A Guide to Natural Remedies for Burns
Aside from the usual first aid measures one may take when tending to a burn, you may be in search of natural remedies for burns you can use to aid healing. I was - so let’s go into them!
How do you treat burns naturally?
Short answer: there are many natural remedies that can be used to assist with speeding burn healing and symptom relief.
- Some common choices include aloe vera, honey, calendula, silver, baking soda and certain essential oils amongst others.
- Natural remedies may have less side effects than some traditional treatments, are effective and are accessible.
Do Natural Remedies Help to Heal Burns Fast?
Yes, they can - depending on the treatments used and the burn degree.
Natural remedies can assist in significantly speeding up reduction of inflammation and pain too.
These are important factors when helping burns heal, and keeping you in the least discomfort as possible.
The healing frequency will depend on a number of factors:
- Severity of the burn: first, second or third degree.
- You should never treat a third degree burn by yourself: in this situation, medical treatment should be sought.
- You may be able to tend to a first or second degree burn using certain treatments, but generally the safest option is to use them for mild burns.
- For second degree burns, you can use natural remedies alongside other treatments to support healing.
It is important to ensure infection prevention when treating a second degree burn.
You should check with a doctor if your burn is okay to place anything on to if it is a severer one.
Second degree burns should be treated carefully.
- Frequency of treatment application
- Type of remedy used (you may be able to use multiple).
However: generally, they can speed the healing process.
Quite a few are also research backed - take medicinal honey for instance!
Natural burn remedies include:
- Dry bacteria out (due to the sugar)
- Slow bacterial growth (due to the acidic nature)
- Honey also possesses antibacterial and antimicrobial abilities that reduce inflammation and pain.
- Aloe Vera
- Consider opting for a silver burn gel (these can be purchased in chemists) with natural ingredients.
- You could also use colloidal silver topically, applying it to the wound. This typically comes in a liquid.
- One other option is a silver wound covering: but ensure it is non-stick/big enough to cover the burn, without irritating it with direct tape.
- Lavender, tea tree or peppermint oil (with care)
- Choose a high quality, pure essential oil. No extracts.
- Dilute the essential oil, and apply a few drops.
- For best results repeat this twice daily.
- Baking soda!
Honey has numerous research backed medicinal uses.
Studies have discovered that it may aid with inflammation reduction, and stimulate healing of various wounds (including burns).
If you wish to use honey to treat a burn, you should ideally do so with sterile gauze.
How to use:
Apply the honey to the area (ensuring it is 100% raw and unprocessed - processed honey will NOT suit for this purpose) and cover it with sterile gauze.
Honey has been used for both first and second degree burns in studies.
For an even better option, use Manuka honey.
Honey can also help to:
Aloe Vera is a common and garden accessible option that is notorious for the cooling and gelling effects it has on sunburns/burns.
Apply aloe vera (fresh if possible - but a pure aloe vera gel can be used too) to the area.
Cut the plant, and squeeze the gel out.
Cover with gauze or another sterile wound cover.
Try to ensure the product is 100% aloe vera without any additives that may irritate the wound.
Silver has been used for generations, and is an incredibly multi-level healing product.
Possessing antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties all in one; it is a great option to help prevent bacteria flourishing in your burn.
Silver is used in hospital and clinical settings for wound coverage, and is even safe for many open wounds.
It is a sterile item that can significantly increase the healing of your burn when used correctly.
How to use:
Calendula is a flower that also offers a potentially garden accessible option.
It can come in many forms - gels, ointments or creams. There are also tinctures.
Applying some calendula gently can be beneficial for inflammation reduction due to its properties, but try to avoid any heavy cream based products; as they may irritate the burn.
An ointment or extract may be a good option.
Peppermint oil is especially cooling, and an excellent burn treatment option to provide relief and reduce inflammation.
It is analgesic.
People have also reported success with lavender oil, but it is very important to dilute essential oils before use.
Use them with care.
Tea tree oil is a notorious antiseptic.
How to use:
If you don’t wish to dilute, you can put a few undiluted drops onto a cotton pad and gently dab the wound.
Another kitchen idea, you can also try making a baking soda paste.
The PH and antiseptic properties help to neutralise and prevent
How to use:
- Mix 1 tsp baking soda into a paste with ½-1 tsp of water.
- Apply to the wound, leaving for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off.
Do Natural Remedies For Burns Have Side Effects?
Probably one of the biggest benefits of natural remedies (as opposed to other treatments) is the low likelihood of side effects/adverse reactions.
Occasionally, they can occur - but in general, natural remedies will have very few side effects (or minor irritation if ever).
If a treatment does not agree with you, another one may simply be tried.
- The only instance in which a severe reaction is likely to occur is in case of an allergic reaction (or anaphylaxis).
It is very important that you ensure you aren’t allergic to any natural remedies you attempt.
You can also check with your doctor before using anything.
While some treatments may offer undesirable effects or skin irritation, natural remedies have comparably lower instances of this.
What are the Advantages of Using Natural Remedies for Burns?
There are numerous advantages to choosing natural remedies for burns - provided it’s not a very serious burn.
If so, there may be other measures required - even if natural remedies are used too.
Below are some advantages of using natural remedies for burns:
- As mentioned above, less risk of side effects or negative reactions to the treatments.
- Gentle, effective and safe for your skin (also good for those who experience irritation or sensitivity to other treatments)
- Can usually be sourced organically or naturally, and may be easy to access.
If they can be grown or found in a garden/ kitchen, they may also be considered low cost too.
Aloe vera, calendula and honey are all easy to source treatments that originate from nature and have many medicinal properties.
How do Natural Remedies for Burns Differ From Other Remedies?
Natural remedies for burns differ in that they:
- Have low side effect rates (can offer alternatives to certain medications)
- Can be sourced with ease as opposed to other treatments (or even homegrown!)
- Promote healing success, yet are gentle and non irritating
- May help prevent medication effects (such as antibiotic resistance)
Painkillers and other treatments/management strategies that are used for burns may pose some side effects.
Natural remedies generally minimise the occurrence of this.
Since some of the ingredients can come directly from the source, natural remedies can be more accessible and feasible than other options!
Individuals who struggle with certain creams, drugs or have allergic reactions/skin sensitivity can greatly benefit from using non triggering natural remedies.
Soothing pain naturally and helping to kill bacteria can help to avoid the need for antibiotics or other interventions.
As is medically recognised, antibiotic resistance is a growing issue that warrants use of these medications only in necessary times.
Utilising these remedies may reduce the need for painkillers and other drug based options (even if used when necessary).
What should I do if my burn is third degree?
Always seek medical attention for a third degree burn and check with your doctor before using any natural remedies on it.
Third degree burns can be quite serious, and require treatment from a doctor (even if natural remedies come in use too).
How can I source the best natural remedies?
When using natural remedies for burns, you should aim to find the purest sources possible.
Example: take honey/aloe vera for instance, which are both best raw and fresh. Honey must be pure and unadulterated to work.
Go for local or organic where possible!
Natural remedies for burns can be very helpful to facilitate and speed healing.
Many of these remedies have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
They present a gentle and accessible alternative or support to other remedies, and are backed with both anecdotal and scientific research (for many) too!
Consider harnessing the power of these remedies either standalone or alongside other interventions.