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Nov 21, 2011

The Ultimate Liniment- Shaolin Dit Da Jow

The intense martial arts regimen practiced by the famed monks of Shaolin required a thorough knowledge of herbal medicine.  Injuries ranging from cuts and scrapes to fractured bones were commonplace, and in order to speed healing and continue training, a large number of formulas, both internal and topical were created.  Perhaps the most famous of these was called “Dit Da Jow” (pronounced DEE-AY Da Jow), literally translating as “Strike Fall Liniment.”

This formula, like many internal and external recipes, was made by combining a number of herbs (sometimes more than 30) in a base of strong alcohol.  Over a period of time, the properties of the herbs would be extracted into the alcohol, allowing it to be applied to injured areas.  Most traditional Jow formulas combine herbs that have the following characteristics:

Analgesic: these herbs soothe the pain of the injury, allowing hypertonic muscles to relax.

Circulation enhancers: these herbs encourage blood flow to the area, helping to speed repair and remove metabolic wastes that result from injured tissue.

Stagnation breakers: these herbs help to break up stagnant tissue, including clotted blood or un-needed scar tissue from older injuries.  One herb, tien qi ginseng, has the dual function of stopping traumatic bleeding while breaking up old blood stasis- a seeming contradiction!

Tissue repair: these herbs help muscle and tendon tissues to repair, allowing them to regain their full strength and functionality.

Unlike many topical analgesic-only formulations, this multi-purpose formula helps prevent re-injury.  Often, when a formula just dulls the pain, it prevents real healing because we keep pushing injured, hypertonic muscles and tendons.  Jow works on multiple levels, giving you the best possible healing effects.

So even if you are not a Shaolin monk, you can enhance your own recovery from injury and spend more time doing what you enjoy! 

To find out more about Dit Da Jow liniment and to get yours, call or visit the Riverwalk Natural Clinic and Pharmacy 970-926-7606, or email

Dustin Bergman, L.Ac