Dit da jow translates to “iron hit wine” (or similar) in English.  Dit da jow, often called “jow” for short, is an herbal liniment made from various chinese herbs and alcohol.  The herbs are soaked in the alcohol for a specified period of time during which the alcohol absorbs the herb’s properties, and then the alcohol is ready to be applied topically as a liniment.

There are various recipies for dit da jow, and many kung fu schools have their own secret formulas that are passed down from sifu to student.

There are also different types of jows.  For example, dit da jow may be designed to:

– heal bruises
– bring qi to the surface of the skin
– relieve pain
– protect the skin from contact with material during training
– prevent/alleviate swelling

Naturally, some dit da jow will do a combination of those things. A kung fu school may have one type of jow that is used specifically for iron palm training, and another type that is used to heal from general bumps and bruises that arise from normal training.

When you get to the point in your training when you need it, should you make your own jow?