I cook A LOT. And I know a lot more of you are cooking at home these days, too, because it's healthier and less expensive, to eat at home. It's also really fun.
Except when you get burned.
Every once in awhile I'll catch the back of my hand on a hot over rack. Or something will splatter. Ouch!
The good news is there are easy, all-natural treatments for simple burns using common herbs and even kitchen ingredients! How convenient is THAT?
First thing to do if you get a burn: always rinse the area with cold water until the heat is out. This may take several minutes. When should you get medical treatment? If the burn has charred off the skin and you see black; if you see just white with no flesh at the site; if the burn is around the eyes (i.e. from steam); or if the burn is greater than the width of the palm of the person who got burned, you should seek immediate professional treatment.
If it just looks very red or even a little blistery and doesn't cover a huge area, then you can apply one of the following treatments to the affected area, keeping it in place until the sting is out. You may have to replace the treatment after 20 minutes to an hour. Reapply 2-3 times daily over the next few days to promote healing (except for the tofu — it doesn't promote healing, it just gets the heat out).
1. Aloe vera gel.
Grow a plant at home. They grow pretty much anywhere and love to be neglected, so you can't go wrong. For burns, break a piece of a leaf off, estimating how much area you need to cover, and apply the drippy gel that comes from the leaf. If it's not a plump juicy plant, that's ok. Peel the leaf in half with a knife and apply the inside to the burn.
Honey is one of the most effective burn treatments we have — it protects, prevents infection, and promotes healing. Keep high-quality (dark, unfiltered, pure) honey around.
Grate some fresh ginger and squeeze the juice onto the burn.
Ok, please don't get up in arms if you're anti-soy. Tofu makes a great plaster for burns. Simply mash some up and apply over the burn. You can actually make a paste of tofu and ginger juice to apply.
I generally don't like to apply oils to burns, but diluted lavender tincture is an excellent burn treatment.
Oh, and if your burn blisters, don't pop the blisters! Let them heal.
Aviva Romm, M.D. is both a midwife and an Internal Medicine and Board Certified Family Physician with specialties in Integrative Gynecology, Obstetric and Pediatrics, with a focus on women’s endocrinology. She’s also a world renown herbalist, and author of the textbook, Botanical Medicines for Women’s Health, as well as 7 other books, including The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution. A practitioner, teacher, activist and advocate of both environmental health and women’s reproductive rights and health, she has been bridging the best of traditional medicine, total health ecology, and good science for over three decades. She practices medicine in both NY and MA, and lives in the Berkshires of Western MA.