A guy came into the acupuncture clinic today presenting with a sports injury at the knee.
He was on crutches and though the pain and swelling is down, he still feels the need to baby the knee. We needled him up nicely with acupuncture to get things working again, but I wanted to send him home with more support in the form of Sports Medicine herbs.
Sometimes joint injuries stall out in their healing if the resources are lacking in the blood necessary for thorough physical repair. This is where herbal supplementation comes in. With herbal formulas, acupuncturists can target areas of trauma and bring in specific nutrition to speed or complete the natural healing process, whether it is knee pain, back pain, shoulder pain or any other joint.
In China, people frequently spike their daily soups with a little of this or that food-grade herb to enhance their health. The elder population commonly drinks a side broth to accompany meals with Du Zhong, an herb specific for helping remedy musculo-skeletal concerns. Because it is strong (and doesn’t taste exactly awesome), it can be used for a week every month or so to help keep the back strong and limber and offset aging.
Using a side broth to accompany meals even without the herbs can be an excellent way to benefit health and digestion. It’s easy make broth cheaply at home. This method maximizes the nutritional content of the bones and will allow you to extract collagen and minerals from the bone, making a very absorbable broth. Swap out these herbs for whatever is indicated for your condition. Have fun!
Sports Medicine Bone Broth
9g Du Zhong
9g Niu Xi
1/2 lb pork spine or other joints (cut up by butcher to reveal marrow and internal aspect of the bone tissue)
1/2 cup white wine or sake
3-4 large slices of ginger
Rinse bones and place in cold water in a medium to large pot. Bring up to heat, avoiding a full rolling boil. Skim impurities that rise to the surface at this point.
Add ginger and white wine, cooking 4-6 hours at a bare simmer or less. Cook in herbs for the last 2 hours. Strain and salt to taste. Take 1/2-1 cup (depending on how concentrated your result) as side broth with meals, 2x/day for 7 days.
Depending on the cut of bone you use, there may be a thick layer of fat that rises to the top and solidifies upon refrigeration. This can be spooned off and used in in your other cooking.
(Thanks, Dr. Zhi-Bin ‘Benny’ Zhang, Liu Ming, Nam Singh, David Caruso-Radin)