circulation, reduce pain and swelling, 
and improve healing injuries and wounds from practice and martial 
arts combat. The tradition became known as "hit medicine".

All bruise liniment formulas contained ingredients to stop pain, 
reduce swelling and inflammation and disperse stagnant chi (life 
force energy) and blood. It was composed of cooling herbs to 
reduce swelling and inflammation as effectively as ice; and 
warming herbs that killed pain, promoted circulation, and broke 
up accumulations of stagnant blood and fluids.

Herbs in the formulas according to traditional Chinese medicine, 
use "temperature" and "action", with each herb exhibiting an 
"energy" that has an effect on the body. Some are cold while 
others are hot. The overall combination of herbs in a Dit Da Jow 
formula determines its relative energy. Warmer jow is more often 
used in conditioning or chronic injury while cooler jow is more 
likely to be used for new injuries that may be inflamed. The action 
of each herb has specific uses. A Dit Da Jow should have one or 
two primary actions, determined by the herbs which are used in 
the Dit Da Jow formula.

Most bruises are usually shrugged off by athletes and martial 
artists as minor injuries that will heal themselves. Over the 
centuries, Kung Fu practitioners noticed that large bruises or 
repeated bruising on one area sometimes created accumulations 
of stagnant qi and blood that could cause serious health problems 
years later. Trauma liniment was developed to disperse these 
accumulations and treat injuries, thereby prolonging the 
soldier/warrior/athlete's career and health.


Beyond Dit Da (Fall, Hit) Formulas


The original Herbal Chi Balm formulation was passed down from 
the Shaolin Temple to a wealthy family of doctors and scholars. 
The monks used the formulation to make themselves stronger 
after injuries and strenuous training. Use of the natural balm let them practice martial arts and chi gung exercises everyday until 
they were in their 70's and 80's giving them longevity. 

The emperor's physicians spent their lives searching for perfectly 
balanced natural pain relief and energizing formulas for the royal 
family and their generals. Martial artists that were herbalists made 
secret formulas that helped the body recover from injuries and 
over exertion so fast that it was miraculous. Herbal Chi Balm also 
uses this secret knowledge of perfectly blending herbs.

One of the secret herbs is called "Mender of Shattered Bones." 
The Chinese believed that the foundation for immortality were 
strong bones. Having healthy bones is the key for having a good, 
healthy, active life. May happiness always be with you.




Article #1 - About Grandmaster Greg Yau


Article #2 - The Bike Ride and the Balm













Back to Top