Dit Da Jow Herbal Remedy for Pain

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

Dit Da Jow herbal remedy for pain relief and rapid healing
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Remedies » Dit Da Jow Herbal Remedy for Pain

Last year, our whole family started taking Jujutsu. We all enjoy it, but the rolls, throws and climbing aspects definitely come more easily to the kids! Any activity that involves wooden swords and rolling will inevitably create some bumps and bruises along the way.

After one class that left us particularly sore, the Sensei (teacher) shared a traditional herbal remedy that has been used in Asian countries for pain relief and rapid healing for years. It is called Dit Da Jow (literally translated “hit wine medicine”) and is essentially an herbal tincture that is packed with healing herbs. According to this article:

Dit Da Jow is an analgesic liniment traditionally preferred by martial artists. Often a martial arts master blends his unique mixture of many aromatic herbs such as myrrh and ginseng, which are combined to stimulate circulation, reduce pain and swelling, and improve healing of injuries and wounds. The tradition became known as “hit medicine”. Many people have also found this sort of liquid analgesic to be useful for reducing the aching of muscles, and arthritis and rheumatism discomfort.

I researched traditional Dit Da Jow recipes and while it was hard to find many of them (most are considered secret family recipes), I finally found a mixture that works really well for us. I used herbs that can be found in the US, so this wouldn’t be considered true Dit Da Jow, but it has been very effective for our bumps and bruises. It also helps speed recovery of non-martial arts related injuries so we keep it on hand. Store bought Dit Da Jow is available, though I haven’t tried it to know if it is as effective.

As with any herbs, vitamins or drugs, consult with a doctor before using, especially if you are pregnant or nursing. This recipe is for external use only. Any quality sourced organic/wild-crafted herbs will work. It is not inexpensive to make but it is very effective. I’ve seen it get rid of bruises and pain overnight.



  1. Place all of the herbs in a glass mason jar (at least 16 ounces).
  2. Pour boiling water to just dampen all of the herbs. (This step is optional but helps to draw out the beneficial properties of the herbs)
  3. Fill the rest of the jar (or the entire jar if not using hot water too) with alcohol (drinkable, at least 80 proof) and stir with a clean spoon.
  4. Put the lid on the jar. Store the jar in a cool/dry place, shaking daily, for at least three weeks and up to six months. (I usually leave herbs for six weeks)
  5. Strain through cheesecloth and compost the herbs. Store the tincture in colored dropper bottles or clean glass jars.
  6. Use on skin as needed to help with bruises, sore muscles and pain. Do not use on cut or broken skin.

Do you make any herbal remedies? What is your favorite? Share below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


61 responses to “Dit Da Jow Herbal Remedy for Pain”

  1. Lindsey Avatar

    Dit Da Jow saved me from having a black eye for my bachelorette party. I was on the receiving end of a line drive while playing baseball with a 7 year old. Unfortunately my eye caught the ball. It was a week away from my bachelorette party. I was incredibly blessed to have a massage instructor who also practiced martial arts and carried it with her. It was amazing how effectively and quickly it healed. I was one thankful bride-to-be. ????

  2. Max Avatar

    I forgot where I read it, maybe wikipeadia??, but supposedly testing found the main ingredient in comercial Dit Dar Jow was camphor and methanol – the same thing in Tiger Balm. You could use witch hazel for your extraction, then mix with aloe and tiger balm to make a gel. Going to try this.

  3. Gee Avatar

    Just started Kuk Sool Won and plan on giving this a go for the inevitable bumps and bruises.

    Quick question, could this be made into a lotion? Not sure if the alcohol would make it unsuitable.

      1. Gee Avatar

        I will give it a go and then update here…

        Fantastic blog, found it while looking for some “western” jow recipes but found soooo much more on here. Love it. Thank you for all of your hard work.

  4. Erin Avatar

    Would you use this during or after childbirth? I had a lot of bruising and pain after the births of my first 2, needed PT, etc. I had natural childbirth, but the pain in the weeks following childbirth was far worse than childbirth! Now that I’m pregnant with number 3 I really want to have a plan for pain management. I am taking the Pregnan-Tea daily.

    Thanks for your WONDERFUL blog!

    1. Jane Avatar

      To my understanding and according to my sons sifu (teacher) a girl who is Menstruating or pregnant should not touch the stuff. If you’re bleeding at all it will cause you to bleed out.

  5. Amy Avatar

    Hi Katie I’m enjoying your articles. Wanted to share a discovery I made with you. I’m taking a weekly course to become a yoga teacher, we meet just once a week for several hours. I’m normally ridiculously sore the next day and sometimes even the day after that. One evening after my yoga class I took a bath with a cup or two of apple cider vinegar in an attempt to get rid of a yeast infection (which worked)! But imagine my surprise when it got rid of my sore muscles as well- I had no pain the next day at all. My friend who’s taking the yoga class with me was just as sore as usual. This may be a quicker easier fix for sore muscels than herbs- which are lovely but can be costly and labor intensive

  6. GiGi Avatar

    Thank you for this!! I have had the same jar for 15 years and just getting low. My ex-husband made it and left it and I had no clue how to make more. It definitely works! I store it in the top of my closet. He said to keep it in a cool dark place if it is a clear jar.

  7. jeanine Avatar

    Great information, I was recommended to your site from eastmeetswest dot com, they have a link to your site. After reading your post I purchased the herb kit from east meets west and it is wonderful, thank you so much and you have so much great information here.

  8. Becci Avatar

    Can’t wait to make my own! I know this is used at the Dojo, and that particular formula is like a miracle!

  9. Christian Avatar

    Looks an awful lot like a tinture I made for a friend a few months ago. He has an old back injury that the doctors cant get figured out and his pain tolerance is pretty high so when hes in pain, hes /REALLY/ in pain. I finally got out the book and basically made a tincture of everything I had that was good for pain, lol. It looked a lot like that list, but with lobelia and a few other added in.

    Generally for bumps, bruises and sprains I use straight up lobelia tincture. Sore muscles and joints get a tiger balm treatment and their all better.

  10. Kathy Sudol Avatar
    Kathy Sudol

    Love the name “east meets west.com” Can you tell me if your pleased with their products? Are they easy to work with? Love this idea of purchasing straight from the source!

    1. Nick Sigma Avatar
      Nick Sigma

      Yes, the vinegar version is equally effective. Vinegar, being acidic, drives the nutrients into the affected area while the alcoholic tincture works by creating a layer over it and letting the herbs work.

      However the process method is slightly different, plus the vinegar version does not last as long as the alcoholic one. This is also why traditional versions are often rice wine-based.

      Hope this helps 🙂
      Nick Sigma CWC,EH

      1. Sylvia I Avatar
        Sylvia I

        Thank you for your reply. Can you please share the details of the vinegar version?

  11. Sifu Ron Avatar

    Nice article, being a instructor in Wing Chun and also studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu I have used Dit Da Jow for close to 20 years. I purchase my kits from eastmeetswest dot com and they are high quality. I like your recipe you posted and have tried something similar but with comfrey root and it was almost as good as the authentic Dit Da Jow.

  12. Jen Avatar

    Thank so much for posting! A couple of questions – can essential oils be substituted for the frankincense, myrrh, fennel seeds and clove powders? If so, how much should be used? Also, can this be “steeped” in a slow cooker for several hours instead of cold infusing it?
    Thank again!!

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      Yes, but they need to be added after the herbs are strained out. It can be steeped in a slow cooker, but i do it in a jar inside a slow cooker with a lid so the alcohol doesn’t evaporate. It won’t be as strong doing it this way but it will work.

  13. Clare Templeton Avatar
    Clare Templeton

    Answer to do you make your own, yep and even grow my own, like wormwood–not for ingestion but as muscle pain relief plus insect repellant and houseplant aphids killer. About extraction with alcohol, I learned living in a duty free port where hi-proof rum was cheap. Just a pint of U.S. Everclear (which collegiates used for Purple Passion) is great extraction plus can always dilute it later. One tip from my own teacher: when you get a painful blow to extremity, like stubbed toe or finger burn, if you immediately clamp other hand between the boo boo and heart/brain it helps stop the pain/shock from flooding your central processors. For ppls who can’t make their own goodies, Absorbine Jr has wormwood in it (the “senior” version is in feed and veterinary supplier stores and is stronger-both are good formula). Big thank you for all you do and share.

  14. Emma Avatar

    Love it! Thanks for sharing such a unique remedy. Mountain Rose Herbs is awesome. I have been using them to buy supplies for years now & the quality never wavers!
    I make a lot of herbal remedies, but my favorite is a tea that is so simple it’s ridiculous:
    dry organic Rosehips and dry organic Elderberries steeped for at least 30 minutes (usually longer). Gently reheated and then flavored with fresh lemon and honey to taste. I drink this any time I am feeling under the weather.


    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      Indefinitely. In fact, in the traditional methods, they often leave the herbs in and store the jar for up to 20 years and then strain and use. The alcohol keeps it good for years and years.

  15. Alyssa Avatar

    How far do the uses for this extend? Is it effective for use with chronic pain? What types of cautions should be taken with use. Lets say a person over does it for a workout and their muscles ache all over is is safe enough to rub all over the body? How many drops for a little bruise? I am interested in learning more.

    1. Brian Avatar

      As a Kung Fu teacher I would advise not to use Jow all over your body. Only the effected area as it simulates the damage area and promotes blood circulation. Also keep away from eyes mouth and private organs.

  16. Beckie Edmands Avatar
    Beckie Edmands

    I’ve used just arnica flowers processed the same way as a remedy for years. My the sons were raised knowing to come to mom for arnica and a bandaid to cure nearly any bump or bruise they had.

  17. Ann Marie Avatar
    Ann Marie

    Thank you for all your hard work. You are helping me change my life in many positive ways. Question: is this formula appropriate for daily long-term use? Such as when suffering from fibromyalgia?

    1. Terry Maris Avatar
      Terry Maris

      Yes good to see this recipe but there is one major ingredient missing we should be able get here in the US. I lived in Okinawa for almost 30 years and the dojo’s there grew the Chinese Foxglove flower. On Okinawa, they use a very strong rice wine called Awamori as the base. Used externally only, it would help after training called bone conditioning (Kotokitai) which always left bruises and welts and a little Dit Jow made the bruises disappear the next day. That about five other ingredients what the big deal was the alcohol with high alcohol proof and the Chinese foxglove flower. We would get ready to make some we will just pick some of the flowers in front of the dojo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *