How to Make and Use Dit Da Jow

People have asked offline how to make and use the dit da jow referred to in the Iron Palm post.  In response to their requests, this post is pure martial arts, no negotiation.

There are many recipes for dit da jow.  After trying several commercial formulations, this one seemed to work best. Although I did some research about the individual herbs, I could not tell much about contraindications.

The way to use it is to apply it topically before training, then soak your hands in warm water after training, then re-apply. Some say to use the warm water and dit da jow treatment between sets for maximum effect. It is a powerful vasoconstrictor that seems to make bruises disappear and reputedly has mysterious powers like thickening the skin, strengthening bone and joint and preventing arthritis. Be sure to wash it off before touching food. You may need to wash it off sooner since it can make your hands cold, and because many people hate the smell. Incidentally, I have been told it works better on hands than elsewhere on the body, but I did use it to help bloody elbow strikes.

Chinese herbalist

Take about a fifth of cheap brandy or Chinese rice wine and in it soak the following herbs, available from your neighborhood Chinese herbalist – sorry I do not have the means to enter the Chinese characters, but if you contact me backchannel I can provide them:

Gu sui bu

Liu ji nu (also called liu yue xue)

Chuan xiong

Rou cong rong

Du zhong

Bu xiang

Mo yao

Xue jia

Fu ling

Luo shi tang

Xu duan

Hai feng teng

Wu jia pi

Yu jin (also called jiang huang)

Rou gui

Sheng jiang

Bai zhi

Niu xi

Wei ling xian (there are reports that prolonged use may be dangerous)

Dang gui

Xiang fuzi

Qin jiao

Cang zhu

Jiang huo

Ma gua

Use a glass or porcelain jug only, never metal or plastic. Soak for at least 6 months, swirling the bottle once a week.  It may take longer. For some reason, the standard advice is to stir in one direction only.

The herbs cost about $7, the brandy about $10 and the glass jug about $15. It has lasted a long time. I sometimes give out little bottles as Christmas presents.

Here are some disclaimers:

-The herbalist said that many of the herbs were poisonous if ingested, so one should use it externally only. Do not use on cuts or broken skin!

-There are many other formulations, most with fewer herbs.  This one worked better for me, but others may work better for you.

-I am not an herbalist or TCM expert. Please consider consulting with someone more knowledgeable before trying.

-This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition.

If you are local, let me know if you would like to try some out!

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About Jeffrey FInk

In my day job, I'm a lawyer, mediator, arbitrator and advisor in Wellesley, Massachusetts with clients locally and from around the world. I advise clients about general business matters, act as outside general counsel to several companies and counsel clients in more contentious situations. Wearing a different hat, as a mediator, Collaborative lawyer and ADR professional I help clients resolve a wide range of business and family disputes. I've also studied a number of styles of martial arts and have a second degree black belt in kung fu.

Posted on July 25, 2013, in General, Kung Fu Strategies and Tactics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Hello Jeffrey!

    I´m a Kung Fu practinioner myself and am willing to make my own dit da jow. ¿Could you share step by step the making of?

    Regards from Spain

  2. What is the quantity of each herb?

  3. Hi! Was wondering if you could email me the ingredients list in trational chinese. Thanks!

  4. Hello sir,
    Thank you so much for your recipe for dit da jow in this great blog. I am from Kuala Lumpur and I took your recipe to an old Chinese herbalist here and bought the full set of herbs. Can’t wait to go home to try it out. One thing, in one of your comments you mentioned “The herbalist said that many of the herbs were poisonous if ingested”. Do you perhaps know which one(s)? The old chinese herbalist here told me that the whole concoction is drinkable as there are no toxic herbs included. Just thought I might try drinking some when the jow eventually matures.

    In any case, thanks so much for this and all the best in your practice, both on and off the training mat.

  1. Pingback: Dit Da Jow Recipe | Kung Fu Mediation

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