Can a simple salve or herb stop pain from a cut, burn, or bug bite on contact? Is there truly such a thing? Cuts burns and bites can cause skin infections if not treated properly. What can we do to stop that pain or prevent something even worse?
I have been collecting and growing herbs and plants for a bit, and thankfully I had medicinal herbs in my garden. Yesterday, I wanted to see if I could melt a granulated sweetener (a type of natural sugar) into a liquid in my kitchen. I do not eat sugar and did not grow up with sugar or even stevia or any of that stuff. I was unfamiliar with its potential for severe burns when melted. If you have ever made flan, you probably are very familiar with how hot melted sugar is to the touch! Well long story short, the melted sweetener ended up dripping on my fingers and sticking to them while the liquid was PIPING BUBBLING HOT! Ouch!
I grabbed a bag of frozen peas from the freezer to calm the pain, but as soon as I took my hands off the peas to get back to life, I would feel the pain throbbing and burning a lot. So, I tried a few essential oils that are usually great for burns, but for some reason, it didn't take the pain away as I believe this burn was too deep. Not even lavender essential oil or aloe vera gel helped to cool the throbbing pain. I think the burn was just too deep. I already had blisters. When my husband came back from running errands he said it looked like a second-degree burn- and honestly, it felt like it.
I sat on the couch with burning fingers wondering what I could do to stop the pain. Then the thought came to me. Duh! I grow medicinal herbs! I jumped up and went to the garden and grabbed this wonderful little plant I have been growing called Plantain. It's not related to the fruit known as Plantain. It's different. Its called Plantago Major or Wide Leafed Plantain. There is also another long leafed variety too. I have the broad-leafed variety.
I mashed up the Plaintain with my "good fingers" and continued tearing the leaves and pressed my fingers onto the torn leaves, and it helped immediately. As soon as I took my fingers off of the herb- the pain came radiating back. I realized I wasn't going to get anything accomplished in my day because I was holding a bunch of herbs in my hand. So, I decided to make a little poultice with the herbs and bind my fingers up. Now, if I'd have had an ointment or salve on hand that was made from the dried Plantain leaves, that would have been so helpful- but unfortunately, I didn't. So I grabbed the herbs and my little mini grinder and put one whole fresh green leaf inside and turned it on until the leaf was blended up really well. Probably a few seconds of grinding/blending.
After I opened the grinder up, the Plantain had a bit of a liquid texture. I squeezed the juice on my burns and placed the pulp on the blisters, and it stopped the pain on contact. I mean in one second, not ten minutes. So I grabbed some band-aids and put the wet ground pulp inside the band-aid and wrapped my fingers. The pain completely vanished. I was able to walk around and forget about it! One thing I noticed, however, was that about an hour later, I felt a little pain on my first finger again (that was the worst finger burnt). When I open up the band-aid, I could see that the plant pulp had shifted off of the wound, so I covered the burnt blister back up with the macerated herb pulp and the pain went away again. Isn't that amazing? As long as I kept the herb on the burn it would not throb. That's just miraculous to me!
Check out the video to see how I made the poultice and how I was able to play the guitar pain-free the very next day! (click underlined link or video)
Burns usually take days to heal. What's even more amazing to me is the fact that I took a hot bath the same evening as I had the burn! If you've never been burned by a stove or similar then good for you! But if you have- then you know what I'm referring to. The fact is that when your skin has been burned - hot water- even slightly warm water, makes the wound hurt more almost like getting burnt over again. Because I had applied the herb beforehand, I didn't even notice I had accidentally let my hand drop into the bathwater!
The funny part is I was telling my husband to "imagine a musician that had to play a gig the next day, and having a burn as I did. They would not be able to play unless they had that herb!" Wait, I'm a musician! Can I play? I decided to play my guitar the next day to see if it was possible. Check out the video below to see Mrs. Michelle playing electric, which has steel strings that can cut into the tips of even healthy fingers, let alone fingers with delicate burn blisters on them. Check it out! I promise there's nothing gruesome about it.
I worked on a salve for ME AND A TREE because I think every mother would want this for her children. Click here to get your fresh "BURN SALVE". In fact, every human should have this handy! It's such a must for any well-stocked herbal medicine cabinet- and I am a lover of medicinal herbs. So, the moral of the story? If you cook, you need a salve in the kitchen at all times. I am serious. You do not want to feel that kind of pain. Not fun. Especially if doctors are not available and never mind the waiting room! Mechanics could use this salve too. They get burned with exhaust pipes and get cuts and scrapes too. Really anyone working with anything that could burn, scratch or cut them should have a good salve on hand. That covers every household! Can you imagine if the burn had been on a larger area than a few fingers? What if a large portion of my body had been burned, like my chest, arms face or legs? Even if a doctor or an emergency room is available, you'd want to be out of pain immediately and for that drive! That's smart preparedness right there. I learned my lesson! Learn yours from my mistake.
Right now, with all the Covid-19 Coronavirus epidemic, many doctors are not even available. So having an herbal salve is something I feel is imperative right now. I am getting to it! I hope you will pick one up! If not, maybe grow your own plant! One thing to remember is that a salve is more concentrated and readily available after a burn than a fresh plant that you have to take the time to go out and pick, blend and prepare with a wrap or bandages. In an emergency situation, especially where pain (or children) are involved- you need something FAST and also something with a good shelf life that's easily accessible.
Trying to use the fresh herb and "saving it for later" also comes with its own problems. The water inside the herb will grow mold and bacteria if not preserved properly and you don't want to get that into a wound, so it will need to be properly dried and preserved or it can grow bacteria and mold. Getting a premade salve is a safe way to go to avoid problems. A formulator knows what else to put inside the salve to make it pleasant and absorbing (nourishing) for the skin. Remember, if you do grow your own herbs--fresh herbs will mold if you pick them ahead of time and try to store them or if you add the fresh herb to any other ingredients without proper steps and a solid preservative. A naturally preserved salve or ointment is your safer bet.
Hope you learned something today! Thanks for reading!
Hi Lettie! How exciting that you read my blog from Africa! I am honored. Fresh crushed is best for burns, but salve is the way to preserve it when it is perhaps not always available! Blessings! – Michelle of Me and a Tree Skincare
Trust going well, Michele!!
I from South Africa (Graaff Reinet – Karoo) and have a lot of plants ( Salve) inherited from uncle that died recently!!!
Your information on the plant help me so much….
I’m going to try to make a ointment out of it….or give it to a lady that have her own range of herbal products….
Kind regards, Lettie