Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Ho Family Dit Da Jow - A blend of Chinese and American Indian Herbology

Dit Da Medicine and Chinese herbology are fascinating fields of study and have long been of great interest to me. To this end, some time back I embarked in formal study with the Institute of Chinese Herbology along with my hands on mentoring by Master J. Wong, a highly skilled and very well respected traditional herbologist. Even after years of hard work, I find that I am but a novice in a field that is so rich and deep that a whole lifetime would not suffice. I am continously awed by the knowledge and experience of collegues and fellow martial artists and am thankful for their willingness to share what they have learned. My friend, Mike Biggie is one such person.

Mike is a long time practitioner of Chinese Kung Fu. He teaches 7 star praying mantis and has much knowldege of Choy Li Fut and a deep interest in the Ng Ga Kuen system of Great Grandmaster Ark Y. Wong. Mike refuses to accept the title of Sifu, which is a testament to his humble nature and his ongoing committment to learning. Over the years and through his Kung Fu training, Mike has amassed a great deal of knowledge about Chinese Herbs, particularly Dit Da Jow. The Ho Family formula is Mike's personal flagship formula and one that has received accolades from anyone who has had the fortune of being able to try it.

The Ho Family formula is based on a the Shao Lin Die Da Shen Yan Liang Fan or"Young Forest Striking Divinely Proven Effective Prescription". This traditional formula was brought over to America by Chinese immigrant railroad laborers in the 1800's. The Ho family formula differs from the original in a number of ingredients. The reason is that certain Chinese herbs were at some point un- available here. This is where the Ho family formula is unique. Chinese herbologists had observed that the indigenous people of America practiced a similar herbology with herbs that were found locally. Through research and probably some trial and error, and exchange with native americans, Chinese herbologists learned to use some of the western herbs as replacements for their Chinese counterparts. In fact, some of the resulting formulas proved even more effective than the originals. The Ho Family Dit Da Jow is such a formula, and the only one known to date to have this blend of Chinese and Native American ingredients.

The formula survived in the San Francisco area and was available through the late 1980's and early 1990's from the Great China Art Company. It was in wide use by Pa Kua (Ba Gua) practitioners in the Bay Area. After that, the formula was no longer openly available and virtually disappeared.

Mike Biggie was given the formula as a gift and was able to continue filling it but only at San Francisco's Chan Ning Kong (Peter Chang) through the 1990's. Since that time, the herbs have been harder and harder to obtain, many having to be ordered individually from separate sources around the world.

Over the years, Mike has gotten to know this formula intimately and has had the opportunity to research and experiment with the formulation. Using his background and also his knowledge of Michael Tierra's planetary herbology teachings, he added a single herb to the Ho Family prescription. This increased the strength of the Ho Family formula and its blood and chi circulating characteristics.

There has been much written about "Mike Biggie's Dit Da Jow" on internent forums and discussion groups. By and large, everyone agrees that his is one of the best, if not THE best all around dit da jow formula available. It is an excellent all around healing formula and is very effective for strengthening and conditioning. It has shown a special affinity for tendon injuries and for tendonitis and thus will help with heavy flexibility training. And while this is not an Iron Palm formula, many advanced practitioners report great results from using this formula for their Iron skills training.

The Ho family formula has a rich history dating back to the days of the railroad construction and to Shaolin before that. Thanks to friend and collegue Mike Biggie, it is still available. For more information post a comment here or you email referencing Ho Family Dit Da Jow. This formula can also be found at