Chinese Medicine for Sunburns, Burns, Itches, Cuts, and Injuries
Summer is in full swing at our house and we've already had to deal with mosquito bites, bruises, and some pretty scraped up knees. As my boys have gotten older (ages 9 and 11.5 at the time of this writing), they've gotten more adventurous, which inevitably leads to getting a little beat up now and then. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) we call these types of issues external diseases because the injury is caused by something outside of the body rather than from internal factors such as poor diet, lack of sleep, or inherent weaknesses. TCM is thousands of years of old and offers some practical, effective, and time-tested remedies for external diseases. So I thought I would share what I keep on hand to deal with sunburns, burns, scrapes, cuts, bruises, and injuries.
Chinese Herbal Creams for Sunburns and Burns
In TCM burns are considered to be an external disease where heat injures the body causing redness, burning pain, and in more severe cases, blisters.
Heat can deplete our yin or fluids, so staying hydrated is extremely important for treating sunburns. If available, bone broth can help replenish electrolytes and support rehydration. Click Here for our homemade bone broth recipe.
2. Apply Ching Wan Hung: Soothing Herbal Balm for Burns
Topically I like to use a remedy called Ching Wan Hung, which can be used for sunburns as well as first and second degree burns. It contains herbs that stop pain, reduce inflammation, and promote the regeneration of damaged skin. It can also be used for itchy bug bites, eczema, psoriasis, bed sores, and boils. This is a must in my first aid kit because it has so many different uses.
Natural Bug Repellant and Treatment for Bug Bites
1. Use Essential Oils for Bug Repellant
While you can easily make up your own bug repellent, such as this DIY Bug Spray recipe from Heather at Mommypotamus.com, I'm just as happy using Bugs Be Gone from Amrita Essential oils. Bugs Be Gone is safe for kids smells good, and offers great protection to ward off mosquitoes, fleas, ants, chiggers, ticks, and gnats, all without the use of DEET. It contains Eucalyptus Citriodora (Lemon Eucalyptus) which is approved by the FDA as a bug repellent. This product is good for kids ages 3 and up.
2. Ching Hung Wan or Po Som On Oil for Treating Bug Bites
No matter what we do, bugs will find a way and sometimes kids make it really easy for them. Like when my son decided to take off his shirt and run around while we were camping in mosquito country. It was a rude awakening for him the next day when he found mosquito bites all over his back and chest (one day he'll listen!). To stop the itching and reduce redness you can use Ching Wan Hung burn cream (shown above), which can be used on kids of all ages. For kids ages 5 and up you can use a lovely smelling remedy called Po Som On Oil (pictured here), which has cooling peppermint oil, daemonorops draco, cinnamon oil, and camellia oil. This is my favorite remedy for bug bites because it smells so good! Be sure to wash the area before you apply and do not apply to skin that has been scratched or broken open since it will burn. Avoid applying to face or around eyes as it will sting very badly if it gets in the eyes.
Natural Treatment for Cuts and Scrapes
The main thing to keep in mind when it comes to treating cuts and scrapes is stopping the bleeding and preventing infection.
1. Yunnan Baiyao Powder to Stop Bleeding
There are a couple of TCM remedies that do this very well. To stop bleeding you can apply powered Yunnan Baiyao, which has been used for thousands of years to stop bleeding wounds. I love these Yunnan Baiyao bandaids, which make it super easy and convenient to use this ancient remedy.
2. Honey to Prevent Infection and Promote Wound Healing
Honey has been used since ancient times as a natural antiseptic for wounds, preventing infection, and promoting healing. For cuts and scrapes, apply honey wound cream and then bandage as needed. According to WebMD.com:
"Applying honey preparations directly to wounds or using dressings containing honey seems to improve healing. Several small studies describe the use of honey or honey-soaked dressings for various types of wounds, including wounds after surgery, chronic leg ulcers, abscesses, burns, abrasions, cuts, and places where skin was taken for grafting. Honey seems to reduce odors and pus, helps clean the wound, reduce infection, reduce pain, and decrease time to healing. In some reports, wounds healed with honey after other treatments failed to work."
Chinese Medicine & Homeopathic Remedies for Bumps, Bruises and Injuries
TCM topical liniments and oils are great for reducing pain, healing bruises, and speeding up recovery.
1. Po Som On Oil
In addition to treating bug bites, Po Som On Oil is great for treating all kinds of bruises, bumps, sprains and strains. Rub directly on the affected area 2 - 3 times daily as needed. This is best for kids ages 5 and up. Avoid putting on the face.
2. Zheng Gu Shui "Mending Bone Water"
Zheng Gu Shui is the go-to remedy for all types of injuries and helps relieve acute or chronic pain due to sprains, pulled ligaments & tendons, simple fractures, and bruises. Simply wipe on the affected area two to three times daily for pain relief. It works amazingly well and helps bruises and traumas heal faster.
3. Arnica Gel and Tablets for pain and injury
Arnica is a homeopathic remedy for pain and swelling due to trauma and injury. It's great for toddlers and young children. When my son, Noah, was two years old he fell and hit his head on our hearth, which left a huge bump on the edge of his eyebrow. I applied arnica gel to his bump five times the first day and the swelling went down unbelievably fast. By the next day he only had a very small bump and hardly any bruising. After that I was truly a believer in the power of Arnica. In addition to the gel, I also gave him a few Arnica pellets three times that same day to help reduce the pain.