Use Aloe as a Natural Burn Treatment

| 7/19/2007 12:00:00 AM

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We mentioned aloe vera as a great sunburn remedy awhile back. It also makes a wonderful treatment for other low level burns, as I've recently discovered.

In pulling a baking dish out of the oven last weekend, my finger brushed against a heating coil — ouch! I ran it under cold water and applied some Boiron Calendula cream, which stopped the burning overnight.

The next day at work, Heidi Hunt reminded me that we've got an aloe vera plant here in the office. We cut off about a 1 to 2 inch section of an aloe leaf, sliced it in half vertically, and squeezed some aloe juice onto the burn. Then I wrapped some gauze around it loosely to allow the burn to breathe, and secured it with a little piece of medical tape.

A day later, the burn was noticeably better. I've been reapplying the aloe vera a couple of times a day, changing the gauze each time, then leaving it uncovered at night. 

In his book, The Green Pharmacy, James Duke recommends aloe for burns, citing a study in which it increased the blood flow to burned tissue. He also says aloe contains beneficial enzymes that relieve pain and reduce inflammation and swelling, plus it has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that can prevent infection.

Needless to say, I plan to keep an aloe plant at home now for quick emergency fixes, and probably will buy an oven mitt.

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