I recently hacked off the tip of my finger while cutting some homemade beef jerky in the kitchen. Yes, I use the term “hacked off” because I work in an ER and have seen some pretty nasty kitchen accidents, this one was a hack-job! Now, I am not recommending that you do not be seen for a kitchen knife accident, not at all!
I just knew (through experience) that my cut could not be sutured, or glued, or really require any medical intervention — as long as I was able to stop the excessive bleeding and prevent infection. The nature of my cut was such that it could not be stitched back together. It was a chunk of meat off the tip! So, what did I do? Glad you asked! I grabbed some weeds from the yard and went to work. Here is the method to my madness, and why it works like magic!
First, why does this work? Well, because Mother Nature has it all figured out. Plantain is a plant (right from Mother Nature herself!). Honey had been used for centuries for its amazing properties. But, you must make sure that your honey is raw and therefor all of its goodness remain intact. But, let me break this down a bit more…
- Plantain Weed (not a banana): plantain weed has traditionally been used by Native American cultures for many many years. It has been shown to contain antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, as well as being anti-inflammatory and antitoxic. The leaves are a treatment for insect and animal bites. The antibacterial action helps prevent infection. The anti-inflammatory helps to relieve pain, burning, and itching.
- Raw Honey: I simply could not sum it up better than Dr. David Williams could, so here is his awesome explanation:
There are a couple of things you need to know about the use of honey. Its antimicrobial activity is due to several factors. Honey is what’s called a super-saturated sugar solution. In chemistry terms, it has what is known as a very high osmolarity. When it comes into contact with microbes it “sucks” the water from their cells and destroys them. The same thing happens with sugar dressings on wounds. It draws the water from inside the bacteria cells and kills them through dehydration. Unlike sugar, however, honey has several other characteristics that are lethal to various microbes.
Honey is somewhat acidic. On the pH scale, with 0.0 being the most acidic, 7.0 being neutral, and 14.0 being the most alkaline, the pH of honey ranges from about 3.2 to 4.5. Honey’s acidic nature helps destroy certain microbes. Honey also has the unique ability to produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). As I’m sure you know, hydrogen peroxide can kill pathogens on contact. Honey doesn’t actually contain hydrogen peroxide but instead produces it through a chemical reaction when conditions are just right. First, the pH of the honey must rise to between 5.5 and 8.0. Second, a small amount of sodium (or salt) must be added to the mix. This is exactly what happens when honey comes into contact with human skin or a wound. The glucose or sugar molecule in honey starts to break down and produce hydrogen peroxide.
- Lavender and Frankincense: help support a healthy immune system.
What you need:
- 2-3 Plantain leaves
- 1 tsp raw honey — where to find
- Lavender essential oil*
- Frankincense essential oil*
- Bandaids or a bandage
*Note: I only use therapeutic grade essential oils because I am assured of their purity and therapeutic value.
- Clean your wound of debris with cold running water. Finger cuts bleed a lot so this one just kept going for me. This picture does not do it justice as to just how deep the cut was. It’s hard to take a picture with one hand while trying not to bleed everywhere!
- Rough up your plantain leaf a bit to get it to secrete it’s juices. Bite on it or crush it up in your hand. You can even poke it with a fork
- Apply the honey to the leaf using a butter knife
- Drop 2 drops of each oil on your cut
- Wrap the leaf, honey side towards your skin, around your wound
- Apply another bandage over the top to keep the leaf intact and in place
- Keep dry and change daily or as needed until healed
- Mine took one week to heal with daily bandage changes! WOW! No scar, no residual pain, nothing. Just gone! Thanks Mother Nature. This pic was taken exactly one week later!
Here are a few other ways to use plantain weed:
- Splinters: chew up a plantain leaf and cover it with a bandaid. The splinter will work its way to the surface and you can just wipe it off!
- Clean a wound: a poultice of plantain will pull out dirt and germs so the wound can heal
- Insect bites: apply a poultice over the bite to reduce swelling and draw out the venom
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Disclaimer: None of these health benefits have been evaluated or approved by the FDA. They should not be used in place of personal judgment or medical treatment when needed, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. (Only your doctor can diagnose and treat disease.) Read my full disclaimer.