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Deep Cuts and Wounds: Herbal First Aid

Deep Cuts And Wounds: Herbal First Aid

Deep cuts and wounds are dangerous and frightening. The first order of business is always to staunch the bleeding and prevent shock. The first hour after the injury occurred is the most critical period in which to activate the body’s natural healing energies. Until you can get to the emergency room, herbs offer essential first aid support to your healing process until you can get professional medical help.

For more first aid advice on deep wounds, especially for arterial wounds, take a look at the Merck web page for Deep Wounds.

Herbal Allies for Treatment of Deep Cuts and Wounds

To prevent and mitigate shock, use five-flower remedy. Bach’s Rescue Remedy or any of the other five flower remedies containing impatiens, Stars of Bethlehem, cherry plum, rock rose and clematis flower essences will help to sooth and stabilize the cut victim. I’ve found five flower remedy to be particularly helpful when dealing with wounded children and animals. Add four drops of five flower remedy to a cup of cool water and have the wounded individual sip it during the first hour of healing. If sipping a cup of water is unreasonable, you can apply several drops of five flower remedy directly to the skin. The areas around the ears and near the heart work well for humans and either on the inside of the ear flaps or between the toes for animals.

Yarrow staunches bleeding with surprising speed. Dried yarrow infused in hot water and applied as a poultice (just gently pack the herb right into the wound) works well. Dried yarrow or chopped fresh yarrow can also be applied directly to the wound poultice-style.

Plantain all on its own can help the flesh to pull together and begin to heal quite rapidly. Apply dried or fresh plantain as you would yarrow, or in conjunction with yarrow if both are available. I recommend using either lavender or tea tree essential oil on the wound in a disinfectant spray before applying plantain, especially if it’s a rather large or deep wound, to ensure that no bacteria is trapped inside while plantain is knitting the skin back together. Plantain has a reputation for healing the skin more rapidly than muscle and fatty tissues, but remember that you are simply using plantain as a first aid astringent until you can get to medical help.

Chili pepper (cayenne) powder is an herb that people normally do not think of as a first aid herb but for deep wounds that are not near delicate tissue like the face or genitals, cayenne is great for stopping bleeding. Just a little cayenne powder in a wound combined with pressure and elevation will buy the patient enough time to get safely to a hospital for further treatment.

List of Herbal Allies for Treatment of Deep Cuts and Wounds

Nutrition for Treatment of Deep Cuts and Wounds

After the initial shock has worn off and the healing process is underway, myrrh essential oil makes a good wound-sealer. Put essential oil near but not ON the wound. Be sure to cover the area with a bandage.

Eat a balanced diet. After any trauma, the body needs to replenish its store of antioxidants and protein. Remember that proteins are the building blocks for wound healing. It is very important to eat vegetables and fruits rich in antioxidants to aid in wound healing.


Sue & Candace

Sue Sierralupé
Sue Sierralupé is a Certified Master Herbalist, Master Gardener and Sustainable Landscape Specialist. She is the clinic manager and lead herbalist at Occupy Medical clinic. Sue is author of The Pocket Herbal: Medicinal Plants that Changed the World and co-author of The Practical Herbalist Herbal Folios series. Follow her blog at Herbalism Manifesto for commentary on herbs, parenting, nutrition and a whole lot more.
Candace Hunter
Candace Hunter is a self-taught herbalist who never, ever practices on guinea pigs in part because her family and friends are generally up to the job. She is co-author of The Practical Herbalist's Herbal Folio series and author of Herbalism for the Zombie Apocalypse. She edits The Practical Herbalist website and Practical Herbalist Press publications. She has also recently entered into the field of podcasting with reckless abandon. Listen to her on Real Herbalism Radio today, or see her work at The Practical Herbalist,, and

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