Alternative Medicine for Cuts, Wounds and Stings

Wash the cut well with clean water. Wash a piece of fresh ginger and grind it. Apply on the cut, and bandage it with a clean cloth. Do not remove the bandage till the cut has completely healed and the ginger comes off on its own. Keep the bandage completely dry. If you can get Dettol (or similar antiseptic solution), mix it with water and use this solution for cleaning.

Cuts, Wounds and Stings

Cuts, Wounds and Stings [Illustration by Shinod AP]

Wash the affected area with clean, warm water (if possible) and apply turmeric powder over the area. Clean and apply turmeric powder everyday.Wash the affected area with clean, warm water (if possible) and apply turmeric powder over the area. Clean and apply turmeric powder everyday.

Cardon cactus can be used to clean wounds when there is no boiled water and no way to get any.

Cardon cactus also helps to stop a wound from bleeding because the juice makes the cut blood vessels squeeze shut.

Cut a piece of the cactus with a clean knife and press it firmly against the wound. When the bleeding is under control, tie a piece of the cactus to the wound with a strip of cloth. After two or three hours, take off the cactus and clean the wound with water (which was boiled and cooled) and soap.

Clean Ulcer

When an ulcer is clean without any pus, boil one ink nut (Hindi: Harithaki, Balhar, Kalepar: Tamil: Kadukai) in a glass of water. Strain the water and wash the ulcer with it. Then rub the nut on a clean surface. Apply the paste on the ulcer. Keep the ulcer clean.

Old ulcers and wounds

When an ulcer or a wound is not treated, it gets infected and has a lot of pus.

  • Cut an unripe papaya. Scoop out the inside pulp and apply on the ulcer. Wash it off the next day and apply papaya pulp again. Continue till the ulcer becomes clean. Then treat as for clean ulcer (see above) with ink nut.Note: Ripe papayas are rich in vitamins and also aid digestion. Eating them is especially helpful for weak and old people.
  • Papaya can also be used for treating old ulcers (pressure sores). The fruit contains chemicals that help soften and make dead flesh easier to remove. First clean and wash out a pressure sore that has dead flesh in it. Then soak a sterile cloth or gauze with ‘milk’ that comes out when the green fruit or trunk of the tree is cut, and pack this into the sore. Repeat the cleaning and repacking three times a day.
  • The sap from the banyan tree is also good for cleaning ulcers, with pus. This sap can also be used for cracked heels.Ulcers in the mouth or tongue

    Ulcers in the mouth or tongue are often caused by not eating the right kind of food (malnutrition). These ulcers are painful and the person does not feel like eating. This leads to more malnutrition.

    These ulcers can be made less painful, so that the person can eat his food properly. Only proper nutrition can cure these ulcers completely.

    The following remedies help in making the ulcer less painful, by forming a protective coat on the ulcer:

  • Grind the bark of a banyan tree. Put this juice on the ulcer.
  • Chew some guava leaves before eating. These leaves have pectin in them, and this coats the ulcer, making it less painful.
  • Apply the paste of Harithaki (ink nut) on the ulcer.Stomach ulcers and heartburn
    Persons with stomach ulcer or heartburn should avoid spices, very hot water, tea or coffee. Smoking and alcohol must be avoided.
  • Soak some cooked rice in water for one night. In the morning add two teaspoons of fenugreek (Hindi: Methi; Tamil: Vendayam) seeds to the soaked rice and eat it on an empty stomach (before breakfast).
  • Fresh ash gourd (Hindi: Petha; Tamil: Chambal Pusanika) juice taken every morning helps in relieving stomach burn.
  • Dilute one glass of plantain stem juice with half a glass of water and drink it three times a day. The juice is alkaline and neutralises the acids in the stomach.
  • Aloe Vera (Sabila) can also help treat stomach ulcers and gastritis. Chop the spongy leaves into small pieces, soak them in water overnight, and drink one glass of the slimy, bitter liquid every two hours.
  • Eat one ripe banana every meal.
  • Boiled rice with milk or curd without any chillies and spices is recommended. Pain after or in-between meals can be taken care of by drinking either cold milk or even plain cold water.Pus under the nails(Paronychia)
  • Make a hole in a ripe yellow lime. Keep your finger in this till the pus disappears.Boils and abscesses
    When a boil is painful:
  • Apply a paste made of soap and turmeric powder. Turmeric powder is antiseptic. The boil will burst fast and will heal quickly.
  • Apply castor oil on the boil. Cook some rice flour with turmeric powder and apply this on the boil. Tie with a clean cloth. The boil will burst within 12 hours. After the boil bursts, treat it like an ulcer with pus (see above.)Fungal infection of the skin(Tinea circinata)

    Take the leaves of Cassia Alata and wash it thoroughly with water (Tamil: Seemai agathi). Grind it and apply the juice three times a day for seven days.

    Chicken pox blisters

    Spread neem leaves on the bed of the sick person. Neem leaves are cooling and antiseptic. They will help relieve itching.

    Boil neem leaves in water. Bathe the sick person with this water. A daily bath is good.

    Scorpion sting

  • Cut a piece of onion and rub it on the site of the sting. This helps to relieve pain.
  • Grind up a small pinch of potassium permanganate with an equal amount of citric acid. (If you cannot get citric acid powder, you can use one drop of lime juice). Collect the powder into a paper and spread it over the exact site of the sting. Add a single drop of water. It will begin to bubble vigorously and will become very hot. This usually gives immediate total or partial relief.WARNING: Tender skin may get badly burnt or blistered.

    Spread the powder only on the site of the sting.

Adapted for India by: The Voluntary Health Association of India by Dr. C. Sathyamala. Revised and updated by Padam Khanna with Dr. Stella, M.P. Mansukhani and Dr. Salai Pa Cin

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