Tis the Season for… Burns?!
Yes. You catch that holiday spirit and suddenly you’re a baking fool and… that’s the way that went.
Are you frantically baking these days? I’m not. I want to be, but traveling was on the front burner this week. (Sorry, couldn’t resist the bad joke.) And, since we have no big at-home festivities planned, I decided to be honest with myself and acknowledge that if I were to start baking now, I would only just eat them all myself. Alas. All my cookie recipes will have to wait til next year. OK, maybe I’ll have to make just one*.
Baking. Cooking. Roasting. Heck, even a quick little zap from some old Christmas lights or stomping on an ember that shot out of the fireplace. Hazards of the festive season, I guess. If you are interested in a good fire glove, these have been a really impressive addition to our fireplace.**
Juggling all the pots on the stove while fishing the baked goods out of the oven and, boom, there it is… A nasty burn, generally on the hands or wrists in my experience.
I’m talking about little burns today. If you get a big, deep burn, be sure to pay a visit to your nearest emergency room. For previous blogs on burns, see: Kitchen Quickie: Burns and Summer Fun 1.
According to The Survival Medicine Handbook (Alton and Alton 2016), first degree burns will appear red, warm and dry and be painful to the touch. The conventional treatment is to simply relieve the discomfort. (Second degree burns are moist with blisters and will cause swelling.) So, in addition to the conventional application of a cool cloth, here are a few homeopathic remedies which may help, especially if the remedy is incorporated into the cool cloth.
Homeopathic remedies that come to mind for 1st degree burns… For all of these suggestions, repeat the remedy whenever the pain returns.
Urtica urens for stinging, burning pains. Burns with itching.
Calendula for burns that hurt more than they "should." Richard Hughes, a homeopath from the late 1800s, refers to Calendula as a remedy for "breaches of surface" -- an apt description for a superficial burn. Calendula cream can be applied directly on the minor burn, or, around the edges of the burn if it's too tender. For an interesting study on Calendula and burns, click here.
Causticum for burns with a sensation of rawness. Causticum is a good one to turn to if the other well chosen remedies aren’t quite doing the job, or, the burn is slow to heal. It is also useful to help heal up old burn wounds and scars.
Hypericum would be especially useful in cases of burns to nerve rich areas like the fingertips. May have a tingling or numb feeling.
Cantharis is an excellent choice for really painful burns -- a cutting, smarting pain. Cantharis is said to help prevent blistering from burns.
All of these remedies can also be applied topically, as well as taken internally. First Aid with Homeopathy (Ratera 2016) says to dissolve a couple pellets (whatever your tube recommends as a dose) in some saline (e.g. 2 pellets in 200 ml of saline) and to always keep the dressing moist.
Another option is to put a few pellets of your chosen remedy into a fresh bottle of clean water. As the pain returns, take a spoonful of the water in your mouth as well as applying some gauze soaked in that remedy water directly to the affected area.
How about when you just can’t wait another moment for one of those cookies and you pop it into your mouth before it’s cooled?
A dose of Cantharis, Calendula or Causticum would be where I would start.
If you decide to try your hand at a figgy pudding and suffer a burn from hot steam, in addition to the remedies listed above, Apis or Kali bich might be useful.
If the hot toddy spills on you (or, more likely, the boiling water for the potatoes spills on you) resulting in a superficial burn, Dr. Ratera recommends Causticum.
Wishing you and yours a very Merry (and burn free!) Christmas!
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
* The cookies I have just now decided to make this year are Brown Sugar and Nutmeg Snaps, a recipe I found in Bon Appetit way back in 1994. (Note: the dough needs to chill for 1 hour.)
1-1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 large egg
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour (Jules gluten free flour** is a terrific substitute)
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Using an electric mixer, beat brown sugar and butter in bowl until fluffy.
Mix in egg.
Add flour, nutmeg, baking soda and salt; beat until well blended.
Chill for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350.
Butter 3 heavy large baking sheets.
Roll dough into 1” balls.
Roll ball in sugar, coating completely.
Arrange on prepared baking sheets, spacing balls 2” apart.
Using the bottom of a glass, flatten the cookies to 1-3/4” rounds.
Bake until cookies are golden, about 13 minutes. Be careful getting them out of the oven!
Cool on baking sheets.
(Can be made 1 week ahead. Store in airtight containers.)
** I have no affiliation with this company, I just like their products.
Alton, J. and Alton, A., 2016. The survival medicine handbook : the essential guide for when help is not on the way. United States: Doom And Bloom.
K. Chandran, P. and Kuttan, R., 2008. Effect of Calendula officinalis Flower Extract on Acute Phase Proteins, Antioxidant Defense Mechanism and Granuloma Formation During Thermal Burns. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition [online], 43 (2), 58–64.
Ratera, Dr. M. M., 2016. First Aid with Homeopathy. Germany: Narayana Verlag.
Julia Coyte, CHom
I am passionate about homeopathy and I love sharing this passion. Having a working knowledge of homeopathy shouldn't be kept a secret. If people have the ability to help themselves, their children and their friends when they have minor ailments, life just gets better for everyone. That is the purpose behind Ruminating on Remedies.