Yunnan Paiyao is the one thing everyone should have in their medicine cabinet and first aid kit. It is the best and most versatile trauma formula on the market. It could also save you thousands on doctor bills and/or vet bills – it has for me! There are three main indications for this formula.
- Stops Bleeding when both applied topically and taken internally.
- Reduces swelling, bruising, and pain associated with trauma.
- Facilitates healing of cuts and open wounds.
Listed below are some of the many ways one could use this formula. Remember, bleeding, injuries, and wound care can be very serious medical conditions and potentially life threatening. Don’t be stupid when using Yunnan Paiyao. If you are unsure when to use it, then you should seek medical attention. Also be sure to check the contraindications (when you shouldn’t be taking it) at the end of the post.
Yunnan Paiyao’s “claim to fame” is its ability to stop bleeding. You can pack the powder into anything from mild to severe cuts and wounds. To enhance the effect (especially with moderate to severe bleeding), it can also be taken internally.
Here is how Yunnan Paiyao is often combined with basic first aid:
- Wash the affected area immediately. Ideally clean the area with hydrogen peroxide or iodine. (If bleeding is severe, immediately apply direct pressure and call emergency services).
- Pour or pack Yunnan Paiyao powder (break open the capsules) into the cut. Cover with a clean dressing or “band-aid.” If the wound continues to bleed, apply direct pressure and elevate the affected area above the level of your heart.
- To increase the hemostatic (stop bleeding) effect, it can also be taken internally. The recommended dosage is 2 capsules up to 4 times a day as bleeding persists.
Every time I cut myself I pour Yunnan Paiyao in the wound. Not only does it stop bleeding, it helps to heal wounds quickly (see more about wound healing below). Allegedly Vietnamese solders carried small bottles of Yunnan Paiyao powder with them into battle. If they got shot, they would swallow half the powder, pour the rest on the gunshot wound, and wait for help.
Yunnans ability to stop bleeding and heal wounds quickly also saved me thousands of dollars in vet bills. My first dog, Otis, a hundred-pound spazzy weimaraner, had a propensity to severely cutting his paws while on hikes and walks.
After two rounds of stitches/staples (and anesthesia) and little blood stains on the carpet in the less severe cases, it was clear the vet bills and cleaning costs would be unsustainable.
So being a good TCM student at the time, I decided to put Yunnan Paiyao to the test. Otis continued to cut his paws multiple times (a few times almost all the way through the pad). I always cleaned his wound, packed it with Yunnan Paiyao, put some gauze over it, wrapped it in duct tape, and put a booty on his foot. I would also shove a couple capsules down his throat. I never took him to the vet again for his paw wounds.
Trauma (without bleeding)
Yunnan Paiyao works well when taken internally for a wide variety of acute trauma related injuries. Here are some examples:
- Acute swelling, Bruising, and Pain associated with Sprains, Fractures, Soft Tissue Injuries, Contusions, Falls, and Other Accidents.
- Acute Muscle Strain and Spasm.
- Exercise Related Muscle Pain and Soreness (overtraining).
The recommended dosage is the same; 2 capsules up to 4 times a day, but you must take it with one serving of alcohol. For every 2 capsules you take, wash it down with a drink – one beer or one glass of wine or one shot of liquor. Of all the herbal prescriptions, this seems to have the highest rate of compliance among my patients.
I have prescribed this combination of Yunnan Paiyao with alcohol for hundreds of patients with acute trauma like sprained ankles and severe back spasms with great results.
With minor bleeding and trauma you can use the powder externally and take the capsules internally with alcohol. A good example was an accident I had while using a cordless drill with a Phillips bit to drive a screw into some wood. As I was driving in the screw, the Phillips bit slipped off the screw and went right through my thumbnail and hit the bone. The bit was lodged in my thumb. After I pried the drill bit out and dropped about twenty F-bombs, I packed the hole with Yunnan Paiyao and took two capsules with a shot of tequila (and had a few more doses throughout the day). By the next day I had no pain, swelling, or bruising and I never lost the nail.
Yunnan Paiyao is effective to facilitate the healing of open wounds like cuts, scrapes, burns, and even chronic open sores. After the affected area is cleaned, just pour the powder directly on the spot. This can be done 1-3 times a day.
One of my surfer friends has developed a variation with Yunnan Paiyao to quickly heal and prevent scaring associated with reef rash (cuts, scraps, and contusions from coral and/or rock reefs). These injuries can take a long time to heal because there are a lot of bacteria on coral (and it’s hard to get surfers to stay out of the water).
He first cleans his wounds with hydrogen peroxide. He then makes a paste with Neosporin and Yunnan Paiyao and spreads it over the cuts and scrapes. When he used to just use hydrogen peroxide and Neosporin, he claims it took up to twice as long to heal and it would sometimes still scar.
You can purchase Yunnan Paiyao online, at most acupuncture clinics, at some Chinese grocery stores, and at most Chinese herbal dispensaries. I suggest buying the capsules for precise dosing with internal use (and it’s not hard to open the capsules and use the powder for external applications).
Cautions and Contraindications
Do not use Yunnan Paiyao internally for more than three days at a time. While there are indications for long-term internal use of Yunnan Paiyao, this should only be done under the diagnosis and guidance of a qualified medical practitioner.
According to the manufactures’ instructions, do not eat beans, crab, fish, and shrimp while using Yunnan Paiyao. Also, don’t use it if you are pregnant.
Most capsules and bottles of powder come with a tiny red pill attached often called the “hit pill.” This pill is to be taken with alcohol in the case of shock. I have never used it (and nor do I know anyone that has). I advise people to just throw it away.
Questions or comments about Yunnan Paiyao? Leave them in the comments section below.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products and statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.
Photo by Anamorphic Mike