Herb Basics: Natural Burn Remedies

| November/December 2001

Serious burns should always be treated by a medical professional. Minor burns, however—such as those that come from briefly touching a hot pan while cooking—respond well to natural burn remedies. If you receive a first-degree burn or a very small second-degree burn, you should first immerse the injured area in cold water for about ten minutes, or until the pain stops. Afterward, here are some natural remedies to try.

• Aloe (Aloe vera). Aloe gel reduces inflammation, soothes burn pain, fights bacteria, and speeds healing. Cut open a leaf or apply a commercial gel product.

• Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) contains a compound that stimulates collagen synthesis to help repair skin. It helps heal wounds and reduce scarring from burns. Mix powdered gotu kola with aloe gel for extra relief.

• Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil relieves pain and enhances the healing of burns. Apply undiluted as often as needed.

• Tea (Camellia sinensis), both green and black, is rich in antioxidants and is cooling to burns. Apply a wet, cool tea bag to a burn.

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