CPR First Aid

Herbs as Minor Burns and Wounds First Aid

Have you heard that as an alternative, what you use is herbs as minor burns and wounds first aid? It may come as a traditional or unproven claim to some. However, multiple studies show that some herbs may help in treating minor burns and even help wounds heal for the compounds they contain. If you are curious about what these herbs are and where to find them in Perth, continue reading below.

Herbs as Alternative Minor Burn First Aid

St. Luke’s hospital mentions that the following herbs may be used to treat minor burns:

  • Aloe (Aloe vera gel).
  • Calendula (Calendula officinalis).
  • Gotu kola (Centella asiatica).
  • Propolis.

The same site emphasizes that these herbs may only be added to the first aid practices involving minor burns.

The same site emphasizes that these herbs may only be added to the first aid practices involving minor burns.

Aloe Vera Gel as a Minor Burn First Aid

Information on how aloe vera gel may be a minor burn first aid is explained in an article discussing the aloe vera’s natural remedies for the skin.

How to Use Aloe Vera Gel as a Minor Burn Aid?

After doing the necessary first aid steps, an amount of aloe vera gel may be applied externally to the burned area 3-4 times a day. This herb may help in soothing and healing a minor burn.

Risks of Using Aloe Vera Gel as a Minor Burn First Aid

If the aloe vera gel is obtained directly from the plant, there is physical contact with its leaves. These contain latex that may be an allergen to some people. Such allergen may cause a person to experience the following allergic reactions according to NDTV:

  • Irritation.
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Low potassium levels.

A more severe allergic reaction may be anaphylaxis which may be life-threatening if first aid treatment is not applied. It is one of the many emergencies covered in a first aid course in 123C Colin St West Perth 6005 wherein training is provided on how to properly respond to it.

In addition, some people may also be allergic to the aloe vera gel itself and may experience the following:

  • Skin allergies.
  • Redness in the eyes.
  • Skin rashes.
  • Irritation.
  • Burning sensation.

Doing a patch test before using aloe vera gel as a minor burn first aid may help in determining if you have an allergy to it and latex (acquired from the leaves).

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) as a Minor Burn First Aid

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is said to be effective in treating minor burns as it soothes them and it also promotes healing. In fact, in one of the National Library of Medicine‘s articles, the extract of this herb is said to be an antioxidant both in vitro and in vivo that may contribute to its effectiveness for burn injury.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is said to be effective in treating minor burns as it soothes them and it also promotes healing. In fact, in one of the National Library of Medicine's articles, the extract of this herb is said to be an antioxidant both in vitro and in vivo that may contribute to its effectiveness for burn injury.

How to Use Calendula (Calendula officinalis) as a Minor Burn First Aid?

Below are the recommended steps in getting an extract from this herb:

  1. Steep 1 teaspoon of flowers in 1 cup of boiling water for 15 minutes.
  2. Strain.
  3. Let it cool.

For tea, the suggested mixture is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of diluted extract in 1/4 cup of water. 

Risks of Using Calendula (Calendula officinalis) as a Minor Burn First Aid

WebMD lists the following potential risks of using the tea of this herb as a minor burn first aid:

  • Mild irritation.
  • Allergic reaction.
  • Unexpected interactions if taken with sedatives.

The same site suggests further research to find out if this herb is also safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) as a Minor Burn First Aid

Gotu kola has been used to treat many conditions like a minor burn for thousands of years now as mentioned in Mount Sinai. The same site states that this herb contains triterpenoid chemicals that strengthen the skin and increases blood supply to the burned area.

How to Use Gotu kola (Centella Asiatica) as a Minor Burn First Aid?

According to this website, this herb may be used in the following forms:

  • Tea from the dried leaf.
  • Powdered herbs are made in capsules.
  • Standardized extract.

Both the powdered herb and standardized extract are available commercially in stores in Perth. Such stores and brands provide instructions on how to use them for minor burns.

Risks of Using Gotu kola (Centella Asiatica) as a Minor Burn First Aid

Although this herb may be safe for use for up to 10 weeks, it may cause itchiness and redness according to this site.

Propolis as a Minor Burn First Aid

Propolis is produced by honeybees and it contains the following properties as listed in this study:

  • Anti Allergy.
  • Anti-inflammation.
  • Antimicrobial.
  • Promotion of collagen synthesis.

These may contribute to why Propolis is considered an excellent candidate for burn management as cited in BioMed Central‘s article.

How to Use Propolis as a Minor Burn First Aid?

In this study, an ample amount of propolis skin cream was applied to the minor burn. It was then applied with a dressing, a first aid process that is taught by an accredited first aid course provider in Perth. Both of these were done every three days which resulted in positive results. The same process may be followed to treat minor burns at home. Especially if necessary first aid kit items are available to conduct the dressing.

Risks of Using Propolis as a Minor Burn First Aid

According to the National Library of Medicine, there have been reports of allergic reactions including angioedema and anaphylaxis after using commercial sources of propolis. Such may occur more possibly in people who have allergies to bee products.

Herbs as Alternative Minor Wound First Aid

The following are some of the herbs listed in the Herbal Medicine book which may help in the management of minor wounds:

  • Lavender.
  • Chamomile.
  • Tea Tree.
  • Thyme.

Such herbs are said to induce healing and tissue regeneration which greatly helps in the treatment of minor wounds.

Lavender as a Minor Wound First Aid

The conclusion of this research states that the oil of lavender may potentially promote the healing of wounds in the early phase by:

  • Forming the granulation tissue.
  • Remodelling tissue by collagen replacement.
  • Contracting the wound.

For these reasons, this herb may give way to additional complementary treatment to wounds aside from the conventional ones, as stated in the same study.

How to Use Lavender as Minor Wound First Aid?

Healthline suggests mixing 3-4 drops of lavender oil with a few drops of coconut or tamanu oil. Then, apply the mixture to the minor wound using a cotton ball.

Risks of Using  Lavender as Minor Wound First Aid

Skin irritation may be a possible side effect of using this herb as a minor wound treatment.

Chamomile as a Minor Wound First Aid

If applied topically, chamomile may speed up the wound healing by:

  • Killing viruses and bacteria that may infect a minor wound.
  • Reducing inflammation.
  • Preventing and treating the growth of ulcers.

Ulcers are open sores caused by poor blood circulation which may be infected if first aid management of it is not done properly. If this occurs, it may lead to a painful skin ulcer.

How to Use Chamomile as a Minor Wound First Aid?

In a study mentioned on this site, a chamomile compress applied for an hour once a day helped in treating wounds. Such compress may contain 1 to 2 drops of diluted chamomile oil as suggested by Healthline.

Risks of Using Chamomile as a Minor Wound First Aid

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health lists the following possible side effects of using this herb:

  • Nausea.
  • Dizziness.
  • Allergic reactions.

A few cases of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) were also reported.

Tea Tree as a Minor Wound First Aid

In an article by the American Journal of Infection Control, it is stated that tea tree oil has been effective as an additional treatment for wounds in case studies and small clinical trials. It may be due to its following properties:

  • Antimicrobial.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Activates monocytes (type of white blood cells that destroy germs and eliminate infected cells).

The same article states that this herb has been used for centuries now as a botanical medicine.

In an article by the American Journal of Infection Control, it is stated that tea tree oil has been effective as an additional treatment for wounds in case studies and small clinical trials.

How to Use Tea Tree as a Minor Wound First Aid?

According to this, 1 drop of the oil tea tree oil may be added to a wound ointment cream. This comes with instructions on how often it may be applied to a minor wound, which may be the same even if added with the tea tree oil.

Risks of Using Tea Tree as a Minor Wound First Aid

Skin irritation and swelling may be possible side effects of using his herb for minor wounds as mentioned on this website.

Thyme as a Minor Wound First Aid

Topically applied oil of thyme is said to significantly contribute to the efficiency of wound healing, as mentioned in one of this book’s chapters. This book compiled different studies made on thyme oil which have resulted in finding out such herb is:

  • Effective in antibacterial and antifungal activities. 
  • Increases the deposition of collagen (which is important in wound repair)
  • Supports angiogenesis (development of new blood vessels).
  • Enhances keratinocyte migration (closing of a wound).

As stated in the book, these make thyme oil effective in facilitating wound healing.

How to Use Thyme as a Minor Wound First Aid?

This mentions mixing 3-5 drops of diluted thyme oil with 2-3 cups of carrier oil, however, it is for another condition. So, if used for minor wounds, it may be best to talk to a doctor first, especially since it may have side effects.

Risks of Using Thyme as a Minor Wound First Aid

Allergic reactions like contact dermatitis and hay fever may be experienced after using this herb for minor wounds. Such may occur for people who also have allergies to mint (aside from those allergic to thyme and thyme oil) according to Healthline.

Where to Find Herbs for Minor Burn and Wounds First Aid?

Fortunately, many of these herbs are said to flower most of the year in Perth due to the soil and weather. So, planting them may be an option for both first aid and garden beautification purposes. Seeds and grown plants are available in any of the garden centres in Perth like the Guilford Garden Centre. At the same time, extracted oil and encapsulated powders of these herbs are also available commercially from various suppliers and online shops that deliver to Perth.

When to Apply the Herbs as a Minor Burn and Wounds First Aid?

It is highly advised to do a patch test first and/or seek advice from a health professional before using any of the herbs for minor burns and wounds first aid. It involves steps and in some of them, a herb is used instead of antibiotic treatment or lotion. Another step may also be added specifically for the application of the herbs (may it be in diluted oil, gel, or powdered form). The same is done for many of the research and studies mentioned above.

Applying Herbs as a Minor Burn First Aid

One article outlines how to treat different types of burns, including minor burns (which may also be called first-degree). It mentions the below first aid process, wherein a herb may be used instead of antibiotic treatment in the 3rd step or as a lotion in the 4th step.

  1. With running water, cool the burn for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  2. Remove any tight clothing and/or accessory that covers/hinders the minor burn from being treated.
  3. If there is any broken blister, clean it with water and apply an antibiotic treatment.
  4. To prevent drying, apply lotion.
  5. Bandage the minor burn.
  6. If necessary, take a nonprescription pain reliever.

Some of these steps are also involved in the first aid management of minor wounds.

Applying Herbs as a Minor Wound First Aid

As posted in this basic wound care article, below are the first aid steps in treating wounds, including minor ones:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Clean the minor wound and the area around it using first aid tools.
  3. Protect the wound from infection by dressing it.
  4. Change the dressing as needed.
  5. Monitor the wound for possible infections.

Step 2 may be followed by applying a diluted oil, gel, or powder of any herb mentioned above to the minor wound before dressing it.

Conclusion

Multiple studies and research conclude that certain herbs may be used as part of first aid to minor burns and wounds. Many of these may be planted and grown in Perth for the city’s soil and weather, and when they flower, extracts can be made. Such herbs may also come in a form of gel, diluted oil, and powder as commercially available products. However, usage of these may cause side effects and trigger allergies, including anaphylaxis, which may be life-threatening if not responded to with proper first aid. Therefore, it is advised to do a patch test and/or seek advice from a health professional before adding these herbs to your first aid management in minor burns and wounds.

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