©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Using slippery elm powder on a splinter can help coax it out.

Splinters are easy to get. Removing them, however, could be more difficult.

Yet it needs to be done. Slivers of wood, metal, or glass that become embedded in the skin need to be removed to avoid infection. Use sterilized tweezers or a sewing needle to ease the splinter out, then wash the wound with herbs that have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Herbal remedies to cleanse wounds can be especially helpful when dealing with splinter aftermath. Below are some suggestions.

Herbal Remedies for Splinters

Herbs that have both antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties include St. John's wort, chamomile, elderberry, goldenseal, Oregon grape, licorice, wormwood, and yarrow. A strong infusion of one or more of these herbs can be used to wash the area where a splinter has poked through the skin.

Although the huge and now uncommon slippery elm tree is not likely to be in your garden, its bark is very useful when it comes to splinters. A poultice made with the powder of slippery elm will coax the splinter out of the skin, helping you remove it quickly and with little poking around. It also helps heal the damaged tissue. You can substitute marshmallow root for slippery elm.

Whether removing a splinter or treating its subsequent wound, herbal remedies using slippery elm, chamomile and other herbs may prove very helpful.

Eric Yarnell, N.D., R.H. (A.H.G.) is a naturopathic physician and registered herbalist in private practice specializing in men's health and urology.  He is an assistant professor in the botanical medicine department at Bastyr University in Seattle and is president or the Botanical Medicine Academy.  He is the author of several textbooks including Naturopathic Gastroenterology, Naturopathic Urology and Men's Health, and Clinical Botanical Medicine; He writes a regular column on herbal medicine for Alternative and Complementary Therapies.  This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies.   Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about whether practitioners are required to be professionally licensed. If you plan to visit a practitioner, it is recommended that you choose one who is licensed by a recognized national organization and who abides by the organization's standards. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before starting any new therapeutic technique.