Tofu Plaster

Tofu is yin, but does not seem to have the toxin-absorbing quality of taro. The yin quality of tofu has the following properties:

  • It absorbs fever. In this aspect, tofu is used as a replacement for ice, and it is superior to ice packs or cold towels. Tofu absorbs the fever far more efficiently than ice and does not produce any secondary effects. Ice can neutralize fever in a physical way, while tofu neutralises it in a pharmaceutical way. Ice can cause a secondary increase of fever because it does not always extinguish the source of the fever.
  • It extinguishes inflammatory processes, whether they are causing fevers or not.
  • It prevents swellings or decreases existing swellings. In this aspect, tofu is equal to taro.

Ingredients and utensils:

  • A sufficient amount of tofu
  • White flour
  • Grated fresh ginger
  • A suribachi (or mortar) and pestle
  • Cheesecloth
  • A thin cotton towel, gauze, wax paper, or paper towel
  1. If the tofu is very watery, you should first squeeze out any excess water: put the tofu in a cheesecloth or towel and squeeze it.
  2. Crush the tofu in a suribachi.
  3. Add a small amount (about 5%) of grated ginger and some white flour (about 10-15%) and mix everything well. Enough flour should be added to obtain a sticky paste.
  4. Spread this paste, forming a layer ½ inch thick, on the cotton towel or on a piece of gauze or wax paper, or on a paper towel.

Applying a tofu plaster:

  • Apply the plaster in a way that the paste makes direct contact with the skin.
  • Do not cover the plaster with a synthetic (rubber or vinyl) sheet.
  • You may put another cotton towel on top of it.
  • This plaster dries out rather quickly and should therefore be replaced efter 1-2 hours, and in some instances even sooner.
Because of its yin nature, a tofu plaster is particularly useful for problems with a yang character, but tofu plaster could safely be used for almost anything, whether the cause of the problem is yin or yang.
  • High fever. In this case, we can apply the tofu plaster on the head. Contrary to ginger compresses, tofu plasters are especially recommended for treatment of the brain area.
  • Inflammatory processes which are causing fever, such as acute pneumonia or bronchitis. When the inflammatory process is located deeper in the body, we should first apply ginger compresses.
  • Any painful condition accompanied by fever.
  • Burns, especially burns of the second and third degree. In this case, tofu plasters should be applied continuously during the first days. Tofu plasters will relieve the pains, and seem to suppress heavy scar formation.
  • When a tofu plaster is applied immediately after a contusion, a concussion or a sprain, it will prevent the formation of large intra-tissular bleedings and swelling.
  • Bleeding within tissues (including brain haemorrhage): tofu plasters will prevent the clotting and hardening of the blood and will accelerate the re-absorption of the blood.
Conter indications:
Do not apply tofu plasters when fevers are caused by measles or chickenpox, unless the fever becomes really high (such as 105ºF / 40ºC or higher). In the case of measles or chickenpox, temperature should not be artificially forced to normal, but it should be kept within a safe range.
Frequency and duration:
This depends upon the affliction:
  • When treating a high fever, the plaster will warm up quickly, and it should be replaced every 20 min.
  • When treating heavy burns, plasters should be applied continuously for several days.
  • It is advisable to learn how to make tofu at home, because large amounts are of course needed in some cases.
  • When treating bronchitis, you could proceed as follows: first apply the ginger compress, then a tofu plaster and leave it on for 2-3 hours. Then apply another ginger compress, and again apply a tofu plaster for 2-3 hours. This treatment is very effective!

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