Introduction: Heal a Cut or Gash With Honey!
A friend of mine was in an accident where she was run over by a horse and carriage into a van and pinned. The carriage wheel broke and part went through her arm. I don't have pictures as she is a person not comfortable with being photographed. But she was cared for and treated and within days had significant healing and little pain and no oozing or infection even though the wheel was dirty.
Step 1: Get Your Supplies Together
You will need for your care:
Burdock leaves: I picked mine from the field but you can get them dried at herbal shops online.
Microwave safe bowl or bowl for hot water.
gauze: use the size appropriate for the wound. I wouldn't use a 4 x 4 for a small hand wound, but neither would I use a 2 x 2 for a leg wound.
Sterile Gloves: I use what I get from the firestation where I volunteer.
Kling: Kling is a stretchy gauze wrap that works like an ace bandage but is a thin dressing. You want this. And use the appropriate size for the appendage you are wrapping. They sell it in 2", 3", 4" and 6" sizes.
Honey: I use local honey that has NOT been heat treated if I can help it. Here is my preference - local honey that is filtered but not heated, local honey that is heated, honey from regional area that has been heated, national brand like Sue Bee. While I have and will on occasion use those grocery store brands, they are basically Chinese sugar water with who knows what in them and I don't use them if I can ABSOLUTELY help it.
Scissors: Sharp enough to cut all of it. I have trauma scissors which will cut through everything... clothes, seat belts, you name it...
Medical tape: I use the fabric/nylon feeling kind, not the paper kind and not the fabric, feels like paint, kind.
Saran Wrap or Equivalent: To cover the poultice and keep it from getting your clothes wet
Step 2: Clean the Area, Yourself, Etc...
In the Ambulance world we say "If it's wet, sticky or not yours, don't touch." And this goes true for this, also.
This wound is already open, letting germs into the area, we don't want to let more in.
Wash your hands and wrists for AT LEAST 20 seconds. We sing the Alphabet song: "A, B, C, D, EFG..."
Put on gloves. Don't touch the patient or anything sterile without gloves.
Clean the wound as best as you can, irrigate it with clean (sterile) water, damp dry with sterile gauze. The way to do so is pat, toss, pat some more, toss. If it's still bleeding before you wash it, put direct pressure on it until it stops bleeding. When you then wash it, try not to dislodge any clots that may be keeping it from bleeding again. Remember, it's more important that the person not bleed than it is to make sure that they don't have things in the wound.
If it's bleeding for more than 10 minutes and you can't control the bleeding, CALL 911 (IF AVAILABLE IN YOUR AREA) AND SEEK MEDICAL ASSISTANCE!
This advice is for small, manageable wounds, not arterial bleeders. Do not risk your life or the life of another! Get help if you need it!!!
Again, this is not for large profusely bleeding wounds.
Step 3: Get the Bleeding Stopped
Remember, get the bleeding stopped. Direct pressure is best. It may take a few minutes.
THEN clean it up.
Step 4: Begin the Poultice
If you are using Burdock fresh, wash the leaves and cut them into 1-1 1/2" strips. If using dried, place them in the bowl and put hot water on them until they are soft and pliable, about 2 minutes. Drain and let cool to just warm.
Step 5: Begin the Layers
Place two or three layers of gauze over the wound.
Place the fresh or wet leaves over the wound. Take two or three gauze patches and put on a layer of honey. Place this on top of the Burdock.
Pour or spread a layer of your honey over a couple of gauze pads and put it honey-side down over the Burdock.
Step 7: Cover and Wrap
Place a piece of the plastic wrap over the whole thing, just a piece big enough to cover.
Tape the edges down on the ends.
Wrap it with Kling but not too tight. This will keep the wet stuff inside and will keep the poultice from shifting too much. If it's a foot injury, remember wrap it slightly loose so that when the person puts weight on the foot, the bandage will expand a little to flex with the foot.
Keep the poultice on for at least 20 minutes, up to 8 hours.
This really works. One note of caution. If for some reason, some infection sets in, GO SEE A DOCTOR!
Burdock is being researched for being a burn care product.