Chinese Herbal Topical Treatments include traditional medicated oils, ointments, liniments, poultice or plasters. These topical treatments can be exceptionally useful with traumatic injury, acute, or rheumatic pain, skin disorders and many other superficial or topical disorders.
Most oils, ointments, and liniments usually contain camphor or menthol as well as one or more essential oils. Common ones being cinnamon oil, oil of clove, cassia oil, citronella oil, oil of lavender, peppermint or cajuput oil.
Plasters have a cloth backing and an herbal material in a thin layer that is slightly sticky, so it adheres to the skin, but is still easy to remove. They soothe and promote the healing of injuries, especially
bruises, contusions and sprains.
Most topical applications have an analgesic effect. Many originated through the martial arts practitioners need to recover from injuries incurred during practice sessions. They can be indicated for neuralgia, joint pain, spasms, swelling, bruise, sprain, and fracture. Some are reputed to aid the break down of clotted blood and promote regrowth of damaged tissues. All topical preparations are meant to be soothing, calming and pain relieving.
A poultice is generally herbs that are pounded, mixed with vinegar, wine or honey, and wrapped around injured bones or joints. These preparations are typically changed daily.