Yunnan white drug, available in powder and tablet forms, is one of the best-known Chinese drugs. It is used to treat hemorrhage, bruises, wounds, stomachache and painful menstruation with wonderful therapeutic effect. It can either be taken orally or applied externally. It has almost become a necessary item in the family first-aid kit in China. However, the drug not to be taken by pregnant women.
Yunnan white drug was developed by Qu Huanzhang, a roving doctor from Jiangchuan County, Yunnan Province who specialized in traumatology. There is a fascinating story about him.
Once, as the story goes, when he was passing through a valley on his way to visit a patient at home, Qu heard tigers roaring not far from him. He hurried to climb up a tree for safety. He saw from the tree that two tigers locked in a desperate fight. Finally, one tiger overwhelmed the other and walked away with a swagger. The other was badly cut up and blood was pouring out it wounds. After a short while, the beast struggled to its feet and staggered into a thick growth of grass where it bit a kind of grass into small pieces, mixed it with mud and applied the mixture to its wounds. All too soon the bleeding was stopped. After the tiger left, Qu examined the grass the tiger used to dress its wounds and found that it was a new herb which had never been recorded before.
Another time, while collecting medicinal herbs in mountains, he came across a large serpent. He quickly took out his sword to defend himself and cut its tail off. The serpent managed to escape into a gully, with Qu following behind on the sly. There the serpent began eating a kind of grass, which was unknown to him. Then it returned where it was wounded and successfully joined the several tail to its body in a few hours. Qu believed that the herbs used by the tiger and the serpent to dress their wounds were highly effective in treating wounds and fractures. After ten years of research, Qu developed the marvelous Yunnan white drug in 1908, with the two new medicinal herbs as its main ingredients.