Kitchen Hint: Best treatment for cuts and scrapes

By Catherine Haug, June 11, 2016

This kitchen hint comes from me, but I was reminded of this by Mercola’s newsletter (1).

When I was a kid in the 50s, one of the most common treatments for a child’s cuts and scrapes was mercurochrome, a tincture in a dropper bottle. It was very effective against bad microbes, but was eventually banned for over-the-counter sales because of the dangers posed by the heavy metal mercury it contained. Mercury, along with lead and cadmium are the most common toxic heavy metals known to damage the body.

After that banning, moms turned to hydrogen peroxide; it is also a very effective antimicrobial substance, but is it the best treatment for cuts and scrapes?

The main problem with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is that it cannot distinguish between good and bad bacteria, nor between your own body’s cells and invasive bacterial cells. This problem delays healing of the wound.

Today, parents often turn to antimicrobial hand washes or liquid soaps; most of these products contain triclosan which is believed to contribute to antibiotic resistance. Commercial liquid soaps are not soap at all, but rather detergents likely made from petroleum, and can be toxic to our ground water. Such ‘soaps’ have no antimicrobial ability on their own, so antibacterial chemicals such as triclosan are added.

Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) is another liquid used for treating cuts and scrapes; while it is good at helping to clean the wound, it is not a very effective antimicrobial substance.

Your best choice for cleaning and treating cuts and scrapes?

Simply put: handmade soap and water. True soaps are naturally antibacterial and do not need the addition of substances like triclosan (liquid detergent ‘soaps’ have little or no antimicrobial ability, which is why triclosan is added). Mix some real soap with a little water and let it start to bubble up, then apply to the wound and gently clean it.

It’s also best not to apply a band aid or other bandage unless the wound is bleeding heavily. Simple cuts and scraps need to bleed a little bit, exposing the wound to oxygen, as that is the immune system’s method of helping the wound to heal. After the wound has set, a bandaid can be applied to protect the wound.

After the wound is cleaned, you can rub on some raw local honey (not commercial honey) and/or virgin coconut oil, which help the healing process.

I keep a bar of handmade soap and a small bottle of coconut oil in the first-aid kit I keep in my car. These are also good to carry in your backpack when you go hiking/camping.


  1. Mercola:

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