I know you like Chinese kung fu or maybe, you want to learn kung fu. But what would happen if you got injured whilst training? Well, let me hereby sincerely recommend to you the traditional Chinese medicine, medicinal liqueur.

During ancient times in China, as great kung fu masters practiced their skills, it was unavoidable for them to incur all kinds of injury, such as from falls, tumbles, sprains or strains. And for the treatment of such frequent injuries, the kung fu greats would either turn to their trusty medicinal liqueurs or medicinal plasters.

Well, just a little bit of medicinal liqueur, first warmed in the palms, and then applied to the affected area, and you’ll be right in no time. Just what is it that makes medicinal liqueur so effective so quickly? Let’s find out.

One of the most popular medicinal liqueurs in China is often used for contusion sustained from falling or heavy blows. It’s used by the infusion of a few main ingredients in Bai Jiu, rice wine, a popular drink here in China. Let’s give this a go first. Cheers!

Bai Jiu is pretty strong stuff, a little bit spicy, a little bit sweet and very warming on a cold winter’s day. One of the most important ingredients is menthol, which were all familiar with in the West. It clears the sinuses right out. Another ingredient is Caulis Erycibes. Let’s give it a try. It’s a little bit sweet and if I was going to compare it to anything, I guess it tastes a little bit like vanilla, maybe with a dash of ginger.

Another ingredient is Cassia Twigs. Looks like a bunch of twigs with a taste just like cinnamon. The last ingredient is Ephedra, which looks like what I feed my guinea pigs and smells like what I feed my guinea pigs. It doesn’t have much of a flavor, a little bit grassy and a little bit lemony, almost like lemongrass.

I’ve tried all the bits and bobs that go into making medicinal liqueur and now I’m ready for the Olympics. Here I go!

We all know of Jet Li. In one of his movies, he brought back to life a revered figure of recent Chinese history, a great kung fu master, Huang Feilong. Huang Feilong began learning kung fu when he was a small boy and through self practice and exploration, he developed a very impressive Shadowless Kick and Tiger Crane boxing skills.

He also went on to build the Po Chi Lam Medical Center, where he healed the wounded and rescued the dying. He was later hired by the famous general Liu Yongfu to be the chief military drill officer and chief medical officer of the Black Flag army at the end of the Qing Dynasty a hundred 100 years ago.

Huang Feilong became an expert at treating all kinds of external injuries and the medicinal liqueur of the Po Chi Lam Center he created is still popular today. Apart from medicinal liqueurs, there’s also another pretty nifty type of traditional Chinese medicine known as Gaoyao, medicinal plasters, great at relieving inflammation, swelling, muscle and joint pain.

Much like plasters such as Band-Aids, Chinese medicinal plasters are thin strips of sticky fabric that are applied to the skin. And that’s just about where the similarities end. Chinese medicinal plasters give off a strong smell, thanks to all of the medicinal ingredients they are infused with. Secondly, once applied to the skin, they give off a lot of heat, which can last for hours.

Thirdly, they are incredibly adhesive, much like a strong piece of gaffer tape. Lastly, they are by no means intended for the use on open source or wounds, the application on which could lead to quite serious consequences.

Whether your dream is to become a great kung fu hero or great kung fu master, remember that behind all of that glamor is a struggle of blood, sweat and tears. But as long as you keep a box of medicinal plasters and a bottle of medicinal liqueur handy, well, you’ll be one step closer to your dream.

Jamie Catlett is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and doctor of Chinese medicine in Jacksonville, Florida.