Herbs for Wounds

Wound care

Make sure the wound is clean and dry. This will help to 0revent infection.

Once you’ve cleaned the area, you can work with herbs in the form of salves, oils, poultices, washes, soaks, fomentations, and gels to offer relief and healing. (Herbs are not to be used to replace veterinary advice)

When using herbs for wound care, the main herbal categories to include vulnerary, styptic, antiseptic, astringent, and demulcent herbs and any herb that encourages a healthy proliferation of cells for healing of tissue and scar prevention.

Vulnerary and AntisepticVulneraries are topical healing plants. They often contain tannins, which are water-soluble constituents that weave and stitch together tissue proteins, thereby closing a wound through its tightening and contracting qualities. These herbs also assist to slow bleeding and often have an inflammatory-modulating effect that encourages a healthy healing response from the body in the reparation process.

Whether you’re working with an open or closed wound, vulnerary herbs are always useful as their medicinal constituents enhance the natural healing process.

Antiseptic herbs assist in preventing and treating the infection that’s present. Fortunately, many vulnerary herbs possess antiseptic properties as well.

Some of the most popular vulneraries in Western herbalism include Calendula (Calendula officinalis), Plantain (Plantago major), and Comfrey (Symphytum officinale).

Styptic herbs are indicated for open, bleeding wounds, as their main job is to stop excessive bleeding. This is usually done via tannins, though the styptics are usually really strong in their tannin content as well.

Although these herbs can be used in minor wounds, some plants, such as Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), can be used in acute scenarios where profuse bleeding occurs.

Shephard’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) is a popular styptic which is used both topically as well as internally. This plant has classically been used to stop hemorrhage post childbirth.

If the wound requires a trip to the vet, you can use styptic herbs to slow the flow blood flow until you receive medical care. These plants can often be used on their own to provide fast-acting results.

You can use stypics as a poultice applied directly to the wound and feed them as well if needed.

In the case of weeping and swollen wounds where puss and infection are present, drying herbs with lymphatic and astringent actions, such as Calendula (Calendula officinalis), are used to get rid of excess dampness. Where there is painful dryness and splitting or cracking of the skin, demulcent and emollient herbs are indicated, such as Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) or Plantain (Plantago lanceolata, or P. major). These herbs contain mucilage, which means they assist in coating, soothing, and reducing inflammation while hydrating multiple layers of the dermis. These work well as fomentations (poultice) which essentially a cloth soaked in an infusion of the herb and wrapped around the afflicted area.

Bandaging a wound after applying an herbal styptic

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