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Chinese Herbs for Injury and Trauma

herbs for injury

Dit Da Yao – "Hit" Medicine for Injury

Thousands of years of experience have given Chinese doctors a unique understanding of how to speed healing from injury.


Three Stages of Injury

Injuries progress through three stages.

  1. The first is up to two days after the injury.
  2. The second stage lasts a few weeks.
  3. Injuries older than 3 weeks are considered third stage or old injuries.

Treatment must be appropriate for each stage.

At first, and up to two days after an injury, the goal of treatment is to stop bleeding, clear debris, reduce inflammation (heat), relieve pain (vitalize blood), and protect against stagnation. During the first stage, we encourage the flow of energy and fluids to the injured area, employing acupuncture as well as internal and topical herbs. Unless there is extreme swelling, we avoid the use of ice, as ice restricts flow and will result in a rougher healing. Soaking is also discouraged whenever swelling is present, as it will worsen the swelling. Heat is not applied during the first stage, especially if the injury looks red or feels warm to the touch.

In the second stage, for up to 3 weeks, we treat to reduce swelling, break remaining stagnations, promote flow, and begin to strengthen the qi of the tissue. Gentle acupuncture will promote flow, relieve pressure, and loosen stagnations. Herbs used to promote the flow of water and disperse energy at the surface will be added to reduce possible swelling. Massage, often too painful during the first stage, is appropriate during the second stage and will aid the movement of energy and fluids.

After 3 weeks, in the third stage, the injury is considered old, and the site will be weak due to insufficient nourishment. At this stage, we aggressively strengthen the area and assist the growth of new tissue. Massage and heat (moxibustion), strengthening herbs like dang gui, drynaria, and ginseng are used internally and externally. Sometimes, herbs used for arthritis (wind-damp herbs) like du huo or gentian are also utilized.


Common Injury Herbs & Formulas

Note: Most Internal Herbal Products Are Forbidden During Pregnancy

First Stage Tieh Ta Yao Gin  (topical)
Jin Gu Die Da Pian (internal)
Second Stage Dr. Shir's Liniment  (topical)
Amber Massage Salve (topical)
San Qi Pian (internal)
Third Stage San Qi 17  (internal)
Zheng Gu Shui Liniment. (topical)



Shen Clinic TCM consultation

Research: Acupuncture and Trauma

The effect of standardized acupuncture programs in the aftercare of accident patients by Rabl V; Bochdansky T; Hertz H; Kern H; Meng A From: Unfallchirurgie, 9: 6, 1983 Dec, 308-13 153 patients suffering from pain, edematous conditions, and impaired movement following traumas sustained in accidents were treated or after-treated with acupuncture.

Acupuncture was applied in adherence to a standardized program according to the individual types of injury. The stimulus was applied by means of steel needles inserted into body as well as ear acupuncture points.

In all 9 groups, improvement of the painful condition was significant to highly significant in regard to movement impairment. Remaining complaints of long standing following accident traumas could also be positively influenced.

Acupuncture proved itself to be an effective form of therapy for after-treatment of accident patients, presenting a valuable supplement to the field of rehabilitation, especially when combined with other physical therapeutic measures.

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Information on this site is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your own physician or another medical professional. We make no claim as to efficacy or safety of herbs or herbal medicine appearing on this site. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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