Herbal Remedies for Burns

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Aloe vera soothes the pain and inflammation of burned skin.

Burns can be anything from a minor irritation to a life-threatening emergency. If a burn is not too serious, it's possible to treat it with herbal remedies.

About Burns

Plants from the healing garden can help treat burns and scalds. First, though, you need to cool off the skin. Immediately put the injured area under cold running water to dissipate the heat and arrest tissue damage.

Once the site is cooled, several herbs can help diminish pain and heal the injury. If the burn is large, blisters severely, or is painless, seek emergency help.

Herbal Remedies for Burns

The aloe plant is a renowned burn healer. Keep a plant indoors on a shady windowsill for prompt use on the minor burns and scalds that inevitably occur in the kitchen. Snip off a leaf tip and squeeze its juice onto the burn. For larger burns, neatly trim an outer leaf off the plant. Slice through one side of the leaf lengthwise and scoop out the healing gel. Apply directly to afflicted skin. If you wish, put the gel in a small jar and mix a little vitamin E oil in with it. Vitamin E makes a good natural burn healer.

Lavender oil is a useful treatment for burns or scalds. Gently apply it to the affected area. St. John's wort oil will also help skin heal and decrease associated inflammation.

Witch hazel, elder flowers, and comfrey are also herbal burn remedies. Make a strong infusion of any of these. Wet clean gauze with witch hazel decoction and bind it to the scalded or burned area. Apply elder flower or comfrey leaves and flowers directly to the burn.

Taken internally, vitamin C promotes wound healing by helping the body produce strong collagen, the base material for new skin. Eat plenty of raw garden produce such as broccoli, bell peppers, leafy greens, potatoes, melons, berries, and citrus fruits to help burns heal from the inside out.

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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.