Fiance was working in the film industry in California a few years ago. Now he’s taking some time to “find himself” (in front of the XBox, mostly). While he’s doing that (apparently by playing Red Dead Redemption for hours on end), he’s also working as a cook in a local brewery/hippie restaurant.
It just so happens, he’s also rather accident prone. And you know what kinds of things lurk in kitchens. Fire, knives, and brussels sprouts. Dangerous things for the accident prone, to be sure.
I’ve put up a sign on the refrigerator to mark the days with no accidents. We are currently on day 3. But he’s at work now, probably flipping fried seitan directly on to his forearm.
Without fail, he reaches for something natural to help with the cuts, scrapes and burns. So I’ve put together a few things we do when he’s got an ouchie, as well as some things you might want to keep handy – just in case the brussels sprouts attack.
First of all, before I get to the things you probably already have in your homes, I have to give a shout out to my favorite product in the world The Thymekeeper’s Bad Ass Road Rash. She used to have a physical store (and it’s now online!) right here in Manitou Springs, and this salve is truly a miracle worker. I need to restock. We’ve gone through two large tins of this stuff, and the speed in which it helps your skin heal is phenomenal.
It’s one thing I believe should be in everybody’s home, funny name or not.
Now on to the things you probably DO have in your home – a natural medicine cabinet you didn’t even know you had!
Natural Remedies for Cuts, Scrapes, and Burns
Cayenne Pepper for Wounds
This spicy treat is actually a wonder with cuts and bleeders. It may sound a little scary, but it works! Just sprinkle a layer of ground cayenne pepper on a bleeding, open wound and then wrap a bandage around it. The bleeding stops, and the pain is dulled. Leave this bandage on for an hour or two.
Why cayenne helps cuts: Cayenne is incredibly high in a property called capsaicin. You probably know that it’s very effective in treating pain, but why? It dulls the nerve endings and sends messages to the brain to slow down pain impulses. Cayenne works to help stop bleeding by encouraging the clotting of blood. In fact, studies have shown that, if a person is in the middle of a heart attack and they take a strong cayenne pepper tea, the heart attack may stop completely – because of cayenne’s blood clotting power.
Precautions: If you’re going to cover an open wound with cayenne, you should first make sure it’s organic. As you’re delivering the product directly into the blood stream, please be sure to keep toxins out. Also, if it’s a deep cut that requires stitches, don’t try treating only with cayenne. Go to the ER or your local urgent care center.
Potatoes for Burns
When the fried seitan does flip onto Fiance’s forearm, the first thing he reaches for is a raw potato. And he swears by it, every time. Immediately, upon burning yourself, cut a raw potato in half and scrape off (from the cut side) a bit of the raw meat. Place the scrapings on the burned area. The pain is instantly relieved, and the healing begins.
Why potatoes help burns: Potatoes are full of moisture, and this helps wick away the heat from your skin. They help moisturize the traumatized area, which provides immediate relief. Last, they contain several vitamins that encourage quick healing.
Other Home Remedies With Potatoes: Potatoes make great beauty products (you’ll find recipes and ideas at the link). They’re also effective in calming the itch of bug bites (just apply a small bit of grated raw potato on the itchy area). And maybe my favorite remedy: Potatoes help get rid of eye styes. Grate a potato finely and either apply the potato mush directly to the stye, or (if that sounds weird) place the grated potato in a piece of cheesecloth and apply that to the sty. Let it set for 15 minutes. Reapply every hour until you feel relief.
Lavender Essential Oil for Scrapes
I’m serious when I say that it would be in your best interest to get some lavender essential oil (which you can do at Mountain Rose Herbs, or Whole Foods, or pretty much any natural foods store). In aromatherapy, it’s both relaxing and energizing. In beauty, it’s soothing, revitalizing, and antibacterial. You can use it in household recipes. And you can apply it directly to scratched, scraped, and burned skin.
Why Lavender Essential Oil Works On Scrapes: It’s incredibly antibacterial, antiseptic, and soothing. Just put two drops on a small cotton ball and apply directly to scraped skin. It should soothe the pain, but more importantly, it will disinfect the wound and leave it less prone to infection.
Honey For, Well, Just About Everything
Where would we be without the bees? (Not alive, according to science.) Honey is a great remedy for burns, as it helps bring out the heat, lessening pain. It’s also moisturizing, so it will encourage the skin to heal faster. And for scrapes and minor lacerations, it’s a highly effective antimicrobial, which reduces the chances that cuts and scrapes will get infected.
How to Use Honey on Scrapes and Burns: Just slather it on and bandage it up a bit. Be sure to rinse any scraped or cut area well with water – getting out any dirt or other debris. Change the bandage every 4-6 hours until healed.
Other Handy Natural Products for Cuts, Scrapes and Burns
- Aloe Vera (the real deal from the plant or a natural, organic aloe vera gel)
- Chamomile (steep the dried leaves, pack into a bit of cheesecloth or muslin, and apply to a minor scrape)
- Arnica Gel (provides excellent pain relief and healing of burns, cuts, scrapes, and especially bruises)
- Tea Tree Oil (antiseptic, antimicrobial, and healing)
- Calendula (used as a poultice – steeped flowers packed in a cheesecloth or piece of muslin – this will encourage quick healing, provide pain relief, slow bleeding, and reduce inflammation)
The Obligatory Warning
If you have a severe cut or burn, seek medical treatment immediately. But I don’t really have to tell you that, do I? You already know, you sly fox.
Do you have any favorite home remedies for burns, cuts, or scrapes? Have you ever tried any of these?
In natural healing crunch!
I cut the tip of my finger off and it hurts like no tomorrow, took 4 painkillers but they aren’t doing the trick. I need somthing that’s a normal household item to either take orally, or put on the wound. I don’t even care if it’s naturally at the moment, just need some temporary relief!!!
Fell down while cycling yesterday, nothing serious, but I have a large scrap that hurts like hell, especially after taking a bath.
The lavender oil tip was surprisingly effective, and the relief from pain was immediate. Thanks for that!
I splashed my arm 2 days ago with boiling hot water and after running it under cold water, blisters started to form almost immediately. It was very painful but not an open would so didn’t seem like it was worth going to the dr. Instead, I applied lavender essential oil (NEAT) directly onto the spots that were burned every 15 minutes for an hour and by the end the pain was completely gone and you couldn’t even find the spots that had been burned. Just in case, like me, you’re caught with no salves ready, it was a great help!
i’m a doctor. what you said about heart attacks is ludicrous. People have heart attacks because of a clot that has formed in one of the major arteries in their heart. more clotting would make things worse. I’m all for natural medicine, but get your story straight my friend.
I was searching your site because I had heard about an old ER doc using instant potatoes for a guy that had really bad road rash after a motorcycle accident ( to stop the bleeding/oozing) I know instant potatoes aren’t crunchy, but just a thought, I was looking for other anecdotes.
I’ve read that the capsaicin has an anti-coagulant effect on the blood vessels.
Actually the reason cayenne pepper works for wounds in general is because it SPEEDS blood to the wound which helps healing. I don’t know all the science behind it, but I have used cayenne powder on a bleeding wound, and it hurts, but it quickly stops the bleeding, and it also helps it heal fast. Being a doctor doesn’t qualify a person to make comment on nutrition anymore than NOT being a doctor does. Now, if one were a nutritionist, maybe that’d have more weight.
Typical nutcase. Being a doctor does indeed make someone more qualified to comment on heart attacks. Cult of nature nut jobs like you mostly just give out dangerous misinformation.
I love the sign on the fridge! Classic…aren’t they always hurting themselves, then begging to be babied? OK, I’m getting away from the topic. I love these ideas, and hadn’t heard of most of them! The cayenne pepper sounds scary, but it makes sense what you are saying about it. I will remember that, for the next “incident” in my kitchen!
If you’re hesitant, try just a tiny bit first and make sure it doesn’t make you scream and beg for a quick death. I started out with a tiny little bleeding cut I got on the bottom of my foot (after knocking over my ridiculously large glass jar collection). It didn’t hurt then, so I moved on to the next bleeder with more confidence.
Also, boys are babies. I blame it on them not having cramps 13 times a year.
Jen @ Lita's World
Eerily, I sliced my finger open this morning using scissors to open mail…I say eerily because as I held a cloth on my finger to stop the bleeding, I began checking out my blog reader and saw your new post. I promptly reached for the cayenne. Hopefully, you won’t write about remedies for anything more tragic that then I might have to try 🙂 Oh, but thanks for the tip – worked great!
Haha. It’s so weird, because I was just saying that I was afraid with all the talk about cuts, I’d invoke the law of attraction and make one happen. Instead, we must’ve done it together. Sorry about that!
For what it’s worth, right after writing my “puffy face” post, I went out on a photo-walk, found some weird purple berries, split one open with my fingers and ended up with a swollen hand. So I got some of it, too.
Perfect timing with this… I’m about to start a canning project today and burns are always a possibility when stirring hot pots of molten goodness. (Bit of a klutz myself.)
Tons of very cool info here. I had no idea about the cayenne! And i’m curious about the honey… does it need to be raw honey or does that make a difference?
Mmmm. Can your way this way, baby. I want to know what you’re doing? Between you and Kristin, I’m going to have to jump on the canning bandwagon post haste.
I’m sure raw honey would be better for it, but unraw? unprocessed? honey is just fine, too.
That reminds me … I need raw honey. You just made my shopping list longer. WTG. Hee.
Dr. Michael Haley
The one I need to be convinced of is the cayanne pepper. I’m thinking “you go first”… I’ll watch and see what happens. It sounds about as fun as treating the wound with fire. Does it really work?
Ha. Yeah. I totally know what you mean. It was a leap of faith for me, to be sure. There was a little tiny bit of stinging on contact, but then it went completely away, and so did the pain.
But! I did due diligence here to make sure Fiance and I weren’t just tougher than most people (neither of us have had pain from it) and on EarthClinic.com, it’s the remedy that got the most “yeas” for cuts (and no one really said it hurt all that much).
Here it is: http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/cuts.html
I’ve also used it twice for nosebleeds, and it works really well. I didn’t even sneeze, which surprised the heck out of me.
Yay! Good stuff. I am so loving my lavender EO, an excellent purchase for sure. I was taught in vet school to use sugar or honey to aid large wounds in healing. It works great.
Sugar, yeah? I haven’t heard that one until now. I wonder what it is about sugar that helps healing. Must research. Neverending research.
Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli
We go through a ridiculous amount of band-aids here. I have Lavendar EO and I will try that trick with a cotton ball. I’ll also try honey, bc if it doesn’t work soothing the ouch, licking the spoon will definitely work!!
Haha. Licking the spoon and your chocolate chip cookies. How could anyone feel sad after that?
Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points
Himself is also prone to cutting himself. And yet, *I’m* the one who get the cautionary, “Be careful!” when I’m doing the chopping. Which, frankly, is most of the time.
Also FYI – a comment I left…ummm..Saturday maybe? Kept bouncing back to me.
Hmm. I think it went through fine here, yeah? But my server has been a little iffy lately. Probably what it was.
I feel like all this talking about knives and cutting is going to invoke the law of attraction here. I’m staying away from the kitchen for the rest of the day, except to get cookies out of the fridge.
Cuts are gross. Fiance makes me look at his when he comes home. Why do boys think flaunting their injuries is so fun? Mostly it just means I don’t want him to touch me with his gaping flesh wounded hand for a week.