Chinese martial artists have known for centuries that herbs can help speed recovery from athletic or traumatic injury. Such herbs were often coveted and sometimes kept secret. Today, most “wounds” I see result from either surgery or motor vehicle accidents. I can’t tell you how many surgical patients have returned to tell me that that they healed much more quickly than their physicians expected. Rapid wound healing is important because it results in the formation of less of scar tissue and therefore fewer related problems down the line. Formulas such as San Qi 17, with Tien Qi root, Myrrh gum and Boswellia gum as main ingredients work very well for this purpose, usually given for about 3-4 weeks after injury or surgery.
• Other choices include Bromelain, which can speed wound healing dramatically, and I often prescribe two tablets three times per day (2000 mcu strength) on an empty stomach for a few weeks. This can be combined with San Qi 17.
• For healing the skin and superficial fascia, I used gotu kola tincture, about 25 drops three times per day for awhile, usually about three weeks. More complex TCM formulas include tien chi root with herbs from the moving blood group and a few anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving herbs, as in Nai-shing’s formula below.
Treat fractures by taking high doses of San Qi 17 along with bone-strengthening herbs including drynaria rhizome (gu sui bu or D. fortunei), deer antler, and eucommia bark (du zhong or E. ulmoides), for about a month. If you have an opportunity, ask your doctor about bone growth stimulation to heal fractures. This practice involves exposing the cells at the site of fracture to a pulsed electromagnetic field. The recommendations in our osteoporosis discussion can also be helpful when treating fractures.
Nai-shing’s “Secret Joint and Muscle Healing Elixir”
• Tien chi root
• Dang gui root
• Carthamus flower
• Persica seed (Tao ren or Prunus persica)
• Cnidium rhizome (chuan xiong or Ligusticum wallichii)
• Millettia stem
• Myrrh gum
• Corydalis rhizome (Yan hu suo or Corydalis yanhusuo)
Take about two ounces of each of these crude herbs (powdered) and mix into a bottle of high proof wine or gin, enough to cover it completely. Shake it a few times a day for about two weeks. Strain and rub over joints several times per day to speed healing.