Dit da jow is a kind of external liniment used in certain aspects of Chinese medicine. It is especially associated with the martial arts because of its use as a treatment for bruises during training. There are numerous different dit da jow mixtures, but all of them basically rely on combining various herbs in fermented alcohol. The substance is used by rubbing it into the skin at the sight of a soft tissue injury, and supposedly, it will help reduce inflammation, improve healing times, and soothe away pain. The use of this herbal concoction is particularly associated with certain types of training where Chinese martial artists work to toughen parts of their bodies.
It can sometimes be a homemade product, although over the years, it has become possible for people to purchase dit da jow, and many different companies offer different kinds with varied claims. Traditionally, each martial arts school may have its own slightly varied set of ingredients. Once all the herbs are added, it is fermented for a period of several months, and then it is ready for use.
Dit da jow is typically made by mixing several different herbs that each serve a different purpose. For example, some herbs might help with bruising, while others might reduce pain. Some of the recipes used in martial arts schools can come from ancient sources, and sometimes there are even different recipes for different kinds of injuries. The exact process for making it can even vary to some extent in terms of fermentation times and other aspects.
Applying dit da jow is typically just the process of massaging it into the area of someone's injury. Practitioners believe there is benefit to be gained from adding it very quickly after an injury occurs. Sometimes the teacher or another student will apply the substance, and sometimes it might even be applied prior to training if there is a certainty that particular body areas are likely to receive an injury.
There is not that much proof behind the effectiveness of dit da jow, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence. Basically, people have been using it for many years in an environment where injuries are very common, so some experts believe it must have some beneficial effects. Many people claim that their injuries heal much faster after using dit da jow, and until there is further testing, this may be the only available proof of its effectiveness.