What is die da paste?
Die Da (or in Cantonese Dit Da) is the use of applying herbs externally to treat injuries and chronic degenerative musculo-skeletal problems. A Dit Da doctor could stock a hundred different herbs that have have been powered and stored in jars ready for their disposal. Depending on the injury, a formula combining any number of powered herbs is put together and mixed and then this herbal formula mixed again sometimes with honey, other times vinegar and/or water and the resultant gluey type paste is spread on to the injured area. Then a bandage or plaster is placed over the top to keep the paste in place. The therapeutic effects of the herbs can then diffuse in through the skin and travel to the muscle, bone, ligaments and tendons.
What can die da paste paste do?
Therapeutically, depending on the herbs chosen, the formula is used to reduce swelling, promote healing of bruising, increase blood circulation, generate new tissue, repair ligaments and tendons and strengthen muscle. A side effect is of course, a reduction in pain.
Who is Golden Sunshine that make this die da paste?
The number of herbs used in such formulations is obviously endless and Golden Sunshine, a company based in Colorado, USA has a number of herbal products based on classical Chinese medicine knowledge and which then have been manufactured using modern technological methods. Their range of products include patches, sprays and pastes are available to practitioners and patients alike and are user friendly and easy to apply.
What is in Golden Sunshine herbal paste?
External use of dit da paste will have the strongest action for longer term deeper penetration to muscles, sinews, joints and bones. This formulation used in their paste is set out below and functions of each individual herb is explained according to traditional Chinese medicine principles.
chi shao – Red peony regulates the blood and reduces pain as a result of traumatic injury
xian mao – Travels to kidney and liver channels to help reduce cold, damp and painful obstruction such as seen in chronic arthritic joints causing pain, stiffness and weakness
dang gui – Angelica root is regarded as the king herb herb for the blood. When the blood is in weak circulation at a specific body area, there can be numbness, pain and decreased range of movement. Dang gui is classically used to promote blood circulation and strengthen the blood.
hong hua – These flower stamens are one of the most commonly used Chinese herbs to strongly increase blood circulation. Used here to help the other herbs travel to the area as well as reduce pain.
zi ran tong – Not all Chinese medicines are herbs and about 5 % of the total pharmacopeia are mineral products. This one is pyrite, used here to mobilize blood circulation and has the traditional reputation to mend injured bones.
xue jie – This herb is a resin and due to its very red color has been called dragon’s blood. It is commonly used herb in many external die da formula to promote blood circulation and reduce pain.
ru xiang – Frankincense, which is often combined with the herb myrrh below, as a couplet to improve blood circulation and has the classical indication to “generate” flesh such as in withered tissue after a chronic injury with muscle wasting.
mo yao – Often combined with frankincense to reduce swelling and mobilize the blood circulation after an injury which helps reduce pain, The combination also treats wind damp painful obstruction such as seen in arthritic and rheumatic conditions.
chuan xiong – A common herb in external die da formula to mobilize blood circulation and resolve pain.
niu xi– This herbs strengthens the liver and kidneys and hence when used in external die da formula, can benefit the joints, that is the bones, ligaments and tendons where there is pain, stiffness and weakness.
wu jia pi – This herb has been commonly combined with ru xiang and zi ran tong to address issues with traumatic injuries including simple fractures. It can benefit sinews and bones as it addresses wind damp cold painful obstruction.
shi chang pu – Classically is used for wind cold damp conditions with swelling, obstruction and traumatic injuries with pain.
bai zhu – The spleen in Chinese medicine controls the flesh and muscles and in this formula can treat muscle injury and weakness.
mu xiang – Regulates the flow of qi and reduces pain.
qin jiao – Used in cases with wind damp painful obstruction where there is stiffness, pain and cramping.
rou gui – Cinnamon bark is strongly warming to the local area helping the action of the other herbs to penetrate the tissues more deeply.
fu zi – Regarded classically as a very hot herb and is often in external die da formula to promote circulation whilst having an analgesic effect.
ban xia – When injuries or rheumatic complaints become chronic, nodules can develop and ban xia is in this formula to break up intense areas areas of stagnation causing lumps and nodules.
shi hu – Ligaments and tendons by their nature have less blood supply and hence circulation is inhibited. Shi hu is a yin tonic and nourishes the fluids in sinews preventing them from becoming dry and stiff.
da qing ye – Is used to balance the overall formula by preventing the over heating action of some the other herbs
shan bi xie – Clears damp heat and classically used for wind dampness obstruction where there is pain, stiffness and numbness
In addition to the herbs there are different oils such as from sesame and turpentine leaves to help hold the concentrated herb powder in place. Natural resins, including zinc oxide to thicken the consistency of the paste. One of the unique formula ingredients is tourmaline, used here to enhance the piezoelectric field to help generate an ongoing gentle warmth to the area.
How is the herbal paste applied?
The herbal paste resembles vegemite in a jar and some of it is taken out with a spoon and then spread on the area that is being targeted. Once a reasonable layer has been spread, a plaster or bandage is put over the top to keep the paste in place.
What conditions can the paste be used for?
I have used the paste for a whole host of conditions and find they greatly accelerate the recuperative process especially in treating ACC injury related conditions.
- Tennis elbow – apply the paste directly onto the epicondyle. Many patients wear a stretch bandage on their elbow during the day to reduce over extending the elbow and this helps to keep the paste and covering in place as well.
- Achilles tendon- It is usually best to ask the patient to apply at night after the shower being careful to ensure complete covering as the paste will definitely stain the sheets if any leaks out.
- Medial and lateral collateral ligament injuries
- Infraspinatus tears
- In the case of any fall where there was a direct hit to the spine
- Ankle sprains especially if there is bruising and swelling. In these cases I also get the patient to use the moxa foot soaks before applying the paste.
- Arthritic joints especially in the fingers
- Also in the post rehabilitation bone breaks and fractures after the plaster has been removed
Where can the Die Da Paste be obtained?
It comes in large jars convenient for practitioners to store and then distribute into smaller containers for patients. Practitioners can purchase the jars from the New Zealand distributor Kinetic Distributions.