A yinyang wuxing guide to treating burns – the good oil

If you happen to attend a first aid course, they’ll tell you in the case of a burn to put the affected area under running cold water to cool the heated tissues. This may soothe the pain while the cold water is running but, from the perspective of yinyang wuxing healing, actually, it may cause more harm than good. How is that so?

In yinyang wuxing theory, fire creates soil, soil creates metal, and metal creates water. When the skin is burnt, water will rise and form a blister, the burnt area becomes soil. The water and soil are in an irregular place and obstruct the yinyang passages at that point from connecting with heaven and earth, and so causes pain. In wuxing theory, metal has a nature of absorbing moisture, it is concentrated and pure. Therefore the way to get the unwanted water and soil out of the way is to strengthen the ability of metal to absorb the water and soil.

Running cold water may get the surface heat out, but it adds moisture to the developing blister and when the blister is cold it becomes more difficult for metal to absorb it and so delays the healing process.

Fat is pure and solid when cold, and it absorbs heat and moisture like metal, so it has a metal wuxing nature. When applying fat to a burn, the fat absorbs the obstructing soil and the moisture of the blister, it opens up the breathing passages of body to heaven and earth.   Therefore, when there is a burn, minor or serious, you can apply any kind of animal fat, butter, or coconut oil, or any natural cooking oil, although the animal fats may be more effective because of their solidity, in other words their stronger metal nature. I usually use an oil based herbal cream called Jingwanhong 京万红软膏.

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