Injury is a fact of life. We get cut, burned, bruised and broken. Fortunately, our bodies are equipped to deal with trauma and can heal remarkably fast. Herbs can support that process.
They say there are only two kinds of serious cyclists - Those that have crashed and those that are going to. Many years ago, I firmly placed myself in the first category while commuting home from work one afternoon. As a result, I had severe road-rash from above my hip down to my ankle. I was a bloody mess. I applied the CTR ointment twice a day on my wounds - I kept everything wrapped in cellophane because I was an oozing mess. After only 7 days, I did not have a scab or scar left - just bran new skin. Now the pain in the bones was still there (although to a much lesser degree) and did take longer to heal, but I was astounded at how fast my skin improved.
CTR can be used for so many injuries as you can see from this excerpt from my book, Herbal First Aid and Health Care (Available on Amazon.com and Western Botanicals).
BURNS Grease - Remove all grease from burn with soap and water. Submerge burned area in cold water, or burns that cannot be submerged in water cover with a wet, cold towel, changing them frequently. Once the area is clean and has been submerged or soaked in cold water for 45 minutes to one hour. Apply CTR Ointment . Reapply ointment 3 times per day keeping covered with sterile gauze. When applying fresh ointment do not remove existing ointment. It will be absorbed and the nutrients utilized by the body to heal the damaged tissue in that area. Use Immune Boost internally 1 to 2 dropperfuls, three times daily to ward against infection.
Burns - Chemical Flush the burned area many times with tepid water to dilute and remove the chemical for as long a 15-20 minutes. Baking soda mixed with water or Olive oil can be used to neutralize the burn. If an eye is burned by a chemical, especially an acid or an alkaline substance like lye, flush it at once gently but thoroughly with tepid running water for 15 minutes. Cover both eyes with gauze or a clean cloth. (otherwise, when the uninjured eye moves, the injured eye will also move, so cover both eyes). Have the eye checked at once by a doctor.
Burns and Scalds - Minor Submerge the burned area immediately in cold water or apply cold, wet towels. On burns that cannot be immersed, apply cloths soaked in ice water, and change them constantly. Avoid greases and baking soda, especially on burns severe enough to require medical treatment. Doctors must always scrape off such applications, which delays treatment and can be extremely painful. If the skin is blistered, covered with sterile dressings. Do not break or drain blisters. Treatment: Aloe vera is the best burn treatment. Fillet a frond of aloe vera and apply the slab of clear aloe vera. Secure with gauze or a bandage and replace with the next slab of aloe vera. Apply Olive Oil or Vitamin E Oil to help with healing and to prevent pulling when bandages are changed. Apply CTR Ointment to nourish the area, add new ointment every four hours. Do not try to remove old ointment, just keep adding ointment to the wound. Cover the burn with a sterile dressing or clean sheet. This reduces exposure to the open air reducing pain and the risk of contamination. Use Immune Boost internally, 2 dropperfuls 6 times daily.
For sunburns, apple cider vinegar, Aloe vera, cucumber or CTR ointment may be used successfully for pain relief and to speed recovery without peeling.
Burns and Scalds - Major
WOUNDS - minor Definition/Diagnosis: A minor wound is one that is not bleeding excessively or does not require any wound closing procedure such as stitches, staples or taping (butterflies). A wound can be a cut, gash, abrasion, or any other trauma that brakes the skin and causes bleeding.Treatment: Gently wash out the wound with water that has been boiled or that you know is clean. If slightly bleeding, apply direct pressure for a few minutes. If bleeding does not readily stop, take a dropperfuls of cayenne pepper orally. Intuition tells us that cayenne would increase the circulation, however a good dose of cayenne will often stop bleeding. If you need to you can sprinkle the wound with cayenne powder or apply cayenne tincture to stop the bleeding - this will be very painful but does stop the bleeding. Apply CTR to the affected area. Apply a sterile dressing if wound is not gaping. If gaping, see wound closure techniques.
WOUND CLEANSINGAdequate cleansing is the most important aspect of wound management. Especially when in an isolated or survival situation, the prevention of infection is of critical importance and this can only be assured by aggressive cleansing techniques. There is an adage in nature: "The solution to pollution is dilution." In wound care this means copious irrigation. The whole purpose of scrubbing a wound is to reduce the total number of potentially harmful bacteria. You won't get them all out, but if the total number of germs is small enough, the body's immune system will be able to handle this without an infection setting hold. Use sterile water for irrigating the wound. This can be done by boiling water for 5 minutes. If this is not possible at least use water that is fit for drinking. Water irrigation is the mainstay of wound cleaning. Use an irrigating syringe or devise something that will allow you to squirt the water with some force. Even a zip lock plastic bag with a hold poked into it can be squeezed so water will come out forcefully. The object here is to allow the velocity of the water to aid in dislodging debris and any germs from the wound site. You may use a diluted soap solution, but it is not necessary to adequately clean the wound. The best solution to really cleand and disinfect a wound medically is provodine iodine followed by sterile water. Herbal Anti-Septic formula can be used to clean and disinfect a wound. Extended use alcohol, iodine tincture or mercurochrome as these are all very harsh and should be avoided except for a short washing. Hydrogen peroxide destroys good tissue as well as germs - do not use this to irrigate a fresh wound. Hydrogen peroxide can be used in cleaning an infected wound. Besides irrigation, a technique to be used that is used by physicians in the operating room called "debridement". This literally means the removal of foreign material and contaminated or devitalized tissue from the traumatic or infected lesion. By cleaning the debris or damaged tissue away, healthy tissue is exposed which can heal more easily. Without proper lighting, equipment and training, you will not be able to do a surgical quality job, but you CAN safely come close by rubbing the area vigorously with a piece of sterile gauze or a clean cloth. The rigorous scrubbing action will remove blood clots, torn bits of tissue, pieces of foreign bodies (dirt, rocks, etc.) - all of which have higher bacteria counts. The scrubbing process has to be done very quickly as it is painful and the patient will not be able to tolerate it for very long. Have everything ready: clean, dry dressing to apply afterward; plenty of sterile water; and a instrument to spread the wound open (a splinter forceps is ideal); and sterile gauze to scrub the wound. If you do not have enough sterile dressings use what you have available. A rough cloth works better at cleaning a wound than a smooth cloth, such as cotton. Once everything is ready, grab an assistant (someone to squirt the water into the wound and help comfort the patient), and go for it. If this job is performed well, the final outcome will be great. This part of wound care is far more important than closing the wound. This procedure will be messy and it will hurt but it must be done. Spread the wound apart, blast the water in there and scrub briskly with the gauze pad for 20 to 30 seconds. Be vigorous and thorough. Once completed with this the bleeding will have started again, the blood clots being knocked off during the scrubbing process. Apply a sterile dressing and use direct pressure to stop the bleeding. Usually 5 to 10 minutes will be enough, but apply pressure for an hour or more if necessary. Proceed to wound Closure technique if that is necessary.
Herbal Treatment: Herbal Anti-Septic formula could be used to cleanse and disinfect the wound once it has been scrubbed and washed. Nerve Calm and Pain Formula can be used. 4-8 dropperfuls of each or as necessary. Cayenne can be used internally or externally to stop bleeding. Use Immune Boost prophylactically (2 dropperfuls 3-4 times daily). Apply heavy amount of CTR Ointment to the wound to speed the healing. Dress and bandage the wound appropriately.
WOUND CLOSURE TECHNIQUES -(Taping , Stapling, Stitching)Wounds can be closed using Tape or butterfly bandages. By all means use tape or butterfly bandages if you are able. Taping a wound is very effective for non weight bearing areas. An improvement to butterfly bandages is the Steri-Strip. Once the wound has been cleaned as indicated above, pinch the wound together and tape shut. You can attach the tape to one edge of the wound and then a different strip to the opposite side and with the two opposing strips pull the wound closed and fasten. Medically, tincture of benzoin (yes it is an herb) is used to enhance the stickiness of tape or wound closure strips. Myrrh or pine resin tincture can act similarly but are not quite as sticky as tincture of benzoin. If the tape will not hold (because the area is frequently stretched with movement), you may need to staple or suture. Areas that are highly moving, such as around joints or that are weight bearing like the feet may need stitching or staples. Surgical staples can be very effective and are inexpensive. Staples are not as intimidating as sutures for many.
You can make your own butterfly bandages from strips of adhesive tape. Cut the tape into a 3" length. Make four cuts on the sides of either end and fold the sticky sides of the middle together.
Shaving the wound area has shown to increase the chance of wound infection, even with scalp wounds. If you are going to be closing a wound it must be done within eight hours or not at all. Do not attempt to close any wound after eight hours. Wounds that are torn are said to heal much better than incisions. Remember to use your CTR ointment on the wound, CTR syrup or comfrey tea orally to speed recovery time and insure complete healing.
WOUNDS- PUNCTURETreatment: Allow a puncture wound to bleed, thus hoping to let the body clean any bacteria from the wound. A snake bite kit suction device (the Extractor®) can be put immediately over the wound allowing the vacuum to pull for 20 to 30 minutes. Pseudomonis is the predominant germ that infects a puncture wound. Pseudomonis can be killed with acetic acid (Apple Cider Vinegar). Cleanse the wound area with soapy water and apply Herbal antiseptic. Do not tape the puncture wound shut, but rather use a warm compress of plantain, yarrow or catnip tea for 20 minutes every two hours for the next 24 to 48 hours or until it is apparent that no subsurface infection has started. Make these compresses as warm as the patient can tolerate without danger of burning the skin. Larger thicker pieces of cloth like a T-shirt work best as they hold the heat longer. Begin using Immune supporting herbs such as Immune Boost.
WOUND INFECTION AND INFLAMMATIONDefinition/Diagnosis: Lacerations or cuts which have been cleaned and either taped, sutured or stapled together will generally become slightly inflamed. Inflammation is part of the healing process and does not indicate infection, yet the appearance is similar. It is a matter of degree. Inflammation has slight swelling and red color. The hallmarks of infection are: swelling, warmth to the touch, reddish color, and pain. Pus oozing out of a wound is another clue. If the cut has a red swelling that extends beyond 1/4 inch from the wound edge, infection has probably started.
Treatment: The method for treating an infected wound is quite simple. Remove some of the tapes (sutures or staples) and allow the wound to open and drain. Apply warm, moist compresses of salt water for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 hours. The will promote drainage of the wound and increase the local circulation, thus bringing large numbers of friendly white blood cells and fibroblasts into the area. The fibroblast (scar tissue cell) tries to wall off the infection and prevent further spread of the germs. If you haven't begun using Immune Boost, begin by using 1-2 dropperfuls every waking hour for the next 3 days.