Dit Dat Jiao literally means “hit fall wine”, and is often referred to as trauma liniment. The name Dit Dat Jioa is a general term and there are in fact thousands of Dit Dat Jiao liniments. Each one is made with different herbs as a specialized liniment specifically for the purpose of treating contusions, sprains, strains, pulled muscles and more resulting from martial arts and related athletic injury.
Traditionally, every martial arts school in China would have its own Dit Dat Jiao liniments on hand to treat injury resulting from practice. Often these formulas would be modified specifically for the most prevalent injuries of a particular martial arts style. Striking Schools often had formulas designed specifically for contusions / bruising, while a grappling school would have formulas designed to treat joint sprains and strains. Most of these formulas would be kept secret and nearly every school would boast of the superiority of their Dit Dat Jiao liniments over all others.
Ultimately, a Dit Dat Jiao formula works through the same primary mechanisms as any other liniment. To learn more about this read my article on How Liniments work here. The nice feature of a Dit Dat Joao is that the formula can be modified and customized to the specific injury and the stage of the injury (acute, intermediate or chronic). This is done by adding and subtracting specific herbs from the formula.
Making your own Dit Dat Jiao is very simple, and here is how to do it.
1.) Take all the herbs in the formula and put them in a sealable container.
2.) Fill the container with 50% water and 50% alcohol. Traditionally Jiao’s were made with Chinese Rice Wine however a cheap 100 proof vodka works fine. (I’ve actually been told by several experts that Vodka is better than Rice Wine). Make sure to write the date on the container so you know how old it its.
3.) Seal it and store. Traditionally it is believed the older a liniment, the more potent, and a minimum of six months to one year is required before use. However, I have found many formulas to be effective in just six weeks.
Here is a good general Dit Dat Jiao formula I have on hand at my martial arts studio. These herbs can easily be purchased online or at any traditional chinese herbal shop. Put 12 grams of each dried raw herb in with 1 gallon of 50 % water 50% alcohol.
Here’s a few herbs you can pick from and add to the formula for customization;
Flos Carthami (Hong Hua) can be added to help stop pain.
Radix Ligustici Wallichii (Chuan Xiong) to treat trauma and stop pain.
Eupolyphagae Seu Opisthoplatiae (Tu Bie Chong) for joint and bone injuries.
Radix Rehmanniae Glutinosae (Shu Di Huang) for lower back and knee weakness.
Making your own Dit Dat Jiao liniment can be a lot of fun and it is inexpensive. It can also be customized to your specific type of training but best of all you can keep the formula a secret and tell everyone it is superior to all other liniments.
P.S. The photo featured at the top of this article is a secret formula passed on to me from one of my teachers who brought it back from Hong Kong. Unfortunately I gave my word of honor that I would not reveal it’s ingredients however I can assure you it is superior to all other Dit Dat Jiaos.
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