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A natural Vaseline/Triple antibiotic cream alternative?

 
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Working outdoors I often get small scrapes and cuts on my hands, and I'm careful to clean them out well with soap and peroxide, but they still don't heal as fast as they used to when I would use one of the creams or salves from the drug store.  Part of me says that I should just go back to the 'normal' methods since it's just a small drop of gick every couple weeks, so as long as the rest of my environment is pretty clean the improved healing is worth it right? What do you all put on your minor injuries? Is vaseline/etc actually not all that bad?
 
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A lot of forum members use olive oil or coconut oil.

Adding some vitamin E will help with healing as well as some other herbs.

Have you tried aloe vera?

These threads may have some healing salve recipes and if not, do offer some good suggestions:

https://permies.com/t/56191/personal-care/purity/moisturiser-sensitive-skin

https://permies.com/t/6425/kitchen/Permaculture-skin-care  
 
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I've been told that peroxide can be pretty hard on wounds, particularly if used typical drugstore strength, so using it may actually be slowing the healing.

The first thing I do, before even washing the wound is try to get it to bleed if it didn't volunteer to! Bleeding will not only help to wash the wound from the inside out, it will bring the bodies own defenses (like white blood cells) to the area.

If I think it needs help, I have some Calendula gel in a tube that I bought. It's a mild, natural anti-biotic. In general, I've also read that gels are better than creams on open wounds. I don't know how hard it would be to make my own (Calendula grows easily here and tends to self seed) but I'd follow Anne's links and also check out the PEP section in herbs to see what ideas they have for a useful home version. I haven't tended to need it so often as to feel a burning desire to make it myself. That said, Anne's suggestion of Aloe vera sounds interesting - I wonder if it would make a good base? I might need to freeze the mix in small quantities for practical storage.
 
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My go to for most any kind of skin injury is plantain (Plantago major or lanceolata, not the banana looking plant) salve. I make it by infusing plantain leaves into oil, usually olive, and then mixing that with some beeswax. Plantain is very good at drawing out infection and even objects like splinters, and really supports the skin healing. It's darn near miraculous in my experience. And I love that it can be made from a common "weed". If I don't have any salve available, a spit poultice of plantain leaf works wonders too. A calendula salve by itself or a calendula and plantain salve would be great too.

There are some cases where oils and salves aren't appropriate, as they can encourage the growth of anaerobic bacteria, like Staphlylococcus. So if a wound is deep or there's any question of Staph being an issue, they wouldn't be a good choice. A poultice or compress of plantain, calendula, yarrow or any number of other herbs might be a better fit for deep wounds. Just not comfrey for deep wounds, as it can lead to the wound healing from the outside in, possibly trapping infection in.
 
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For a healing salve with a similar consistency to Vaseline or neosporin, I make and use this - it makes a huge batch, but I do ♡more with it, besides making this:

1oz (by volume)  (100% strength) frankincense oil
2oz (by weight) jojoba oil
herb-infused Tallow**
Set a heat-safe/double boiler-able bowl onto a scale, turn it on, tare it to 0. Pour frankinsense into the bowl, add the (previously weighed) jojoba. Add enough of the infused tallow to bring the total weight to 10oz. Warm to about 160°F, and add 2oz beeswax, and stir until the whole recipe is melted, and well combined.

**calendula, comfrey, yarrow, plantain, rosebuds(if available)
♡ The formula I use for the soft consistency is 1pt beeswax to 5pts oils, but I usually use only half of this batch, for my ointment, so 5oz oils to 1oz beeswax. Then, I take the other half, and make it into a solid version, that I use for chapped lips, dry, cracked hands, feet, elbows, etc, or as a more portable way to carry the salve - especially good for a small first aid kit. For the solid version,  I use a 1pt beeswax to 3pts oils, and while still pourable, decant into lipbalm tubes. In fact, this is my favorite lip balm recipe.


 
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You could make your own salves, colloidal silver works good, oil of oregano by mouth and on skin ( depending as it stings and not good for open wounds) and Amish places have salves.

here is on similiar to a recipe I have in a notebook, found on web:
   1/2 cup coconut oil (proven to help heal burns – plus it’s anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, & a great moisturizer – )
   1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (full of vitamins & a great moisturizer – )
   1/4 cup dried comfrey (a herb for healing woulds – )
   1/4 cup dried calendula (a herb for healing woulds & skin irritations – )
   2oz beeswax (equals out to 2 of the 1oz bars or 4 tablespoons – you can also use beeswax pellets so you don’t have to worry about slicing through it)
   2 tablespoons of honey (natural moisturizer with anti-microbial properties – )
   10 drops lavender essential oil (anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, & analgesic – ) (optional)

All of these ingredients work together to create a really powerful healing salve. ( MrsHH credit)
 
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I don't do anything to cuts and scrapes, nothing at all, I will pick out any bits and if it was done on something dirty then I may wash it but rarely.  I've never found smearing gunk all over myself helps healing at all. Let it bleed and then leave uncovered if at all possible, A simple plaster over it if it's not possible due to the placement  or gloves if I'm going to be handling veg, those really do not help healing but are required by law.
 
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i agree wholeheartedly with the others -  make your own salve if you can... especially as you mention minor scrapes and burns etc.. the recipe links are listed above me
i always wash a cut scrape immediately under cold water and then douse the wound with Apple Cider Vinegar .. bandage if required.. DO make sure the wound is clean - especially with the comfrey (as heather pointed out)

my salve is composed of what i can pick - easy to source ( i get the beeswax from a local beekeeper) >> i follow heather sharpe's method exactly   - it is also surprisingly easy to make

olive oil
beeswax
comfrey (1/2)
plantain (1/4)
heal-all (Prunella vulgaris) (1/4)

i make a fair bit, give some to family and friends.. jars handy around the house

i put it on EVERYTHING.. cuts, scrapes, stings, bites, burns, sunburn, contact dermatitis when it flares up... it doubles as a moisturizer too - great after shaving ;-)

it flat out works and you know what is in it.. you are done - it is the only jar 'o stuff i have..

jay/others - does the calendula work? i grew some for the first time this year - very successful - i would add it to the mix - tnx!

 
Anne Miller
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Like Skandi, I don't put anything on cuts.

A week before Christmas, I was slicing potatoes and sliced my finger.  It really hurt so I put a bandage over it to keep it from being irritated by things rubbing the place.

It is completely healed.

I do like the salve recipes here for dry skin and dry lips. So this is a great thread.

 
Carla Burke
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It also might not be a bad idea to skip the peroxide portion of your usual routine, as it kills the cells. You're better off just washing it, and, if you like, putting something else on it.
 
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Happy New Year everyone!!
When we were kids growing up in South Africa, 65 years ago, it was a scrub with warm water containing Detol  disinfectant and lashings of Macurachrome! Said to be poison now!!
Definitely the best is Medihoney. Generally honey is a great anti-microbial disinfectant. you don't smother the wound, just light coatings, twice should be sufficient. Leave it open. The wound will scab over in two days.
I grazed my elbow very badly a week ago, did my two applications after the evening shower and in the last two days the scab has started detaching. But, I am very lucky, as I stop bleeding very quickly and wounds heal rapidly.
I think the original recipe used melaleuca honey from New Zealand.  Some similar products use manuka honey.
I am now in Thailand, and cannot get Medihoney here so made my own version of 100% honey and Betadine. It works well, but not like the real deal. It is available in USA on E-Bay.
Stay safe everyone!!
 
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Hello Brian and welcome to Permies. Interesting you mention manuka honey as a wound treatment. I had heard that it was antisceptic. I remember now that heather honey is also supposed to be very good for medical applications - also very expensive though, since it is only made for a couple of months in late summer when the heather is in bloom.
Honey-Heather-in-bloom-on-sunny-bank-Skye-natural-wound-treatment
Heather in bloom on sunny bank, Skye
 
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Your question is an important topic for us all to learn from.  

As a nurse, wilderness medic and an herbalist, I have seen hundreds of wounds that the patient will say "just won't heal."  In the vast majority of those cases, people are "dilgiently" applying antibiotic ointment every day.  Multiple studies have shown that these antibiotic creams slow healing and even increase infection rates!  For instance: https://www.drugdiscoverynews.com/neosporin-may-slow-wound-healing-15294
Simple  (not antibacterial) soap and water is the best thing you can do in most cases.

As for H2O2, Peroxide kills a layer of cells and slows healing.  Should be reserved for non- human cleaning or as an entirely last resort in backcountry where infection is almost guaranteed and no other option is available.  It is an unfortunately durable myth that it works well to clean wounds.  

In the hospital, we do not use either antibiotic ointment or h2o2 with any regularity.  We do, even in the hospital, use honey for very stubborn or deep and slow to heal wounds.

I make a salve that is phenomenal for stopping or preventing infection with pine sap, cedar, sagebrush, juniper and pine needles.  I have seen it work miracles many many times.  Even so, for most cuts I do not use anything but soap and water unless I start to suspect infection.  Of course there are exceptions to this course of treatment, but wounds heal much better when they are clean, with bacterial microflora intact, and left alone (not scrubbed every day)

I hope this was helpful for all the wonderful people that visit these informative and interesting forums.  Have a great day!
 
Nathan Stephanson
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That's pretty surprising that antibiotic ointment actually slows healing! I never would have guessed. Thank you too for the caution against H2O2, I will stop using that. Is rubbing alcohol bad for cleaning wounds too?

Barukh Schwadron wrote:I make a salve that is phenomenal for stopping or preventing infection with pine sap, cedar, sagebrush, juniper and pine needles.  I have seen it work miracles many many times.  Even so, for most cuts I do not use anything but soap and water unless I start to suspect infection.  Of course there are exceptions to this course of treatment, but wounds heal much better when they are clean, with bacterial microflora intact, and left alone (not scrubbed every day)



Could you write or link to a guide to making this salve? It sounds like a valuable thing to have on hand.
 
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While I make and use various herbal healing salves, I'd be cautious about applying them while the wound is open.

My go-to for many injuries is quality raw honey. By this I do not mean Manuka which has benefited from good marketing but which does not appear to be superior to many other local honeys.

Any good quality raw honey is antibacterial and contains an enzyme which generates hydrogen peroxide naturally.

Another honey bee-generated substance that is antimicrobial and remarkably healing is propolis which can be tinctured.
 
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I am interested in this topic but want to work backwards to create a recipe from what I have. Hopefully without buying anything.

Here's what I have:
1. organic honey, beeswax and propolis from our hive (isn't propolis supposed to be very anti-microbial?)
2. organic olive oil we produced from local trees (we're in Israel and there are lots here)
3. plantain leaves but since I'm in the city, they might not be free of spray or dog doodies.
4. From own yard, these leaves: yarrow, wormwood, lavender, oregano, aloe vera

Can anyone help me make a recipe for an amazing wound healing salve/gel based on what I have?
Thanks
 
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I agree with those saying coconut oil, and salves, these are excellent alternatives to antibiotic creams.

my Salve recipe includes infused calendula in olive oil (pluck the flowers in summer, cover them in olive oil for about a week in a dark cupboard. drain the oil and you have calendula infused oil) then I add coconut oil, a few chunks of shea butter and natural bees wax to make it more solid. you can tweak the wax ratio to your desired consistency. Keep in mind softer is better because in the winter your salve will be harder due to the temperature of your home.

wash with a mild soap first then applying salve regularly. I like to put a lot on before bed and covering with a cotton clove if its a rough abrasion or deep cut.

rather than peroxide have you tried iodine? I use this sparingly but it is still a good option and it doesn't hurt or burn (kids appreciate this)
 
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N Stephanson wrote:That's pretty surprising that antibiotic ointment actually slows healing! I never would have guessed. Thank you too for the caution against H2O2, I will stop using that. Is rubbing alcohol bad for cleaning wounds too? .



I would ditto Barukh's recommendation.  I just retired as a pediatric wound care/ suture nurse, and we are herbalists here.  Peroxide kills germs...and cells.  Rubbing alcohol falls in that same category.  Soap and water or just clean water.
We do use salves for bug bites and small boo boos.  Do not use on deep lacerations.  Calendula is my go to.  It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and vulnerary (wound healing) properties.  It is best made into a salve by using newly dried flowers, moistening with half the weight of the flowers in high proof vodka, then covering in oil of choice.  We have a dimmer switch rigged crock pot that will only let the contents get to 110-120 degrees.  I let it brew a couple of days.  You could also watch carefully in a double boiler for a few hours or let it set for a week or two in a warm place.  Strain.  I add about 15 gm if beeswax per 100 ml of oil.  
Plantain is best picked fresh, chewed, and placed right on bite or boo boos.  For larger, heavily bleeding wounds, yarrow works wonders as a styptic.  Use as plantain.  
Pics show Calendula's magic on feet.  3 days.
Screenshot_20210101-224423-2.png
[Thumbnail for Screenshot_20210101-224423-2.png]
Screenshot_20210101-224413.png
[Thumbnail for Screenshot_20210101-224413.png]
 
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Salve with resin of Norway spruce is brilliant. If you don't have salve, the fresh resin (the clear liquid stuff found in small drops on the tree trunk) works for "first aid" but you might need to put something on top, it's quite sticky. The tree produces this to prevent infection by bacteria and fungi, so it's maybe not so surprising that we can use it for the same purpose.
 
Cris Fellows
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City Farmer wrote:I am interested in this topic but want to work backwards to create a recipe from what I have. Hopefully without buying anything.

Here's what I have:
1. organic honey, beeswax and propolis from our hive (isn't propolis supposed to be very anti-microbial?)
2. organic olive oil we produced from local trees (we're in Israel and there are lots here)
3. plantain leaves but since I'm in the city, they might not be free of spray or dog doodies.
4. From own yard, these leaves: yarrow, wormwood, lavender, oregano, aloe vera

Can anyone help me make a recipe for an amazing wound healing salve/gel based on what I have?
Thanks



I would leave the potentially contaminated plantain unless you find some in your own yard.  Dry the yarrow leaves and flower, lavender and oregano.  Cover with olive oil with about an extra inch of oil on top.  You can use a carefully watched double boiler or place jar in warm area for a week or so.  Check daily and poke any bits back into oil/ give it a stir.  Strain it off and add 15 ml of beeswax per 100 ml to warmed oil.  You could leave it be here or play around with adding some honey and propolis to mix here, goal being not sticky.  😛  
 
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Another anti-biotic herbal remedy is to cut a clove of garlic in half and use a bandaid out tape to hold it in place. We normally do this at night before bed. Stubborn infections may require more than one night’s application.
 This was first used in the Crimean War. The British medics would cut a clove of garlic in half and use a bandage to hold them in place on either side of a gunshot wound. If they got to a soldier within 30-60 minutes of being wounded there was no gangrene
 
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My husband has vasculitis, which means that cuts and scrapes that he gets heal extremely slowly. So my first aid kit contains a small bag of cattail fluff, which I collect once a year. A dear elderly friend who grew up as a "pioneer" in northern Alberta learned this trick from the First Nations people who lived in the area. Simply make a poultice with the cattail fluff (using your saliva or vaseline or ??) and apply it to the wound, with a light bandage to keep it in place.

Another "trick" is to only use antibiotic cream if you notice infection creeping away from the wound (the pink area is extending outward). That way, you'll be using it far more rarely.
 
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Good advice already given, with honey and the salves.  I want to add one thing that may be useful in some situations, and that is activated charcoal.  I was bitten by a brown recluse spider in July (avoid if at all possible -- that was one of the most painful things I've ever experienced; the pain lasted for weeks, and the bite site still releases puss regularly, after almost six months, though it's mostly healed -- and mine wasn't even an especially bad bite); a friend who has treated quite a few brown recluse bites recommended using a poultice of activated charcoal to help pull the venom out of the wound.  I didn't have any on hand, and didn't do it (I now have a one-pound bag of the stuff, which I will keep on hand just in case), but she said it works wonders.  I suspect it would work well for any wound with toxins in it; it's also useful for absorbing gut toxins (such as for food poisoning), and has saved lives there.  
 
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Generally, I just wash small cuts and scrapes with mild (not antibacterial) soap and water. If it's big enough (or in an irritating enough place) to require a bandaid, I dab with colloidal silver gel from the health food store first as those bandages can trap dirt and bacteria. Finally, especially for scratches on hands, I like to put coconut oil on like lotion before bed. It's really soothing and helps keep the area moisturized and seems to speed up healing.
 
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With credit to those whose posts above already mention it:

Honey (raw, I would presume), and especially Manuka.  It's, as mentioned, WELL MARKETED, so I keep it only for wounds.  It's versatile because it can be mixed with beeswax to keep it in place.

Comfrey has LONG been known for it's healing properties. It is said to be so effective it should not be used for deep puncture wounds. It promotes healing where it contacts, so, rather than healing from the bottom of the wound up, it heals at the top.

Plantain is said to be a favorite by many for its many properties, including being antibacterial (I even used it, with mullen, to stop smoking a few decades back).

Tests were done pitting soap and water against even antibacterial products known to kill everything in site.  It won.  Of course, just like on television, when doctors scrub up, it's not a five second process.

Other tests on concentrations of hydrogen peroxide such as is sold in stores indicated it to be a scorch the earth thing.  Ironically, it's still a "at the top of the list" thing, as others mentioned. But the natural creation are far less concentrated. Think of it as being, somewhat, like certain minerals.  In trace quantities, they are critical to our well being. In any significant quantity, they can be lethal.

In my wood shop, I've noticed, the dryer my hands, the more splinters I get.  Interesting. Anyway, a good salve before and after could be a good thing.  

The ingredients can be bought from herb places on line or, if you're lucky, locally.  A little of each would make a lot of lotion and salve.  One could have a couple jars, one more thinned than the other, as a moisturizer before wandering off to work. The other for the war wounds.



 
Kelly Craig
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INTERESTING SIDE NOTE ON CHARCOAL:  The difference between activated charcoal and regular charcoal is, the activated charcoal is common charcoal heated to around a couple thousand degrees, without oxygen. As such, it does not burn. Instead, it fractures.  

One cup of activated charcoal has about the same area as a football field.

I keep a quart on hand (should take some time out and encapsulate some for certain applications, such as poisonings, be it food or other.


Kathleen Sanderson wrote:Good advice already given, with honey and the salves.  I want to add one thing that may be useful in some situations, and that is activated charcoal. . . . .  

 
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This is a great discussion. I second what everyone has said about going easy on small cuts and abrasions about minimal intervention unless needed. Then go gentle on the treatment.

If I really need an antimicrobial in a salve, I use something with berberine in it such as Chinese coptis root, goldenseal, oregon grape root, barberry, and yerba mansa. Berberine is a broad spectrum antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, antiprotozoal, etc. It kills MRSA so it's good to have if just for that eventuality.

Berberine is also anti-inflammatory. It can be used on mucous membranes so it's good for eye infections, depending upon how you extract the herb. Obviously you don't put a salve or alcohol extract in your eyes. If you make suppositories with beeswax it's great for hemorrhoids or other inflammations of that region. Lots of other uses but you get the idea. These herbs are incredibly versatile and beneficial.

If you choose to use this, just keep in mind berberine is also a uterine stimulant so should not be taken internally during pregnancy. Not sure about topically.
 
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Early on Dec 24th, I looked down and noticed that my left index finger had swollen right up to my wrist. I figured it was some sort of allergic rash because I get those a lot, so I put some of Beaver's poplar bud salve on it.

Big mistake -- it was an old jar, nearly empty and many-times scraped, and the olive oil had probably gone a little rancid. It made the swelling worse and gave me a rash everywhere I had applied it.

Then the asthma kicked in real bad and my elbow started to itch. The term "toxic septicemia" popped into my head, so I pulled out the big guns: Mixed up some chlorine dioxide* by dissolving a few grams of NaClO2 flakes in some concentrated citric acid. Poured half of the resulting evil yellow-orange, mildly smoking liquid into a really hot bath and stirred it around with the swollen hand, which instantly felt better. After ten minutes of soaking as hot as I could stand I added some more ClO2 (very carefully from the sealed jar: don't breathe the fumes!) and shortly the asthma and the rash went away.

The swelling retreated enough over the next few hours that I could see the very tiny scratch that must have got something horrible in it. No idea.

A sudden back spasm followed shortly after and I spent a few days lying down. Today over a week later I am still dealing with some lower back pain but no other symptoms. Could be my kidneys still dealing with clean up.

Feeling well enough today that I spent the energy to set up my little rig for making some safer, more portable chlorine dioxide solution (i.e. ClO2 dissolved in cold water). Usually I keep some around for sterilizing hands and surfaces (and, yeah, tiny cuts and burns) but I ran out and it's been too dark for the PV system to run the little pump and jar heater I use to make it.

Next time I will burn some batteries...



*no, not bleach: commercial bleach is sodium hypochlorite or NaClO and very toxic
 
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There are so many good skin healing herbs around. I would see what grows most abundantly in your area. Maybe use plantain as a base and then add whatever is available- jewelweed, self heal, mugwort, etc.
The downside being that if you’re using infused herbal oils added to beeswax, the oils take 6 weeks to infuse in the tradition that I use. I’ve tried dried herbs and crockpot methods but did not find them effective.
It would be a great project for you to do this Spring/Summer.
Make sure you can properly identify the plants you’re harvesting and do so with reverence.  It could be only one type of plant or a combination.
In the meantime, soap and water and just plain beeswax are helpful.
 
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Usnea lichen is a known traditional medicine for stopping infections and boosting the immune system. It's an effective antibacterial (not so much antiviral or antifungal) and aids in wound healing.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874120335443

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0753332217319091

Usnea is a grey-green, fruticose lichen that hangs from trees. The easiest way to ID it is by the stretchy central "rubber band" in their thallus. They are also bushy looking, with many small hairy side branches coming off the main stem.

You can make a tincture with usnea or powder the lichen as a poultice. You can collect it from the forest (PLEASE only collect naturally fallen lichen from the ground, do not remove it from trees - it takes an incredibly long time to grow and it's very harmful to their populations to harvest it from trees)

This site is pretty helpful on some background and how to make it, but the linked studies above contradict the claims of antifungal and antiviral capabilities:

http://goodnesstea.com/blog/2018/2/15/the-herb-thats-taken-a-lichen-to-healing
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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One other thing I didn't see mentioned, and just remembered -- when we got blood poisoning as children (mostly me, as best I recall), for instance, stepped on a nail and ended up with a red line running up my leg -- my mother would get a pan of water as hot as I could stand to have my foot (or hand) in, and dump some epsom salts in it.  Then I would have to soak the affected part in the hot water with epsom salts for a while, usually 20-30 minutes at a time, several times a day.  This ALWAYS worked.  She had no choice but to doctor things like that herself, as, at the time, we lived 100 miles from the nearest doctor, in Fairbanks.  Medical insurance was unheard of, at least in our circles, and we were too broke to be paying doctors for anything we could do ourselves.  So epsom salts would be another thing to add to the home first aid cabinet.  I always keep some on hand.  This only works for wounds on the extremities, but that's usually where the problems are.

 
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I SWEAR by colloidal silver, preferably 10-30ppm.  Think silt c. corn flakes. Silt gets into nooks & crannies best! DOn'T be dazzled by 500ppm.  I bought a home brewer which I use with distilled water.  I drink it straight up, alllll the time. I apply CS to any and every imaginable cut, burn, rash, sore. It's simply teeny particles of silver suspended in water. NO single cell organism can live with silver!!!  Not fungus/bacteria or virus-- even the current virus making everyone nutty RN. NO, you won't turn blue unless you drink 10 gallons a day.  The smurf guy was TRYinG to look like that!  I bought  mine thru THE NATURAL HEALTH LIBRARY on fb. Terry is the best!
 
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on humans and animals I use cottonwood bud tincture on wounds.  The tree species is Populus balsamifera where I am, I don't know what the species is in your area but likely there is a Cottonwood tree with resinous healing buds.  

Collect Cottonwood buds in late winter before they open
Fill a glass jar about half way with buds
Cover with good quality high proof alcohol (Organic Vodka is what I get in my area) liquid level most of way to top of jar

Screw lid on jar
shake
wait
shake
wait
... 1 month

You have homemade liquid bandaid! a few drops of this over a wound dries into a sticky protective coating that is somewhat pain relieving, antiseptic and smells fantastic.  

We especially use this when we know the wound will likely get icky (outdoor working human hands, sheep hooves, etc).

I second the nurse who posted not to use antibiotic ointment or hydrogen peroxide.  When I was in university those studies really made an impression on me, that those two wound care myths are both very pervasive and so inaccurate.  
 
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Long time lurker here... Povidone iodine is a great antibiotic often used in er rooms and readily available. This group may also enjoy www.doctoryourself.com with a host of natural ways for helping improve your own health without relying so heavily on the hospitals, etc
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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I use colloidal silver, too, both topically and internally, and it definitely works.  First found out about silver over thirty years ago, after my youngest daughter fell against a hot wood stove and badly burned her face.  The older of the two doctors at the practice sent us home from our first visit with fish oil to put on the burn; next visit, the younger doctor sent us home with silvadene cream.  I combined the two, and the burn healed up just fine, with no scarring at all.  I've used colloidal silver internally for a bladder infection; combined with cranberries, it did the job.
 
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I will get to wound care at the end but I want to second R Summer above's recommendation of chlorine dioxide, ClO2 as a real excellent, cheap and super-useful multi-purpose thing to have around the house or homestead. I have only started having it around for the last six months and already I am really impressed with all the things I've used it for. I swear I will never be without it again.

Note fwiw there are some name-calling non-scientists and meme-makers out there on the internet who say "it's bleach" and it's dangerous. You know the types. Honestly these people are so boring. So, some basic principles:

1) Not everything with "Cl" (chlorine) in the molecular formula is bleach. Standard bleach is sodium hypochlorite, NaClO, and might have some legitimate uses but it is not very good for the environment or for any living creature and is best avoided if possible. It almost always has a substitute. Table salt is NaCl. In the chemical formula the only difference between salt and bleach is the addition of an O (Oxygen) atom. Salt is not bleach either and we're not afraid of it.  Ask any chemist -- an atom here or there in a molecule really does change its properties completely, so you have to evaluate every chemical molecule on its own merits.

2) Absolutely everything -- mother's milk, distilled water (ask me how I know), granola, fresh organic celery, pine sap, everything -- can kill you in the wrong concentration and quantity. This is why we don't drink 5 gallons of milk a day or eat a kilo block of table salt. You would die. But we don't call milk and salt deadly poisons and we're not afraid of them. Becasue we use our noodles. That's what they're for. We and all other biological creatures need everything in a "moderate" and reasonable quantity, and if you are dealing with a new substance you don't have any experience with, you need to learn what that is. So just be reasonably safe and learn about anything new you're trying, whether it's indigenous knowledge about a local plant you don't know, or a chemist's knowledge about a chemical. How much, how concentrated, how often is good?

That said, one of the things that chlorine dioxide is useful for is sterilizing surfaces. Apparently it is so biocompatible because it oxidizes and kills really small things like bacteria and viruses, but it leaves larger things, like complete cells (skin cells, blood cells, whatever) alone. So it seems that it can actually replace some sterilization uses of chlorine and of bleach and be much better for everyone's health. Restaurants and food preparation businesses (here, at least) can opt to use it to sterilize their surfaces instead of bleach. Some biolabs apparently use it to clean the air of pathogens. It is also often used to purify drinking water, so water companies can switch from using standard bleach at low concentrations for tap water delivery to chlorine dioxide, to pretty much everyone's benefit as far as I can tell. These systems are up and running in many locations throughout the world and companies that sell the necessary equipement and supplies exist and are thriving. US Patents have were granted in the 1980s for loads of uses, including even cleaning blood plasma of bacteria and viruses. Talk about bio-compatible.

So back to wound care, I prepare a batch every once in a while and keep it in the fridge. I put a drop on a wound. It sterilizes and seems to calm and promote skin healing quickly. I have found some protocols and also used it for eczema, toenail fungus (with coconut oil), jock itch and even the sniffles with great success so far. I wouldn't say miraculous, but it seems to work quickly and is working better than anything else I've ever tried for each of these things. And I've tried a lot of things. So I don't know about poultices and ointments, but I definitely keep a full dropper bottle of CDS (chlorine dioxide solution) around for wound care all the time now.

Not to knock the herbal poultices etc. at all, they work. There used to be someone in this area that made a thick, waxy poultice from a secret family formula that you could put on any infection and it would suck the infection right out. Kind of like the infected toe pics above. Worked fast and worked every time. Then it disappeared, and I heard the old lady that made it got too old and her kids were not interested in carrying on. Have been trying to find out who it was and get the recipe for years. No dice so far. In the meantime, I may have to experiement with a lot of the great ideas in this thread. Thanks everyone!
 
Dave de Basque
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Karen and Kathleen, re the colloidal silver... I used that years ago and found it pretty effective at the time. I got a good brand recommended to me by someone who knew, and later closed her shop. I've heard that the shelf life can be variable depending on how it's made, and that there are a lot of low-quality products out there. I wonder if you could tell us about your setups or your way to ensure you're getting a quality product? It seems like the active principle might be pretty similar to CDS, and I love to have more things in my arsenal!
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Dave de Basque wrote:Karen and Kathleen, re the colloidal silver... I used that years ago and found it pretty effective at the time. I got a good brand recommended to me by someone who knew, and later closed her shop. I've heard that the shelf life can be variable depending on how it's made, and that there are a lot of low-quality products out there. I wonder if you could tell us about your setups or your way to ensure you're getting a quality product? It seems like the active principle might be pretty similar to CDS, and I love to have more things in my arsenal!



All that I've used has either been purchased, or was made by a friend (she has a birth defect causing malformation of the tubes both sides of her bladder -- upstream and downstream -- and has constant infections, which she treats with cranberry, colloidal silver, and when it gets bad enough, antibiotics -- she's frequently in the hospital on IV antibiotics).  To be honest, I've been concerned about quality and shelf-life of the purchased products, and am not sure how to be certain we are getting a good product, but it did seem to work when I needed it.  The brand I've currently got is called Silver Wings, 500 ppm.  If anyone can vouch for and recommend a different brand, I'd be glad to know about it.
 
Angel Bellamissio
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I have researched a lot about colloidal silver, the ppm matter, you want safe. I go with Sovereign Silver, you can get on Amazon or most Amish stores. I also researched if making your own you must store in brown or dark bottles, check ppm, use distilled water no tap, no salt in water, and a good brand of machine.

At one point had cellulitis, had insurance all my life, worked at a Dr prior, so am not advocating not go, but this was a DV divorce  ex playing  games, would not give card, and could not demand as he brought vexatious litigation other state I not in for Divorce to control and judge could not rule, except for what I asked Jurisdiction moved to my state, as driving there not a problem but he left broken car and dissipated bank account with another. So back story so no misunderstandings. The silver didn't seem to touch or help the cellulitis, foot three times it size, and usually helped me, so switched to oil of oregano  ( i stock both in medicinal cabinet ) and it worked.  
 
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Remember, even the most minor wound has the potential to RAPIDLY become life threatening  -  flesh eating bacteria needs only the smallest nick to infiltrate our body.  Wash ALL wounds thoroughly with water and soap. NEVER use hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, or other harsh disinfectants, they frankly do more harm than good.  Stick to what the hospitals use, iodine (brown, can cause stains) or chlorhexidine gluconate (2-4%) - both are used as presurgical scrubs and most pharmacies (even large grocery store) will carry them; you may need to ask the pharmacist,  it may be 'behind the counter ' or go by a different name where you live.

SIGNS OF INFECTION: no offense intended BUT rather than assume everyone knows this I feel it prudent to cover basic infection indicators.

Increased redness, a red line leaving the infected area, swelling, discoloration, warmth/heat, pain or discharge from wound site is BAD!  As is any general feeling of being unwell such as fever, nausea, or weakness (lack of strength,  tiredness etc.).

IF you have a fancy phone, it is always worth taking pics of wounds, immediately,  post treatment, and at each bandage change.  This way you have a visual history,  in case things go wrong  - you or the doc can easily see the progression of changes from the beginning.

HOT WATER FLUSH: ALL wounds should be encouraged to bleed, initially, to self flush, and squeezed or placed under a running hot water tap (as hot as you can stand) to facilitate this, at least for 30 seconds.  This causes the vessels to expand, allowing more blood to exit the wound, flushing it from within.

COLD WATER FLUSH: then switch to cold/icy water for five minutes (START WITH THIS IF IT IS A BURN, BUMP,  BRUISE).  Flushing with clean water, and a dirt lifting substance (soap) should be all that is needed for surface wounds.  Plus, could water shrinks blood vessels, lessening bleeding and swelling.  

BURNS: In the case of a burn, it takes at LEAST 5 minutes to chill the subsurface and stop the burn from continuing to cause damage. The number one treatment for a burn is the constant application of icy cold, preferably running water.  Minimum of 5 minutes,  full thickness burns may/will need longer, 10-15minutes, and or until professional help arrives.

Personally,  I feel the need to clarify the most commonly used word in this thread; wound.

SURFACE WOUNDS (scrapes, road rash, nicks) to me is defined as ON the surface,  and in no way going beneath. There is little chance of this requiring professional medical treatment,  assuming the area is not large, and it can be properly cleaned.

OTHER WOUNDS includes anything that goes below the the first layer of skin: sliver, puncture, OR a slice that gapes.  These are wounds that very likely SHOULD have medical attention from a professional.

To me these are entirely different and must be handled very differently, once the basics are taken care of.

ANYTHING that is a puncture or slice requires a more aggressive approach as we have to assume the wound has been "inoculated" with bacteria or at potential high risk of becoming infected due to the type or location of wound.

Punctures are particularly high risk; they tend to heal at the surface rapidly, a very bad thing as this TRAPS bacteria beneath the skin. Think abscesses or blood poisoning - infection trapped within the body - painful at the very least, life threatening in the worst case scenarios.

The key is to keep non-surface wounds open, so they heal from the INSIDE OUT.  This is accomplished by soaking in hot water solutions, most commonly with heavily salted water, multiple times, daily. As salt is dehydrating it literally DRAWS out infection, collected white blood cells (pus), and even small amounts of blood.  Plus, daily soaking removes the crusty, scabby bits, that are not desirable in a deep wound as they seal it closed and/or provides an area for bacteria to collect.

Honey is commonly used as a dressing as it too acts by drawing out infection and inflammation, whilst keeping the wound open and draining.   Metaleuca honey comes from a specific tree in Australia - aka Tea Tree.  Although Tea Tree oil itself is known for antibacterial properties, the action of CLEAN honey, in general, will help keep the wound open and draining. Scabbing is NEVER desired with punctures,  or large wounds, until the very end.

SLICES: assuming there is no arterial spurting follow the deep wound/puncture protocol; flush with water as hot as you can stand for at least 30 seconds,  or until all debris is removed, then flush with cold/ice water for five minutes.   Once you are certain the wound is clean dry well and apply STERI-STRIPS (specially designed wound closure strips).   Always start in the center, then work back and forth, side to side, adding strips.  The key here is to slowly, steadily, bring the two sides of the wound together by narrowing the gaps, alternating, from side to side, until there are STERI-STRIPS at least every centimeter (1/3inch).  It is undesirable to soak a slice type or sutured wound UNLESS infection sets in.  IF the wound becomes infected, revert to puncture wound care.

Covering a wound accomplishes two goals, keeping it moist, open and healing from the inside along with providing protection from outside infectious material from entering the wound.  ALL wounds should be covered to protect them, encourage inner healing and to prevent contamination leading to secondary infection.

Most wounds will benefit from being soaked, this is a prime time to inspect for infection, and apply a clean dressing.

Please, NEVER use or place fingers in either a homemade or Store bought ointment when dispensing.  Always use some sort of sterile implement such as a cotton swab or clean piece of cutlery to scoop out or place ointment on BEFORE applying to wound.

In my opinion, most wounds should NOT require ointment or salve, UNLESS trying to keep it moist and healing from the inside out.  IF a wound is serious enough that it requires ointment,  it may be wiser to consult a medical professional.

HOMEMADE SALVES/OINTMENTS:  How does one ensure these salves are not OR do not become contaminated or "expired"?
 
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