Herbs of the Month – Dealing with Burns

This Summer, as in most, we are all aware of sun burns and the dangers they can cause, as well as the risk factors for developing Skin Cancer. But other burns as well occur due to our love of grilling out, fireworks, and one of my favorites, my fire pit. Even the most careful of individuals can develop a burn or be subjected to one.

Here are some remedies to ease your pain and help in healing. If the burn is severe, please call your doctor immediately or head to your closest emergency room. These remedies are in no way to be used without a doctor’s supervision and are not intended to take the place of a doctor’s advice and treatment. Always seek the advice of your medical professional before using any herbal remedies as they can interfere with medications that your presently take. I am a doctor of Natural Remedies, however I cannot prescribe, I can only suggest, and my suggestions are in no way to replace that of a Medical Doctor.

My husband is not a fan of herbal medicine. Often times he would rather see his doctor and take what they prescribe then what I may suggest. My common suggestions and medicines being herbal concoctions and healing with soups and vegetables that I make. However, he never lets me get low on my aloe vera plant that I have had for years, and still uses it’s soothing jell when he gets a burn from the woodstove. My daughter is also a fan of aloe for burns, but uses a jell that is bottled and from our local pharmacy. It is a great soother of sunburns on feet and ankles and the pads of your pets feet from hot pavement.

Burns Come in 3 Degrees of Severity

First degree burns injure only the outermost layer of skin. An ordinary sunburn, for example, is a first degree burn. When a burn develops blisters, the injury has penetrated deeper into the skin, and you have a very painful second degree burn. The third degree is the worst type of burn. Oddly it is not painful at all. It’s due to the injury penetrating so deeply that it destroys the nerves that transmit pain signals to the brain. Third degree burns are medical emergencies that always require professional care, and in most cases, a stay in the hospital. Also any second degree burn that covers an area larger than a quarter should be seen by your doctor.

For first and second degree burns, smaller than a quarter treatment at home is possible. As stated above, aloe vera is one of the best remedies and has been used since ancient times. But it’s not just a folk remedy. Studies have now shown that aloe helps in relieving the burns acquired by radiation in the treatment of cancer, other types of wounds and frostbite. Aloe increases the amount of blood flowing to the areas burned which brings more of the body’s healing resources to the area where they are needed. In addition, aloe reduces redness and swelling, as well as has antibacterial properties and anti-fungal which may help in preventing infection.

Aloe belongs in every kitchen, the place where most burns happen. That is my own personal opinion, and has been used for ailments since biblical times.

A few other options for burns are echinacea, many people who know herbs know this is also referred to as Purple Cone Flower. If I get a burn, I take out my tincture, or make myself a tea and drink one to two teaspoons. It can stimulate your immune response, reducing inflammation. Remember, this herb can cause your tongue to go numb temporarily, which is why it is good for sore throats, but it’s harmless. Take a few drops on the burn daily to keep from infection. Garlic is also helpful when applied directly to the burn, to help keep infection at bay. Lavender is excellent as well at easing the pain of a burn. All of these are wonderful in treating a mild burn and soothing the pain. If you have questions on treating a burn, you can always give us a call, and if the burn is severe – do not wait, but call your doctor or seek medical attention without delay.

Here’s to your health for a Happy Fourth of July, and to a burn free summer!

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