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  • 3 min read

    Battle Balm is a superior alternative to purple cloud ointment, also known as shiunko ointment, to heal minor wounds & skin conditions. Here's why.

    Purple cloud ointment, also known as shiunko ointment, is a popular topical burn cream used in traditional Chinese medicine as well as traditional Japanese medicine. Made from only 4 or 5 ingredients, shiunko cream, is also used for minor scrapes, abrasions, eczema and psoriasis. In the acupuncture clinic, shiunko is used as a medium and barrier for direct moxibustion treatment and therapy.

    Our Battle Balm, a 100% all-natural and organic topical pain reliever, is made with 20 natural and organic herbal ingredients. Because of the complexity of our formula, Battle Balm can easily replace shiunko ointment in both the clinic and the home. Although, shiunko uses a couple of ingredients not found in Battle Balm, the superior ingredients in Battle Balm can improve user outcomes when compared to shiunko cream. Here are five great reasons why Battle Balm can replace shiunko ointment.

    1. Battle Balm uses organic beeswax - Beeswax is a wonderful base for thickening balms, creams and ointments. It is also a great natural preservative. Both Battle Balm and shiunko use beeswax as a formulation base, but if one is looking for USDA-certified organic beeswax, Battle Balm is the better choice.

    2. Battle Balm uses a more skin penetrating oil - A carrier oil "carries" substances across the permeable skin barrier. Since skin is a living organ that exchanges nutrients and moisture with the environment, a carrier oil needs to penetrate deeply to be effective. Almost all shiunko uses sesame oil as a carrier. This oil is what also gives shiunko its characteristic scent. Battle Balm, on the other hand, uses USDA-certified organic jojoba oil as a carrier. Jojoba oil is the closest thing in molecular structure to the body's natural oil, sebum. Even though sesame oil will penetrate the skin, jojoba oil is much more easily absorbed. Greater skin penetration means greater effectiveness. Battle Balm will naturally penetrate deeper.

    3. Battle Balm provides local pain relief - Acupuncturists use shiunko as a natural adhesive, a burn preventative, and a skin protectant when applying direct moxa or performing direct moxibustion to acupuncture points. Depending on the type of moxibustion and the practitioner, the treatment may cause some pain and/or scarring on the acupuncture points. Battle Balm is a pain reliever and can reduce the pain after the moxa treatments when applied, whereas, that is not a function of shiunko ointment.

     4. Battle Balm will not stain clothing - Zi cao (also known as arnebia or lithosperm) is what gives the "purple cloud ointment" the interestingly purple color. Unfortunately, that natural purple dye can stain some clothing upon use. Though, this is not a deal breaker for everyone, it is definitely something to think about every time one uses shiunko. Battle Balm has a natural yellow gold color from the organic beeswax and organic jojoba oil, which washes out from most clothing easily.


    5. Battle Balm has been clinically tested to be antimicrobial - Battle Balm has been tested in an independent laboratory for effectiveness per USP51 specifications against common skin microbes, such as staphylococcus, streptococcus, E. coli, candida albicans, and aspergillus brasiliensis.


    One of the great features of Battle Balm is its versatility. This comes from a focus on a careful high quality ingredient selection. We choose herbs that provide topical pain relief and support healthy skin. Both Battle Balm and shiunko are useful in treating common skin irritations such as eczema, psoriasis. Both are great to aid the healing of minor wounds. Although Battle Balm does not contain the signature purple zi cao ingredient or have the long history behind it, Battle Balm will treat many, if not more, of the conditions that shiunko is indicated for.

    We encourage you to try our alternative to shiunko ointment, Battle Balm Original Strength, in your home or clinic today! If you are looking for an easy way to apply Battle Balm as an adhesive to direct or rice grain moxa onto the skin, try the Battle Balm Original Strength Stick.



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