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Basic Herbal Use


by Lee Jae Myuhng


Most Westerners think of acupuncture exclusively when they hear the term Oriental medicine. However, before acupuncture is needed most students could benefit from some basic and safe herbal remedies. Many herbal formulas have come down to us from ancient martial artists, but they should not be used unless you are expert in their use. Not all of the following remedies are recommended for students.

Dakwohn - Grate up a fresh Korean radish to obtain one cup of juice. Add this to one cup of water and heat to the boiling point. Take this internally for skin problems, ulcers, boils, and swelling. Its use is a detoxicant.

Garlic - A poultice of fresh, raw, crushed or chopped garlic is useful for scabies, boils, and abcesses. It can be used on wounds that have become infected.

Oh Jeeng Oh - Cuttlefish Bone - Carbonize and pulverize the bone and apply it to cuts and lacerations to stop bleeding.

Ginger - Roasted ginger powder may be applied to cuts and lacerations to stop bleeding. Ginger compresses made out of fresh ginger tea may be applied to sore joints after the initial inflammation has subsided. This will dissipate the imbalance.

Powder Alum - Apply as a styptic and coagulant to arrest bleeding.

Sesame Oil - Roasted sesame oil is used for massage on bruising that is accompanied by cuts or lacerations. It can reduce scarring and is used in mixtures as a base for other herbs.

Tea - One cup of tea mixed with one teaspoon of soy sauce can be used as an aid for the shocky feeling after an injury.

Peanut Oil - Used to rub sore joints after being heated.

Zheng Gu Shui - a very powerful hot liniment for sprains, strains, and dislocations. It is also highly recommended for fractures. It is for external use only and should not be used on or near open wounds. It should be applied several times a day. The old method of leaving a soaked bandage on the sprain is not recommended, because it may severely irritate your skin. If you do develop a rash or irritation stop using it immediately. It is very effective in the treatment of deep bruising (bone bruising), or hairline fractures. It probably should not be used on bruises that cover large areas, or where there is a lot of swelling. In emergencies it may be used as an anesthetic by soaking in it.

Yunnan Paiyao - This preparation is used to arrest bleeding and as a coagulant. After being cleaned the wound is sprinkled with powder. In severe cases such as gun shot, a safety pill is included for the severe blood loss. Once the scab starts to form leave it alone.

This example of an herbal mixture was used by Palace Guards for clear thinking and to stay alert. Mix equal parts:

  • Ma Hwahng (ephedra sinicia)
  • In Sahm (ginseng)
  • Apricot seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • 1/2 part licorice root

Mix with spring or mineral water. Slowly boil the tea and take as required.

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