San Huang San, Herbal Ice

May 31st, 2011 | By | Category: Treatment

San Huang San (Three Yellows Powder) is a poultice used for acute stage sinew and bone injuries with swelling, pain, and redness in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is often used as an alternative to ice. San Huang San is very cold in temperature. It is useful for the reduction of inflammation, swelling, and pain associated with acute injury.[1]

San Huang San consists of three primary herbs:

1. Rhei Radix (Da Huang)
2. Scutellaria Radix (Huang Qin)
3. Phellodendri Cortex (Huang Bai)

Additional herbs, such as Taraxacum Mongolicum (Pu Gong Ying), Fructus Gardeniae (Zhi Zi) or Carthami Flos (Hong Hua) can also be added.[2] This is often done to further modify or adjust the formula to treat the patients specific injury.

The herbs are ground into a powder and mixed in equal amounts with egg whites until the constancy of a muddy plaster is reached. The poultice is directly applied to the injured area, wrapped with a bandage, and left on for about 24 hours. After, the poultice can be exchanged with a new poultice for up to three days. San Haung San is inexpensive. The herbs can be purchased online or at any traditional herb shop for just a few dollars.

San Haung San is so cold that it is not recommended to use for longer than three days as it can then prolong recovery.[3] Also this poultice will stain clothing so take precautions. I always have San Huang San on hand in my studio and in my training bag. I have seen it used effectively in the clinic for a sprained back and for many acute / minor knee injuries.

I personally use it to treat a lot of the acute injuries I deal with. I find one of the major reason’s it works so well is because it acts on the body in a similar manner as icing. However, compliance is much easier. Once the poultice has been applied there’s nothing more to do.

P.S. San Huang San is an excellent addition to any first aid, sports medicine, emergency kit. If you have any questions or need help putting together a San Huang San Poultice it is very easy to do, the photographs in the article out line the steps, however if you are in need of further clarification or help please don’t hesitate to contact me or ask. I am also a licensed Acupuncturist in the State of California I specialize in the treatment of orthopedic injuries, sports medicine and pain management if you would like to schedule a treatment you can do so online here.

References

[1] Although successfully used clinically in China for several hundred years and recently in the United States there currently exists no modern research in the english language on this formula / poultice.
[2]Chan P., Qian M., Ting-Liang Z., Flaws B., Shaolin Secret Formulas for the Treatment of External Injury Blue Poppy Press, 1995 p. 57
[3]Bisio T., A Tooth from the Tiger’s Mouth: How to Treat Your Injuries with Powerful Healing Secrets of the Great Chinese Warrior (Fireside Books (Fireside)) 2004, p. 186


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6 Comments to “San Huang San, Herbal Ice”

  1. Jeremiah Webb says:

    Sam,

    this is a great website. I like what you have done and you have some interesting articles. Do you have a way for people who want to follow your blog to register or sign up? Or did you avoid that on purpose?

    Jer

  2. Melanie says:

    Nice website. Very clean and well organized.
    Great article about San Huang San. I use it myself, in my dojo, and make it and sell it on my website: Suigetsu Shop / Modern Herb Shop.
    I am posting a link to your article on my website – Modern Herb Shop / Suigetsu Shop where I sell San Huang San and other products. I hope you will include a backlink in your site.
    https://www.shopsuigetsu.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=SUIMED-HerbalIce

    Melanie Fine
    http://www.shopsuigetsu.com
    http://www.ModernHerbShop.com
    http://www.suigetsu.com

  3. Sam Kressin says:

    Thanks Melanie yes I’d be happy to provide that link for you.

  4. […] as it stagnates blood and qi circulation, an herbal poultice can be applied to the wound such as Sanhuansan (三黄散 Sān huáng sàn, Three Yellows Powder). The three yellow herbs in Sanhuangshan […]

  5. […] as it stagnates blood and qi circulation, an herbal poultice can be applied to the wound such as Sanhuansan (三黄散 Sān huáng sàn, Three Yellows Powder). The three yellow herbs in Sanhuangshan […]

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