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Bone Injury Soak

An interesting Chinese medicine herbal soak for complications occurring after a bone fracture.

Bone Injury Soak (Gu Shang Wai Xi Yi Fang) [1]

30 grams    宽筋藤       Kuan Jin Teng (Caulis Tinosporae Sinensis)

30 grams    鉤藤           Gou Teng

30 grams    忍冬藤       Ren Dong Teng

30 grams    王不留 行   Wang Bu Liu Xing

15 grams    防風           Fang Feng

15 grams    大黃           Da Huang

15 grams    劉寄奴       Liu Jin Nu

10 grams    荊芥           Jing Jie

1. Promotes blood circulation to remove channel obstruction and relieve rigidity of muscles in order to ease pain.

2. Effective for:

  • clonic muscle spasm (clonic = hard contracture)
  • reduced articular function
  • aching and numbness resulting from trauma
  • pain due to exterior wind-damp

3. Use at the middle or late stages of a complicated fracture, or when, after an orthopedic operation, the external fixation is removed and the patient can do functional exercises.

Instructions:

Add the ingredients to a half gallon or more of water. Bring to a boil, and then turn down the flame, cover the pot  and simmer for 40 minutes. When the decoction is still hot you can steam the injured area, fumigating it completely with the steam. This allows the formula to penetrate the superficial layers of the skin and flesh. Then soak towels or cloth in the formula and use them as  compresses over the inured area. Have at least two cloths, so that as soon as one cools down you can replace it with another. Make sure to let the cloths cool slightly before putting them on the skin so as not to burn yourself. If the injured area is on the hand or foot, you can immerse it in the liquid.

Save the herbs and liquid and reheat for the next use. There is no need to boil and simmer the herbs after the first time. Simply warm the herbs up to the appropriate temperature (very warm, but not burning or scalding) and use as directed above.

One soak, as listed above, will last for six days if used 1-2  times a day.

[1] Bone Setting Skills in Traditional Medicine, by Zhang Zhigang. Beijing: Shandong Science and Technology Press 1996, p. 297-98.

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