18 Powerful Ways to Naturally Treat Any Burn At Home, Get Great Results And Avoid Ugly Skin Grafts
Burns. They hurt when we get them and they hurt even more when they’re healing. We all know that applying cold—be it an insulated packet of frozen peas or cold water—to the area is the first port of call when it comes to treating our injury, but for many of us, that’s where our first aid knowledge stops.
Since heat has been around forever, so have burns. And since the earliest times, people have used natural means to treat burns—both to ease the pain they cause, and to heal the skin— often more effectively than with the chemical treatments that modern medicine will prescribe.
Hospitals are quick to advocate skin grafts, but the fact is that if burnt skin is properly looked after and given the right assistance to heal, they are more often than not completely unnecessary.
Of course, if a burn is serious, do not hesitate to visit a hospital for treatment, but knowing that there are alternative methods which have been used to great success is important—the doctor’s way IS NOT the only way!
I can personally vouch for the success of natural remedies in healing burns. While working with electricity some years ago, I sustained a rather severe (in fact, third degree) burn. My employer forced me into going to the emergency room of the nearest hospital, and the doctor who treated me set an appointment with a burn specialist.
However, I began treating the burn myself, using a combination of Aloe Vera for soothing and healing, comfrey for cell regeneration, cayenne pepper for disinfecting, lavender oil for pain relief and apple cider vinegar for disinfecting.
I never went to that appointment with the burn specialist, as after only a matter of weeks of treating the burn naturally, it completely healed, without any scarring or the need for skin grafts! The before and after pictures can show just how much damage was done to the finger, and how well it healed. The ‘before’ picture was taken in the emergency room of the hospital, and the ‘after’ picture was taken several weeks later.
Allow oxygen to speed up the process
Burns need oxygen to help with the healing process, so removing any bandages and airing out the area will allow the skin to breathe and repair the damaged tissue.
This plant is a must-have in every home for fast relief!
Aloe Vera gel is one of the BEST ways of healing burns! And the fresh stuff is definitely best in this case. Everyone should have an Aloe Vera plant somewhere in their yard, as this plant has a multitude of uses, from being a moisturiser to helping with sunburns and more serious burns. The bigger the plant, the more powerful its healing properties, but even the gel of a small plant can work wonders.
Cut off a leaf from the plant (when it comes to choosing which leaf, remember that the older, bigger leaves on the outside of the plant have stronger healing properties than the young leaves) then slice it open to remove the gel inside. Place the gel onto the burn, taking care not to damage the skin, which is extremely sensitive in its burnt state.
The body will absorb the Aloe as it is needed, so be sure to replace it with more fresh Aloe several times a day.
If fresh Aloe is unavailable, check your health food shop or health food section of your supermarket for aloe; however, make sure it is pure Aloe, as many commercially-available Aloe products have some nasty chemicals added.
Ice water, NOT ice
Cooling off the burnt area is the step we are all familiar with. As soon as the burn occurs, find something to cool the area off—water (either holding the burn under running water, or immersing it in water to which ice can be added), or ice packs covered with a wet cloth are perhaps the most commonly-used. The cold should be kept on for AT LEAST 10 minutes, even if the pain has disappeared before this time. Not only does this lower the temperature of the skin and prevent any further burning and blistering from occurring, but it helps to relieve some of the pain.
The MOST POWERFUL way to heal even the most serious burns!
Comfrey is a cell-proliferant, i.e. it helps with the growth of new cells. In fact, a relative of mine had a pet sheep. That sheep broke its leg, and was going to have to be put down. Around the same time as the leg broke, however, the sheep happened to have a feast on the comfrey plants that were growing in the garden. Believe it or not, its leg healed completely, and the sheep did not have to be put down!
Comfrey can help the skin to begin to repair itself. Fresh comfrey can be ground up and used, but dried, powdered comfrey is probably best, as it is less grainy. Either way, it can be mixed with equal parts of wheat germ oil and raw honey to make a thick paste which can be applied carefully to the burnt area. This is one of THE BEST natural treatments to heal burns. Wheat germ oil is extremely high in vitamin E and helps to heal the skin and reduce scarring. The raw honey also assists with healing, has anti-bacterial properties, and helps to soothe the area.
Kept in a jar in the fridge, this ‘burn paste’ will last for six months or more, and is wonderful to have on hand in the event of an emergency.
The late herbalist Dr. John Christopher liked to tell a story that demonstrates the healing powers of this burn paste. There were two boys around ten years of age, whose both hands were burnt after playing with gas and matches. Both were taken to the hospital, where they were told that their burns were third degree.
Both parents were told that they had two options: the hands could be cut off and replaced with iron claws, or skin grafts could be applied over a year or so, in numerous operations. However, if they chose this option, the boys would not be able to use their hands, which would look like ‘mummified claws’. They would be able to pick up objects, but would be unable to move their fingers.
The parents of one of the boys decided to keep the boy at the hospital and go for the skin graft option, while the parents of the other boy told the doctor that they wanted to seek a second opinion and may return after doing so.
The second opinion they wanted to seek was that of Doctor Christopher. He was lecturing at the time, and brought in the boy, whose fingernails, and much of his tendons and flesh were so badly burnt that it made him almost sick to look at. The parents asked if there was an alternative to the options that the doctor had suggested, and he gave them the burn ointment (equal parts comfrey, wheat germ oil and honey). He told them to spread it around half an inch thick over the whole area, and add more paste to the areas where it had been absorbed into the skin.
A week later the boy returned to the hospital with his parents and were seen by the same doctor who saw them when they first arrived. He was amazed that in such a short space of time, the burns that were originally third degree burns were now only first degree. The doctor told them to continue using their remedy, and that the boy would most likely not need the skin grafting surgeries, as it appeared that his hands would heal without scar tissue. Sure enough, a few weeks later, his hands were healed, and not long after that, the finger nails returned, and the tendons, nerves and muscles had completely grown back, to the extent that there was no evidence of his injury.
A year later, the second boy was still in the hospital, continuing to undergo surgery and skin grafting, which was both costly and traumatising for his family. When he was finally released, just like the doctor had told him, both his hands looked like mummified claws, of which he was so ashamed that he wore gloves to cover them.
For very little cost, the boy who had visited Doctor Christopher was able to retain the use of his hands, thanks to Dr Christopher’s burn paste.
Cabbage can help!
Cabbage leaves have been shown to help relieve pain associated with burns, and speed up the healing process. The leaves should be mashed up and applied to the area.
An old remedy to soothe pain and promote healing
An old lotion for healing burns can be made as follows: combine one teaspoon of golden seal, one teaspoon of myrrh and one teaspoon of boric acid with a pint of boiling water. Allow the mixture to stand for half an hour, then pour off the clear liquid that remains. Using an absorbent cloth, apply the mixture to the burn. This solution contains anti-bacterial properties, helps soothe the pain and promote healing. Alternatively, for deep wounds, apply just the powders of the golden seal, myrrh and boric acid, rather than adding these ingredients to water. This helps to keep the area dry, and heal more quickly.
Lavender is more than just a nice-smelling plant!
Several drops of lavender oil can be mixed with water and put into a spray bottle. This mixture can be sprayed directly onto the burnt area to soothe and help with the healing process. Lavender has anti-bacterial properties which can prevent the burn from becoming infected. This remedy can also be used for sunburn.
Alternatively, a lavender oil poultice can be applied to burns: soak a clean cloth in either iced water or witch hazel. Add one drop of lavender oil and, if desired, chamomile oil, for every square inch of burnt skin. Apply the cloth to the skin.
Heal it from the inside to further shorten the recovery time
Remedies taken internally can also aid the body in healing the wound from the inside out. The following tea is one such example: mix together equal parts of peppermint, valerian and skullcap, and add one teaspoon of the mixture to a cup of boiling water, which can be drunk throughout the day.
Treat your patient in shock with this proven herb
If the burn is a serious one, giving 1-3 droppers of a cayenne tincture is advisable to prevent shock. You may also use a teaspoon with a cup of warm water. While ingesting a heat-inducing herb may seem like the last thing the burns-victim would want to do, this is an excellent way of bringing them out of any shock they may be going through.
Boost your immunity to fight infection and speed healing
Echinacea or Immuno Plus tincture should be given orally to the patient several times a day while the wound is healing, to get the body into gear and help to fight off any infection that the burn may have caused. This will also help the wound site to heal faster, as it can focus on tissue regeneration rather than on fighting infection.
Drink, drink, drink!
Be sure to drink a lot of water during the healing process, to avoid dehydration. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices help with this as well, along with providing essential nutrients to assist the healing process.
This plant grows in everyone’s yard or nature strip
Additionally, plantain tea can be used to wash the burnt area (once the tea has cooled, of course) as well as drunk internally to assist with healing.
Add a healthy dish to heal faster
Slippery elm gruel is another wonderful food to help those convalescing, as it is easy to keep down when other foods are not, and is full of vitamins and minerals, and promotes cell regeneration. It can be made as follows: put one tablespoon of slippery elm bark powder in a bowl, and stir in around half a cup of boiling water. Stir until the mixture becomes a smooth paste, before adding more water to thin out the paste. Honey can be added, along with other spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg for extra flavour. (As a side-note, this recipe—minus the honey and spices—is a fantastic baby food. Maple syrup can be added as an alternative to honey for this purpose, as babies under one year of age should not be given honey.) The patient can be given as much of this mixture as they desire.
Try this healing poultice
Slippery elm can also be used as a poultice for burns. In a similar way to preparing the gruel, water can be added to slippery elm bark powder, and mixed into a paste which can then be applied to the affected area. Other healing herbs, such as plantain or comfrey, can be added to this mixture if desired.
More options for a poultice or fomentation
For burns that are mild to moderate, a herbal poultice can be used to soothe the inflamed area. For this poultice, you have the option of using fresh or dried herbs. If using fresh leaves, take a handful each plantain leaves, slippery elm powder, chickweed leaves and comfrey leaves, mash them together and moisten them with a little apple cider vinegar. Apply this mixture to the burnt area.
If using dried herbs, take a tablespoon each of the aforementioned herbs, and place them in a muslin bag or some cheesecloth. Infuse them in a bowl of hot water. When cooled to room temperature, apply the bag or cloth to the wound.
While it may seem strange using vinegar on a burn, it is actually very soothing, and, diluted, can also be used for sunburn.
Plantain has antibacterial properties, and both it and comfrey contain allantoin, which promotes the growth of new cells.
Use an herb that tightens up the skin
Bayberry can be used to help with wounds that are slow to heal. The herb in its powdered form can be dusted over the burnt area, and covered with a bandage.
Take high doses of natural vitamin C
Eating a diet high in vitamin C can help the body to produce collagen, which is the substance from which new skin is made. This is particularly important when it comes to healing wounds, as the entire affected area has to regenerate for complete healing. Some such foods include citrus fruits, berries, broccoli and leafy greens. Rosehips are also an extremely high source of vitamin C.
Harness the healing power of calendula
Calendula, also known as Marigold, is another herb which is effective in healing wounds. Take either a handful of fresh petals or 1-2 tablespoons of the dried flowers, and add to a cup of boiling water. Alternatively, if a Calendula tincture is available, add 1-2 teaspoons of it in a cup of boiling water. Allow the mixture to steep until it has cooled to room temperature, and apply it to the burn using a compress.
Burns are an unfortunate fact of life; particularly when raising a family, it is essential to know how to treat them. If you or a member of your family are unlucky enough to experience the pain associated with a burn, whether mild or severe, it is essential to know ahead of time a few different ways of beginning the healing process, which the doctors won’t tell you about.