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Miracle powder Yunnan Pai Yao - A first hand experience

(C) Photo and Story by Pipit

......Accidents rarely happen, but once they do....

toe effect of micracle powder
The effect of micracle powder

Accidents rarely happen, but once they do, we usually have a hard time controlling the damage. This is the reason why it is a good idea to pack a first aid kit when travelling or hiking. A long time ago this was the wisdom I chose to follow, but my medicines seem forever trying to outlive their validity and bandages stain yellow with age. After a while it did not seem important to carry one anymore until the inevitable happened.

fast recovery with yunnan pai yao
Showing fast recovery with Yunnan Pai Yao

We had just arrived at the very much abandoned and deserted Jeli hotsprings in the dark of night. There was no moon and we had to find suitable sites to put up our tents. My first order of business however was to find a secluded spot to get rid of some liquid waste I had been holding since our sumptious meal of satay, sup daging, roast chicken and ais kacang in Jeli. After a quick check for snakes and hornets nests with my trusty torch, the urgent business was quickly over with. The others had already decided to set up tents on the access road itself since there was no likelihood of any traffic in this lonely and serene place. I was left to explore in the dark on my own.

I carried two torches, an incandescent krypton headlamp and a white light diode torch. When exploring a strange place in the dark a good torch is a must. Having familiarised myself with the place, I decided to switch over to the diode torch to save on batteries. That was when it happened. The diode torch does not give out enough light for detail and in this particular instant, it did not reveal a broken stretch of cement drain which was covered by dead leaves. I stumbled and as I fell backwards my toe kicked a ragged broken piece of cement. At the time, I did not even realise that anything was wrong and was glad my hands were not hurt when they broke my fall even as I landed on my buttocks. My brain switched to alarm mode temporarily and I imagined a poisonous cobra ready to strike as I fell backwards. No such tragedy. I picked myself up with great relief.

As I neared the tents the others were setting up, my feet felt wet and slippery. Shining my torch on them I saw for the first time the blood oozing from my toe. It seemed that a piece of skin a bit less than 2 cm square had been scrapped off and hanging like a trap door. Forest saw it immediately and was on the case. While I was still wondering what to do, he produced the miracle powder, Yunnan Pai Yao in a flash. Over my protestations that maybe the wound should be washed first, he pour some of the powder directly on to the wound and asking for some tissue paper which Poh ye supplied, he covered the wound and asked me to press down on it with my fingers for about 10 minutes.

The tarmac was still warm and I must admit I felt a little abandoned and neglected sitting on it as the others completed the business of setting up the tents and washing themselves in the nearby stream. After what seemed like ages, Forest appeared again and uncovered the wound to have a look at it. He pronounced it under control since the bleeding has stopped. He poured some more miracle powder on it and asked me not to get it wet. Jungle produced some light bandages which I used to wrap around my big toe. After coffee and hot drinks and some chatting, the others turned in for the night. I sat on the tarmac for a while longer with 2 lovely ladies for company. Eventually drowsiness overtook me too and I crawled into the tent to sleep.

The next morning, the dressing was changed and Forest issued strict instructions on how to care for the wound. Apparently the wound must not get wet under any circumstances and if possible, treatment is to be renewed with the miracle powder every 2 hours. Since we were on the road, this was not convenient and I did not refresh the dressing until I reached home late that afternoon. Bathing was a problem and after trying out some complex yogic positions, I managed to keep the wound dry. After about 3 days of rather lazy and irregular treatment, Forest asked me to remove the thick crust of powder and dried blood by gently rubbing it off with cotton wool wetted slightly with some Chinese wine (required for the proper treatment in order to make the powder stick to the wound without dressings.)

The wound looked pinkish. There was still the initial application which was difficult to remove. It formed a hard dried scab covering the periphery of the wound and probably served to cement the flap of damaged skin to the rest of the toe like some form of stitching. At no time did the wound hurt after the actual stubbing itself.

After another 3 days, Forest said it was OK to hike. I joined him at Penang Hill. The damaged skin was still glued fast to the toe and slightly brownish in colour, but it rained on Penang Hill that day and there was no way to keep the wound dry. The damaged piece of skin turned into a white opague colour and delaminated. I cut it off when I reached home that day. Today, my toe looks brand new with no sign of any trauma thanks to Forest and his miracle powder, Yunnan Pai Yao as well as to Jungle, Poh ye and others who supplied first aid and sympathy when needed most. Hurrah for Chinese medicine and good friends!

Read about the miracle powder here

Note: Accident happened at night of 14 Mac 2007. Pipit was able to hike up Penang Hill on 24 Mac 2007.


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All photographs by Forest Ang unless mentioned.
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