I just returned from teaching in Seattle. During the class we discussed the use of Bai Ji Bletilla Rhizoma as an herb that not only helps wounds knit, but also clears out the old and rotten. In a previous blog entry we saw Bai Ji being used in Dr. Qiu Xiaomei’s formula Supplementing Certainty where she described its function as follows:
Bai Ji Rhizoma Bletillae Striata is astringent and can cause closure. It also has the ability to rid the rotten, drive out the congealed and generate the new.
She is referring to what happens when the placenta begins to separate from the wall of the uterus. The surface of both the uterus and placenta start to dry and congeal. This is the rotten she is speaking of. In addition, the rotten Bai Ji helps to rid can also refer to pus and gook that is in the open space of wounds. Bai Ji helps to clear this so that fresh surfaces remain that can re-adhere to each other.
In the Seattle class we noted how Bai Ji actually smells like Elmer’s Glue! I told the students about the other experiential formula of Dr. Qiu’s that includes Bai Ji. This formula is called 创伤愈合散 Chang Shang Yu He San Wound Healing Powder. Below is Dr. Qiu’s explanation of this formula. We should remember a couple of things as we learn about this formula.
First, Dr. Qiu is generally in the habit of writing very small modular formulas. In practice, her formulas are meant to express a particular idea that can be included in larger formulas. So, though this formula only includes 2 herbal substances, in practice I saw her use it within a larger, more constitutional formula or in a formula that addresses the larger picture of the patient’s condition.
Secondly, this formula is written to help women with postpartum wounds whether these be related to episiotomy, vaginal tearing or C-sections. The use of this formula can be extended to all wounds whether accidental or due to surgery.
Dr. Qiu Writes:
创伤愈合散 Chuan Shang Yu He San Wound Healing Powder
Translated from Qiu Xiao Mei:
Bai Ji Mo Rhizoma Bletilla (powdered) 3 gm
Rou Gui Mo Cortex Cinnamomi Cassiae (Powdered) 3 gm
Method for Use:
The above herbs are ground into a fine powder and washed down with warm water. Five to seven days constitutes one course.
Promotes the movement of Qi and Blood, generates flesh and stops bleeding.
Poor healing of post partum surgical incision on the abdomen or perineum.
This prescription includes Bai Ji which has a sticky quality and an astringent nature. It can restrain and stop bleeding, disperse swelling and generate muscles. Rou Gui has a pungent flavor and a hot nature. It is able to warm and help Qi to penetrate through. The combined herbs are used to promote the movement of Qi and Blood so the muscles and flesh can again be generated. It can both get rid of old Blood and generate it anew.
Case Examples of Birth Wound
Ms. Shen was 25 years old when she came for her first visit on October 28, 1970. Her complaint was related to the birth of her child which occurred full term. Her baby was born with occipital transverse presentation and the birth was assisted with forceps. The episiotomy was sutured with 8 stitches but the wound wasn’t healing. It extended six centimeters into the left vaginal wall. It was repaired twice but still didn’t heal. After this I gave her Chuan Shan Yu He San Wound Healing Powder for five days and after two courses of treatment the wound healed.
Ms. Shao, a 28 year old woman, was first seen on March 29, 1%0. She was five months pregnant and had high blood pressure (260/160) and a severe headache. On April 11 her pregnancy ended by cesarean section. One week later, the lower end of her incision began to seep a small amount of blood. Under the skin a hematoma formed. After the hematoma was eliminated I gave her two packages of Chuan Shan Yu He San Wound Healing Powder and the wound gradually healed. Her body temperature became normal. I continued treatment with four more packages and after two courses of treatment her wound had healed and she left the hospital.
During childbirth, women occasionally face the prospect of peranial episiotomy or a post-cesarean section incision that doesn’t heal easily. More often than not, as a result of childbirth or surgery, a woman’s Qi and Blood does not recover sufficiently to promote movement. The result of this is that incisions do not heal easily. Bai Ji Rhizoma Bletilla and Rou Gui Cortex Cinammomi CassiIze promote movement and cause the muscle and flesh to again have vitality and ability. These herbs are also able to heal flesh and stop bleeding. Though the composition of this prescription is simple, its effectiveness is outstanding.