27 January 2011

Herbal Mommy – Cuts and scrapes

I’ve noticed there isn’t a whole lot of talk about home remedies for children/adults as far as paleo/primal goes. I’m not exactly sure why. It seems to me that herbal remedies would be appropriate to talk about for primal/paleo living.  Maybe I just haven’t searched hard enough for them…? I know a lot of people in the LC community like natural health. I’m someone who doesn’t even like taking aspirin unless I must. I’m hoping these posts can fill the void that I’ve noticed.

(Warning: I am not a doctor; I don’t play one on TV or the internet. I’m just a mom who blogs. Any of my suggested remedies you do at your own risk and you take full responsibility for your health and healing and those you treat. Please be smart about this stuff. If you have a negative reaction, go to your doctor or your local ER.)

Cuts and scrapes

Funny thing about having autoimmune problems… You always end up allergic to the weirdest things if you don’t take care of yourself. I have an interesting list. One of the items I’m allergic to? Neosporin. Yep. Actually the problem is more the active ingredient bacitracin. When I was a baby it produced a severe reaction in me and I ended up in the hospital. Because of this I refuse to touch the stuff, still. I’ve probably outgrown the allergy, but why chance it?

What do I do with cuts, nicks, scrapes and other skin issues? Well, a combination of things. I’m going to go over two of them. You should be able to get these things with relative ease either through your local natural foods store or online. I’m going to talk about one item you can use in cooking and for health, and the second item I’m going to explain how to make.

Your largest organ is your skin. Anything you put on your skin is going to be absorbed and brought into your body. It seems smart to me to use natural healing.

Coconut oil – I’ve used extra virgin coconut oil on our skin and in cooking. My dad says my love for coconut oil is like the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and his love of Windex.

Extra virgin coconut oil has a high saturated fat content. It’s a solid if it’s colder than 70 degrees and then once you put it on your skin (because you’re warmer than 70 degrees unless you’re a zombie) it will melt. Coconut oil has vitamin E (important for skin health – and other body parts too) and antimicrobial lipids as well as antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.

As a side note, saturated fats and cholesterol are important for all of your body. They help make the cells in our body firm. If you have a cut or a scrape your body is going to need a little bit of a boost to help rebuild/repair your skin. If you supply your body with extra cholesterol through food or say, bodily application (of coconut oil) then it won’t have to work so hard to make its own. Your body will use cholesterol to fight off infections that can be introduced through an open wound. Scar tissue (if the wound is bad enough) contains a lot of cholesterol. 

All of this means that in my observation that coconut oil works faster at healing cuts than Neosporin. I even have photographed evidence (seen below) since Derek fell off his bike while training for a triathlon and was badly injured. This is just one picture of one of his injuries.

This is 3 days. The scrapes were gone.

Bottom line: It works.

Calendula oil – Calendula is actually pot marigold. I purchase organic dried marigold leaves (no pesticides). You can find this online, but I purchase it in person at a store I trust. I know there are some stores that sell herbal items too that sell Calendula oil in case you don’t want to take the time to make this. However, I feel that if you’re going to use something, you should know what goes into making it. (Same with owning a car and knowing how to change your own oil/headlights/etc.)

You’ll need:
a mason jar (probably a smaller one)
olive oil
a bag of marigold leaves, dried
6 weeks
1 amber glass bottle with a top

In a sterilized mason jar, fill it half way with marigolds leaves. Pour olive oil over the leaves until they are covered. The amount of leaves you use in proportion to your olive oil will make it either very strong or very weak. It seems to me that you should use a 1:3 ratio (marigold, oil respectively). Anyway, leave the oil in a warm spot where you will see it every day. You’ll want to shake the bottle at least 1 time a day for 6 weeks.

At the end of six weeks you can heat the oil and then strain it. It can be heated through boiling water on the stove and placing a heat-safe bowl over the pot. You don’t really want to boil your herbal remedy and I’m not quite sure how it reacts with metal.

Placed the strained liquid in an amber bottle. It’s good for about 3 – 6 months… which is why it’s nice to share with others around you. That way your work doesn’t go to waste.

Calendula oil can be used on cuts, scrapes, burns, dry skin, irritated or inflamed skin, diaper rash, and is also good for acne. Calendula reduces inflammation and soothes irritated tissue.


I’ve taken classes in person with someone who is a certified herbalist. I am not. I would like to be eventually. That’s just not in the cards right now. My schedule doesn’t permit a lot of anything extra.

Poultices, salves, and other homemade remedies- I’d like to write more about these in later posts. I know there are books out there that can help you if you’re really interested in this stuff. Also, there are classes you can take. I’m only going to write about herbs that I’ve personally used and the remedies I’ve used as well.

On the 2nd I’ll be posting schedules for me – exercise, food related, and lowcarbshrink schedules… I’m open to suggestions about what everyone likes to read and what people are interested in me focusing more on.

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