What are Herbal San-Fu Patches Good For?



     Herbal San-Fu patches are a time-honored tradition in Chinese medicine used to boost immune health and prevent illness during the change of seasons. Utilizing the hottest days of the years as a super charge to the Yang energy of the body, San Fu Patch Therapy or Dong xia bing zhi is a medicinal practice referred to in the classic Huang Di Neijing, written over 2,000 years ago, but really gained popularity and further innovation during the Qing Dynasty of China (1644-1912).   


San Fu Patch Therapy consists of:

Topical application of warming and activating herbs during the late summer months on specific acupuncture points to boost immune health and prevent illnesses. 


     Warm and pungent herbs like aconite, cinnamon, ginger, and are used to disperse cold and transform phlegm, warm the lungs, boost the kidney, and secure the root of qi.  The use of warming herbs at these special times allow us to treat the root of Cold diseases (not enough Yang power in the system) rather than the branch (symptoms that are worse in Winter).  This tradition of preventative medicine is most often used for disorders of the respiratory system such as frequent cold/flus inn the fall or winter months, as well as asthma, allergic rhinitis, chronic diarrhea, and other illnesses that are worse in the cold.



     Our patches consist of powdered dry herbs mixed with ginger juice to create a paste.  Dime sized dollops of this paste are placed on to bandages and then applied to different acupuncture points on the body, mostly on the upper and lower back.  Within a few minutes after application, there is a warming sensation throughout the areas with the patches which can stay in place for 2-6 hours.  It is very important to keep an eye and check on the skin under the bandages after about 30 minutes to make sure the skin isn’t too irritated.  Redness is normal, it’s part of the treatment but sensitive or reactive skin requires first, a small patch test to make sure the skin can handle, and a shorter duration with the patches on (30-120 minutes).  One round of treatment consists of 3 patch application days during the hottest month of the year.  The typical treatment protocol consists of 2-3 rounds (aka 2-3 years).  Most research shows positive changes to symptoms within the first year and substantial improvement by the second.      

     If you are interested in receiving San Fu Patch Therapy or Dong xia bing zhi, the first day (July 16th*) is fast approaching and we’ve already got the herbs blended and waiting to activate your Yang Qi, so make an appointment for a quick 15 min patch application.  If you have questions, shoot us an email or give us a call.


*Flexible 30-45 day window for 3 treatments with 7-10 days in between each