Product Primers: Zheng Gu Shui

Zheng Gu Shui (literally: “rectify bones liquid” or “fix bone water”) is a widely used topical therapy for injuries.

The formula, created by a Chinese master herbalist over 500 years ago, was used to treat fractures, broken bones and injuries suffered in combat.  

It is used today by Chinese medical practitioners to treat all kind of injuries, including sports, automobile and accidental injuries.



The ingredients for Zheng Gu Shui have been listed differently from time to time, no doubt an attempt to prevent imitation and also to meet international requirements regarding allowed ingredients. It is not known whether the formulation has changed, or just the label, usually only the label is modified.

The following is a partial list based on evaluation of the lists provided on labels over time:

Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) rhizome (hu zhang)
Guangxi Zedoaria rhizome (guang xi e zhu)
Croton root (ji gu xiang) listed as "camphor wood"
Angelica root (bai zhi)
Moghania root (yi tiao genqian jin ba)
Inula cappa root (tu mu xiangda li wang)
Tien-chi ginseng root (san qi)
Cinnamon bark (gui zhi)
Menthol (5.6%)
Camphor (5.6%)

zheng gu shui family


The primary actions of the formula are to promote circulation, reduce bruising and swelling, help strengthen connective tissue and assist in mending bone fractures.

Often used by athletes and martial artists, this highly effective liniment can be used for tendinitis, sprains, strains, and even bruised bones.

We like to use it to help alleviate the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome.



Tendons Ligaments and bones are deep tissues with limited circulation. Thus, the liniment works best when applied for an extended time period.

Materials you may need:  Gauze pads or Flannel squares;  Cotton balls can also be used ;  Old towel for resting on.



Moisten a gauze pad, or a piece of flannel with Zheng Gu Shui. You’ll want it saturated, but not dripping.

Apply to the affected area and allow it to absorb for 30-90 minutes. The liniment stains, so rest the affected part on an old towel that can get stained.

You can loosely cover the area with plastic wrap and then go about your day if the compress will stay in place. It’s best to limit movement.

Watch TV, look at Facebook, read a book, pay your bills. Try to just stay put.

Afterwards, you can store the compress in a zip lock baggie and re-use the next day.



• Zheng Gu Shui is a hot liniment that can irritate skin.
• Zheng Gu Shui can irritate delicate tissue. Wash hands thoroughly after applying it. Avoid rubbing your eyes or touching your genitals if the liniment is still on your hands.
• Do not use Zheng Gu Shui on open wounds.
• Do not use Zheng Gu Shui near an open flame, as it is flammable.
• Avoid covering the area for extended periods of time.
• Discontinue use if the skin is irritated. Use your common sense and wait until the skin is healed