With over 15 years of solid research and development, herbal sourcing, and manufacture of Dit Da Jow, PlumDragonHerbs has fine-tuned a variety of liniments, each for an important purpose. The ingredients, recipes, and manufacturing methodology for making each individual liniment is an art form that saves the consumer from the process of personally making and aging a high quality dit da product.
PlumDragonHerbs produces a variety of liniments to cover the gambit of high-percentage athletic injury needs. From the various types of injury to training and conditioning needs, most can be addressed with one of the pre-made, pre-aged liniments. While PlumDragonHerbs offers several pre-made herbal recipes, there are 5 major jows which cover a large percentage of demand. These liniments are Bruise Juice, Ho Family, Jeet Kune Do (JKD) dit da jow, and the 2 Iron Palm liniments, White Dragon and Ancestors Advanced. Each has a specific utility and, they are each of varying strength. With all 5 of these liniments, any martial artist or athlete should be well covered in their training regimen. The following is a categorization and comparison of each of these 5 major liniments.
Injury Versus Conditioning Formulas
There is often a distinct differentiation made between injury liniments and conditioning liniments. For the purposes of this blog, we can define injury liniments as those liniments which are used *following* the occurrence of an injury. These liniments are a posteriori in nature, with their use as a causal effect of injury from training. In contrast, conditioning liniments (such as Iron Palm jows) are a priori liniments; these jows are more preventative in nature, being used before an injury occurs and often with the desired effect of building up or strengthening an area where an injury may be more probable or common.
It is also important to note that while injury jows and conditioning jows use different herbs, they almost always utilize a small base set of herbs which are found in both formulas. Even very specialized Iron Palm conditioning formulas such as Chan Ning Tong and Ancestors Advanced use a few herbs that are seen in injury jows as well. This crossover generally means that, to some extent, an injury jow can perform some functions of a conditioning jow and a conditioning jow can perform some functions of an injury jow. This is definitely not to say that one should be using an injury jow for Iron Palm training, or that an Iron Palm jow is a very good option for a serious injury; but it should be illustrated that these liniments do carry some crossover functions. As an example, both Southern Fist and Ho Family are chiefly injury jows. However, many people vouch for the success of both of these formulas in various types of Iron Palm programs. Likewise, while Bruise Juice works better for serious blood stasis than, say, Ku Yu Cheong, the Ku Yu formula is still quite effective for bruising if you don’t’ have anything else.
The Big 5: Plum Dragon Herbs’ Pre-aged Liniments
A close up examination of these 5 major jows produced at PlumDragonHerbs, provides a demonstration of the design and logic behind the various liniments. The lineup incrementally covers a range of uses beginning with specialized jows for injury, continuing with general liniments that are acceptable for various injuries and conditioning, and ending with stronger liniments which are again specialized towards conditioning and Iron Palm training. When attempting to determine which liniment or set of liniments best fits your goals, this comparison of different liniments should make the decision easier.
Bruise Juice – Injury Formula
Bruise Juice is a powerhouse injury formula. Its sole purpose is to remedy serious blood stasis. If there is significantly bruised and discolored muscle, and/or swelling/inflammation in the muscles or joints due to impact trauma, Bruise Juice is often the go-to jow. It strongly increases circulation, is cooling in nature, and helps break up serious bruising through its anti-coagulant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is fantastic for immediate use following a hard impact injury where painful bruising comes on fast.
Bruise Juice focuses on stagnation so well that it is almost entirely absent of herbs that promote healing or strengthening bone, joint, and sinew. It is not a conditioning liniment and provides very little support for sprains, strains, or conditioning such as Iron Palm, unless it is a sprain or strain that is accompanied by serious bruising. It is entirely on the other end of the spectrum from a conditioning liniment. Bruise Juice is one of the worst liniments for something like Iron Palm, and perhaps the strongest dit da jow on the planet for fresh injuries with significant bruising.
Ho Family – Injury Formula
The coveted Ho Family jow is the bestseller at PlumDragonHerbs and has garnered a reputation for its insane effectiveness across a wide variety of uses. Ho Family jow is a thick, aromatic substance and could be considered the devilish cousin of Bruise Juice. Where Bruise Juice is cooling in action, Ho Family is extremely hot. Where Bruise Juice has a mild and sour aroma, Ho Family is intense and pops with spice. And where Bruise Juice is strongly specialized in its use, Ho Family accomplishes a large array of functions for its users.
Ho Family is a very large formula, especially for an injury liniment. Its ingredients include an arsenal of herbs found commonly in both injury and conditioning formulas. It is fantastic for injuries of all kinds; it is commonly used for sprains and strains; for tendonitis in the upper body, and when training range of motion; and many people report having successfully used Ho Family for Iron Palm training. It seems to be a very good choice in all of these areas. It is not specialized enough to hit brand new injuries with pronounced bruising and inflammation in such a way as Bruise Juice, but is ideal once any severe inflammation has subsided. It is also not the best option for serious Iron Palm training, but works very well for basic Iron Palm work and is excellent for any of the limb knock and other conditioning exercises often seen in various Kung Fu schools.
Bottom line: Ho Family is a perfect choice for a strong and impactful healing any time a very specialized liniment is not necessary.
JDK Dit Da Jow – Training Formula
PlumDragonHerbs’ JDK jow, used primarily in certain Jeet Kune Do training groups in the Eastern US, is the one liniment in this lineup that was specifically designed to cross the bridge between injury and conditioning. JKD is composed of a base of moderate strength injury herbs and a supplementary battery of strong herbs that promote healing, maintaining, and strengthening bone and sinew. JKD works well for bruises and injuries to joints due to impact as well as stretched tendons from overextension such as can happen with submission wrestling and qin na, and it is a common liniment in the gym bag of Judo and Jujitsu practitioners. It is also acceptable for beginner level iron palm training. However, the place where JKD often shines best is in the various limb knocking exercises, especially near the joints. It is more specialized for this particular use than something like Ho Family. It is not as strong for more general uses than Ho Family, and while Ho Family is a stronger jow in general, JDK seems to be a common choice when limb knocking drills are the primary interest.
In terms of overall herbal composition, JKD probably has the least potent combination of herbs of the 5 main liniments. However, because it is specialized for a specific task and designed carefully and thoughtfully, it excels at the task of healing and strengthening the limbs during training.
White Dragon – Conditioning Formula
White Dragon Iron Palm Jow has become a staple for Iron Palm training below the advanced stage and as such is the intro liniment often touted for Iron Palm and other bag conditioning work. It remains relatively unchanged over the last 10 years of production, only tweaked and strengthened in small ways. The synergism between its list of less rare ingredients create a very effective mildly warming action to heal and strengthen in a smooth and thick liniment that absorbs nicely and has a wonderful aromatic property to it. It is much less likely to cause skin irritation than other stronger liniments, and fills the gap that exists in the market for more beginner to intermediate formulas.
White Dragon is decently effective for standard injuries but lacks the focused direction towards these injuries that Ho Family and Bruise Juice are very powerful for. It is most useful for keeping the joints and fascia of the hands and wrists healthy during Iron Palm work. It is not as strong as other Iron Palm liniments like Ancestors Advanced or the Level 2 Hung Gar formula, but it does a fantastic job for Iron Palm training prior to a level in which one strikes lead or steel shot bags with force. At advanced stages when the hands have hardened significantly, many customers opt to continue using White Dragon due to its unique aroma and feel on the skin. If training is approached slowly, White Dragon may be acceptable for advanced Iron Palm training; although, something stronger at the advanced stage is probably more prudent. PlumDragonHerbs has made custom modifications in the past to make White Dragon more suitable for advanced work for those who love the liniment and want to stick with it in the long term.
White Dragon is also quite effective for limb knocking and other softer conditioning methods. Customers who are partaking in both limb knocking and other conditioning in addition to Iron Palm can often get away with using White Dragon for both activities until conditioning needs move to a higher level.
Ancestors Advanced – Conditioning Formula
Ancestors Advanced is the pinnacle of powerful Iron Palm training liniments. It uses a variety of very strong and rare ingredients to create an experience geared specifically towards Iron Palm, with advanced, rigorous training in mind.
With only a small percentage of herbs focused on injury in the formula, it is not a general use liniment by any stretch. While it may be used for injury if nothing else is available, its primary use is for serious Iron Palm training where the upper body (especially the fingers, hands and wrists) are put under significant duress. It is also not necessarily recommended for beginner Iron Palm use because some of the herbs, while very strong in nature, may cause skin irritation for those with skin that are not used to a strong jow. In these cases, White Dragon is a more suitable liniment, as is something such as Ho Family or JKD when simple limb knocking is the only activity that is focused on.
In short, choosing the best jow for your training needs depends heavily on clearly specifying your training goals and then aligning those goals with the design of the formula. If you find you still need further assistance, contact PlumDragonHerbs with the details of your training goals and/or details of your injury and we will be happy to help you choose the formula that will be the best fit for your specific needs.