Accidental burns and scalds happen from time to time in daily life. Knowing how to properly treat them in an emergency can prevent infection and scars.
Wu Kuo-pin, director of Xinyi Tang Chinese Medical Clinic, said that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has its own set of special clinical methods for the treatment of burns and scalds, which are easy to learn and have amazing effects. Here he introduces six first-aid methods for burns and scalds, which anyone can administer at home.
Wu says that the modern approach for giving first aid for burns and scalds is to rinse the wound, remove the clothing, dip the wound into water, cover it with a clean towel, and send the injured to the hospital. However, in ancient China, there was a taboo in the treatment of burns and scalds: Never rinse them with water.
Wu said that Sun Si Miao, a famous doctor of the Tang Dynasty, said in “Invaluable Prescriptions for Ready Reference,” that when it comes to burns or scalds, be very careful about immersing the affected area in cold water. When the burn turns cold, the heat goes deeper into the bones, which will destroy muscles and bones, and becomes very difficult to heal.
In addition, according to the records in “The Golden Mirror Of Medicine” of the Qing Dynasty, the admonition on the first principle of treatment of burns and scalds is: “No matter in what circumstances, it is forbidden to use cold water to soak the wound, lest the pathogenic heat hiding deep inside the wound and the cold outside will be stagnant. It will cause the decay of skin and flesh, dizziness, constipation, shortness of breath, or even death.
In TCM, many diseases are believed to be caused by forces in our environment. These forces are referred to as the six external pathogenic influences, categorized as wind, cold, heat, dryness, dampness, and summer heat.
Wu says that according to TCM, what is needed for the first aid of burns and scalds is very simple: Wine, salt, vinegar, and eggs.
Method 1: Wine
Wu said that in the ancient Ming Dynasty, there was an incident. During training in a large square, gunpowder inside a building exploded, and about 300 to 400 people were killed and injured. It happened that there was some wine in the square, and a few people were soaked in the wine—miraculously these people survived.
Wu pointed out that when you are cooking in the kitchen if you are accidentally scalded by oil or hot water, you can directly soak the wound in rice wine at a concentration of about 18 percent, or continuously apply rice wine to the wound. In this way, the heat can be vented out from the wound. In the process of soaking, the pain from the wound will gradually reduce; when the pain is relieved, it means that it has healed.
In Wu clinic, a female assistant was scalded by oil. She immediately applied some rice wine over the wound, and the pain was gone immediately. The next day, she said that she did not feel or look like she had been scalded at all. This is the magic of rice wine.
Wu also recommends applying rice wine to the sunburned skin. After about 10 minutes, the pain of sunburn will disappear, and the traces of sunburn will also disappear after a day or two.
Method 2: Salt
The second method is to apply salt and wine to the wound. When one is just burned, the skin will not break at once. If you handle it properly, the burn blister will not form and will not damage the skin. Before the skin breaks, you can sprinkle it with salt. Salt can draw out the pathogenic heat. This is the first method for using salt. If the scalded area is relatively large, sprinkle salt into water, and then apply it to the wound. Saltwater can not only kill the bacteria but also take away the heat.
The medical history of salt dates back to ancient times, and its healing properties were recognized by the Egyptians and Romans. Salt has antibacterial properties and is effective in drawing water from the affected area thus reducing or stopping bacterial action. Turkish people also use various traditional practices including salt for treating burns.
Method 3: Vinegar
There is an incident recorded in ancient times wherein a woman’s hand was burned by fire, and her palm was burnt severely. At that time, she dipped her hand into vinegar. It hurt at first, and then the pain gradually subsided, and it became less painful. As recorded, the woman did not develop blisters, pus, nor a scar. In addition, salt and vinegar can be mixed together and used to coat the wound.
Method 4: Honey
The fourth method is to use honey. When going into a coma with severe burns and scalds, honey water can be poured into the patients mouth while in a state of shock, and honey can also be applied directly to the wound. According to a report in a medical journal, if a diabetic has a wound infection, they can apply honey (preferably wild) to the wound after debridement, because the sugar of honey is highly concentrated, and there will be no bacteria surviving at this concentration level. Therefore, honey can play a protective role. For diabetic patients, applying honey, wounds will heal faster, and the same is true for scalds.
Method 5: Cauterize
The fifth method is recorded by the famous doctor Sun Si Miao. If the hand is scalded, it can be cauterized and the pain will last for a while, however, the pain will then gradually ease. This method can stop bleeding and prevent infection. This is a method to use in a very urgent situation and is not described here.
Method 6: Egg Yolk Oil
The sixth method is to use egg yolk. First fry about 15 eggs, then remove the whites, fry the remaining egg yolks at high heat until they turn black, and then oil will come out—this is egg yolk oil. This oil is amazing and is great for people with heart disease, bad heart, or myocardial infarction.
A study in Japan discovered that if a person with myocardial infarction is out of breath and is very uncomfortable if there is no emergency medicine, he can use egg yolk oil to drop under his tongue, and then hold it. It will have an effect similar to cardiac emergency medicine. Egg yolk oil can also be applied to wounds to heal very quickly without leaving any scars. According to ancient books, some egg yolk powder can also be added to egg yolk oil.
These TCM clinical methods for dealing with burns and scalds are miraculously effective. The methods described above are relatively simple and easy to administer and have a significant healing effect.
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