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Chinese medicine is famous as a preventative medicine, but did you know that there are many famous Chinese herbal formulas that can be used for first aid? In fact, many of the first aid formulas are derived from centuries of experience in treating wounds and injuries from battles and martial arts. From internal formulas to handy topicals, Chinese medicine offers many products to help you relieve pain and recover quickly from injury.
Chinese Medicine First Aid Basics
Like biomedicine, trauma in Chinese medicine is most often concerned with pain, damage to tissue, trouble with proper blood flow, swelling, and inflammation. In Chinese medicine, wellness can only occur when qi and blood are flowing properly. After an injury, there is an obstruction to the flow of qi and blood (much like a dam in a river) which slows the healing process and can prevent proper healing of the bone, joint, muscle, or tissue.
To prevent poor healing, Chinese medicine often uses techniques that gently move and course qi and blood, relieve pain, and reduce inflammation.
Liver and Gallbladder
The Liver and Gallbladder both control the tendons and ligaments of the body. Injuries that involve joints, tendons, or long muscle groups will affect the Liver and Gallbladder system.
In Chinese medicine, the Kidneys rule the bones. Bone spurs, breaks, or fractures will require not only healing to the immediate tissue, but to the Kidney system as well.
Heart and Shen
Chinese medicine is the oldest medical system to connect the physical trauma of injury to emotional trauma. In every injury to the body, there is injury to the Heart and mind (or “shen”). To fully recover from a wound or injury, we must also heal the emotional body as well.
Chinese medicine trauma care began with Kung Fu and Shaolin monks who practiced fighting arts. Students needed effective medicine to help them bounce back from injury and stay strong. They developed herbal plasters, liniments, and internal formulas that could improve the blood circulation and revitalize damaged tissue more quickly. Today, acupuncture and other body therapies like cupping can be used to address injuries after proper initial-stage medical care has been given.
Perhaps the most popular Chinese herbal formula for first aid is Yunnan Baiyao. This formula has a rich history and has been used in war battles, emergency medicine, and even with ill pets. The magic of this formula lies in its ability to both stop bleeding while keeping a smooth flow of blood circulation at the site of a wound. Along with Yunnan Baiyao, other medicinals are used to relieve pain, speed up wound healing, or relax the mind.
The following are important herbs used in our popular first aid formulas.
San Qi/Panax notoginseng: San qi is the key ingredient in the famous Yunnan Baiyao that enables it to be so effective in healing wounds and relieving pain.
Essential oils: In many topical formulas like White Flower Oil or Woodlock oil, essential oils of peppermint, menthol, and camphor are used as analgesics. Their aromatic qualities help to improve circulation, relieve pain, and calm the mind.
Injuries and emergencies should be treated with care. While we recommend you seek medical help for serious injuries like breaks, strains, wounds, and more, having an herbal first aid kit can help you tackle minor injuries and expedite the healing process. Shop our collection of Chinese herbal formulas for your at-home first aid kit.
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