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On the Business of Deep Cuts

The voice in your head can be helpful.  Of course, one must listen to that voice for the helpful part to be effective.  Not listening has it’s lessons, too.  For instance, we get to practice how to deal with emergency situations which also give us an awesome chance to see the power of plant medicines and how effective they can be.

Yesterday, I came upon a broken jar in the freezer and I didn’t listen to the voice in my head.  Instead, I attempted to remove the lid from the jar. That didn’t go so well, and resulted in an extremely deep cut on my thumb pad. Perhaps anyone else would go for stitches.  But if you’ve had stitches, you know they can be traumatic to tissue as well.  So what can one do with deep cuts at home?

Here is a step by step of what I did in this instance.

The Cut Happens

My hand is in the recycling bin bleeding.  The gash to my thumb is obviously deep, but there isn’t time for close inspection.  I don’t hesitate in using the fingers of both hands to hold the thumb wound together and move quickly to the sink for running cold water.  My hand sits under the cold water for a full minuet while I compose myself and check out the damage.  I learn quickly that releasing the pressure is unwise, and so I call outside to my husband for help.

The Pain

The pressure and cold water has worked to stop the bleeding for now.  I sit down and tell him where the yarrow is.   He puts 3 tablespoons in 4 oz. of hot water to steep.  The pain is searing.  While it steeps I have him put 35 drops each of St. John’s wort tincture and calendula tincture in 2 tablespoons of cold water.  He washes the cut with the solution using a syringe, dousing the herbs over the wound repeatedly for about a minute.  The pain begins to dissipate.

St. John’s wort and calendula anesthetize nerve pain quickly.  I have used them on deep puncture wounds for the same reason.  Calendula tincture is also anti-bacterial, demulcent, and a lymphatic stimulant.  In short, an excellent tool in a situation like this.

While the pain is greatly lessened, the full effects of pain reduction occur in about 30 min.  By that time, in this instance, I feel absolutely no pain.

The Bleeding

Icing the strained yarrow solution, my husband bastes the wound.  At this point the bleeding has begun again.  The blood is quickly pouring out.  Yarrow stops it after about 20 sec.  Swelling is bad, so we add a couple drops of arnica tincture to the solution.

If anyone remembers a post I wrote about my daughter puncturing the back of her throat with a chop stick, you remember yarrow.  It’s anti-inflammatory, hemostatic (stops bleeding) and helps with pain in tissue.  It is one that warriors carried in battle for bleeding, and is a hero in the kitchen/household as well.

This wound happened on Sun afternoon.  It looks great today, which is 3 days later.  It has only been treated one other time with herbs, and in that instance I added lavender essential oil to calendula tincture, and 2 drops of arnica tincture.  Cell regeneration is happening quickly.  The wound is nice and clean, swelling minimal, very little bleeding, and it’s staying closed with the help of butterfly band aids.  We tried new skin, but the wound was too deep for it to work well enough.

Now that the little experiment is over, I will listen to that voice in my head next time.

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