Sprains & Strains
Acute Strains and Sprains usually come from awkward movements, sleeping improperly or lifting heavy things. It can be associated with muscular tension, weakness of the joints, spasms of the tendons etc.
The primary treatment is moving the Blood, clearing obstruction and easing pain. It can be seen that internal medicines for acute Sprains and Strains are usually based on Blood-moving herbs. Heat-clearing (Anti-inflammatory) and Diaphoretic (Sweat-inducing) herbs may be combined too.
The application of Cold or Ice is appropriate in the initial stages to prevent swelling and stop bleeding. However, after the initial stage of swelling has stopped, warmth and stimulating medicines are indicated. Likewise cooling herbs can be used topically in poultices, washes, fomentations and cataplasms in the initial stage of Trauma, whereas Blood-moving and stimulating medicines are used after the initial stage.
Simples for Internal use:
Simples for External use:
1. Vinegar and warm water topically.
2. Alum and Zedoary as a paste
3. ‘... take the whites of eggs brayed well, and temper amongst it the powder of Wormwood as much as you please, and so lay them upon the bruised place’. (Wirtzung)
4. Of Celandine: ‘Some of the old writers believe that this agent is superior to Arnica or Hamamelis, as an external application to bruises and sprains’ (Ellingwood).
5. Comfrey Wrap: A strong Infusion is made by steeping 2 heaped teaspoonfuls of Comfrey root in 250 mls of boiling water; a cloth or small towel is soaked in this infusion and applied to the place while warm, and left until cool. This may be repeated several times daily for 3 or 4 days if needed. Other herbs can also be added according to need.
ACUTE NECK STRAIN:
Frankincense 2 oz., 3 drams
Oil of Rose
Wax 1 pound each
Goose fat 1 pound each
Pig fat 2 pounds
Fenugreek mucilage 9 oz.
Marshmallow juice 1 pound each
Camomile 1 handful
Dill, 7 branches
Powder the Mastic and mix with the Oil of Rose with gentle heat; in another vessel mix the juices and herbs with the Wax with gentle heat, then strain. Next mix the Mastic and Oil into the juices, add the Fats, simmer gently, then put into jars. (The Secrets of Alexis, 1615)
REPETITIVE STRAIN INJURY:
Cinnamon 3 grams
Dang Gui 9 grams
Saposhnikovia Fang Feng 6 grams
Safflower (Hong Hua) 6 grams
Lycopodium Shen Jin Cao 9 grams
Notopterygium Qiang Huo 6 grams
Frankincense 6 grams
Myrrh 6 grams
Salvia Dan Shen 6 grams
This is for topical use. It could be prepared as a plaster, ointment or tincture. (The Formulas of Dr. John H.F. Shen)