the medicine cabinet


One of my favorite patient information topics is creating our Home Medicine Cabinets and GREEN First Aid Kits. That’s what I love to talk and write about.

A well stocked first aid kit is a smart thing to have. A MUST have. Gathering our first aid supplies is the easiest way to start filling the best medicine cabinet.


Where do we begin?

Where do we begin?

Many of my favorites are from the Chinese pharmacopeia.  All of the remedies I recommend are ones I use and ones that I regularly send home with patients. The Chinese patent pharmacy is SO full of remedy possibilities: oils, liniments, lotions, creams, patches. There are also essential oils, homeopathics and tinctures from the West that can be depended on. You can take excellent care of yourself and your family with a few good choices and some basic knowledge of trauma prevention and care.

Here’s a little intro to the Chinese trauma formulas – formulas that have been around for many, many, many years. Your choices start with basic comfort/feel-better muscle rubs and progress to deeply penetrating and target-specific applications.


Liniments are alcohol-based with herbs soaked for long periods of time to bring the liquid to potency. Oils are similarly prepared. The difference between them is that liniments absorb more quickly than oils and generally they penetrate the skin’s surface more easily. Liniments and oils should be rubbed very lightly in a circular motion into the affected area. (To achieve best results and whenever possible keep the spot moist with liniment as you rub for 20- 30 minutes.)

The often-used muscle rubs are generally oil based and contain a good deal of menthol and camphor. Use them for over-worked, exhausted muscles, after-workout soreness and pain and even for PRE-WORKOUT WARMING OF MUSCLES (check out POSUMON OIL and TIGER BALM for this!)

For tissue damage from trauma, strains, tears, contusions and bruises use one of the classic martial arts formulas. DRAGON’S BLOOD LINIMENT from Blue Poppy for swelling and pain when there is no redness or heat. Or SHAOLIN DEE DAT JOW also from Blue Poppy for acute injury with redness and swelling.) Classic Die Da (‘falling down from traumatic injury’) formulas are very good at tissue repair, healing burns, stopping bleeding, reducing pain and swelling as well as long term wound care (DIE DA WAN HUA OIL can also be applied to an open wound and makes this one ESPECIALLY great).

Formulas with warming herbs are for injuries or chronic, aching joints and for arthritis where the application of heat feels good (try GREEN WILLOW.)  Warming formulas help old injuries that have been over-iced or the ones you have kept ‘under control’ using OTC pain medication.

Red, hot and painful joints caused by swelling, rheumatoid arthritis, gout or chronic injury benefit from formulas that contain cooling herbs (THREE ANGELS LINIMENT and WOODLOCK OIL which has a high percentage of pain relieving herbs.)

Right now you may be unfamiliar with these medicines, but they are surprisingly readily available. We’ll talk about that and lead you to them as we continue our website postings.