I just received an excellent article about the healing properties of the formula San Huang San, or Herbal Ice, as we've decided to name our version. The article is from Plum Dragon Herbs, a company that specializes in external herb formulations for martial artists and sells single herbs and herbal formulations to craft at home (if you're feeling creative and want to make your own medicinals at home!! I encourage you, it's loads of fun!!). San Huang San is a classic formulation for traumatic injury, using it immediately after sprains or strains when there's inflammation and swelling.
These guys have a really beautiful breakdown of the actions of this formula. In the martial arts world, this formula was often taken internally as well as applied externally (our version is meant for external use only), and while there are many formulas Eastern and Western to use in cases of acute injury, they discuss the benefits of using this particular formulation over ice for acute injuries.
We use this salve in our house in place of ice and have had great success in treating many a sprained ankle!! Enjoy reading this article, gleaning bits of wisdom, and let me know if you're interested in this as a liniment, as they talk about in the article!! I'd love to make it with Seattle's local Sound Spirits!!