Natural First Aid for Wounds

| Modified on Oct 13, 2021
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Cuts or lacerations to the skin are common enough, but should be treated with care. Any wound, no matter how small, can become infected and lead to more significant health problems. All wounds should be cleaned immediately (you might consider hydrogen peroxide to rid the area of infectious agents, although there is some debate about that), and a number of options are available for helping the wound to heal more quickly.

Basic First Aid for Cuts

For many of us, Aloe Vera is the number one natural treatment for cuts and wounds. For stopping profuse bleeding, a number of Earth Clinic readers also recommend using powdered cayenne to speed up the coagulation process and close the wound.

A wound that is kept moist and given the nutrients the skin needs for reconstruction is less likely to develop into a scar, but should you develop an unsightly scar, we have ideas about how to treat that as well!

Aloe Vera

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Joanne (St. Louis, MS)
5 out of 5 stars

I find fresh aloe to be an amazing cure-all for burns and cuts. I recently discovered its fast healing power for a deep scratch I had on my hands from cutting roses in the garden. After applying antiseptic, I dabbed the gel from a fresh piece of my aloe plant and wow! it healed remarkably fast. The scratch turned a deep crimson color in the process.

Replied by Kate
(Kingston, Ny)
5 out of 5 stars

Aloe is great! Topically applied, the gel from the cut stem of the plant dries to form a protective layer on the skin's surface, preventing any dirt or bacteria from entering. Aloe contains a concentrated mix of enzymes, anti-inflammatory fatty acids, and compounds that boost the immune system and speed healing. I found some good information on how to use aloe at home here:


Couldn't agree more the best way to heal a cut or abrasion is to use the Gel cut straight from the Aloe Vera leaf and placed over the wound. It will cut healing time in half and also improve the look of any scaring that may be left behind after the healing process. An Aloe Vera plant is a great thing to keep at home for such instances. Natures natural remedies are always the best.

Aloe Vera, Arnica

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Patricia (Downsville) on 11/29/2016 42 posts
5 out of 5 stars

No pain from chainsaw wound with aloe vera and arnica. This is written 14 hours later 6:52 am November 29, 2016

Yesterday at 3:45 pm I was cut by a chain saw in between my ring and second finger. The owner of the house put juice from the aloe vera plant I just happened to have because me and my cat have been taking father romano zago's formula and am on the second ten day period of the on aloe cycle. Took 3 arnica tablets. The juice oozed out freely and he put a gauze pad on top and in two hours changed the bandage. I think the gauze stuck and it started bleeding. This time put a slice of the plant on top of the wound which was rough cut and a gauze pad on top of that. The only pain I have had is when the aloe touched the wound.

Took two more arnica tablets and have had nothing since. It is 6:46am the 29th and I still have absolutely no pain. The bandage has not been changed again yet and have taken no more arnica. I later remembered reading the history of aloe vera. It was given as gifts to ancient monarchs to use for soldiers' wounds so I felt that I had indeed done the correct thing. It should have had many stitches.

I am writing this with my bandage on to record this so I don't forget, and stretching to reach the keys as little as possible to hit the keys. Still no pain.

Apple Cider Vinegar

5 User Reviews
5 star (5) 

Posted by Gem Roice Nerit (Philippines) on 04/15/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I had a bike accident and I scratch my chin I just soaked it in ACV and it heals it fast.

Replied by Zark
(Emerald City)
5 out of 5 stars

ACV works very well!

A very dear friend of mine was in the passenger seat during a car accident. Her face was quite badly cut and bruised when the airbag activated.

We recommended ACV and it worked beautifully. All the bruising and swelling cleared nicely. The first morning after the accident she woke with swelling around her mouth (the airbag hit her mouth and cut it quite badly), she applied the ACV and the swelling quickly went down. 3 weeks later and it is healing beautifully and it looks like there won't be any scars.

It stung a bit so we diluted it until tolerable, she found that it would only sting at first and then after a few minutes the sting would cease to be an issue when ACV was reapplied. ACV can dry the skin out a little (nothing major), in which case you just need some moisturiser.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by James (London, UK) on 10/13/2008
5 out of 5 stars

ACV is incredible with minor cuts/broken skin and mouth ulcers. Just soak some cotton wool or kitchen towel in it and keep it on the wound for as long as possible. It stops bleeding and starts to heal very quickly. The skin thickens slightly and turns white (almost pickled) and looks very clean, and bruising hardly even shows. Recovery time can be cut by days.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Carrie (Brooklyn, New York) on 08/04/2005
5 out of 5 stars

I fell, nearly breaking my leg one summer while cleaning the windows. My leg was so sore that I suffered for many months. I started drinking ACV years later. Not for the leg injury in particular, however I noticed my leg had stopped throbbing from that brutal fall. I began to massage my leg and lo and behold the bruised blood began to move and dissolve. The ACV moves blood that is bruised.

Another mishap on the farm caused me to step on a log nail. I hate tetanus shots, I knew they would make me take one if I went to the hospital. My mother also warned me to watch out for 'lockjaw' which is said to come as a result of stepping on rusty nails. I ran into the kitchen foot dripping with blood. I ingested the ACV along with some regular apple juice. The pain was gone by nightfall. Everyone looked and was amazed at the instant recovery. No limping or soreness as a result of ingesting the ACV. This is truly a miracle substance. I cannot overstate the benefits I have heard about from those individuals who have begun to drink ACV on a regular basis, Someone please Call the Doctors and tell them!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Verna (Bellingham, WA)
5 out of 5 stars

My husband cut his hand and it bled horribly. I poured vinegar on it and it clotted up and quit bleeding.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Copper Sulfate

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Liz (Stuttgart, Germany) on 07/06/2008
5 out of 5 stars

i mix 40 ml of cider vinegar with 20 grams of copper sulphate into a one liter spray with water and it makes the most effective wound spray i have ever used (been using on it on my horses for over 20 years) .. it works equally as well on skin conditions .. copper sulphate prevents proud flesh and kills all skin fungus.

Arnica Gel

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Amy (Reno, Nevada) on 05/11/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Five years ago, while I was in my early 20's, I went to the doctor to get a Kenalog shot hoping that it would help relieve my chronic allergy symptoms (sneezing, rashes, etc.) to animals and pet dander. While there, an assistant administered the injection to my right buttock area near the sciatic nerve. I can't remember exactly how long it took, but within a couple of days to a week the tissue around where the shot was given turned purple and seemed to cave inward in the shape of an inverted cone. The area of this purplish necrotic tissue was about 2 inches in diameter. At first I thought this was a severe bruise, so I chose to ignore it for a while, hoping it would heal on its own. I experienced local pain and also pain that shot down my leg at random times while walking, which I believe was caused by the close proximity to the sciatic nerve. After a couple months of no improvement I went back to the doctor. While there I was told that there was nothing that could be done and that I might have the wound for the rest of my life. After hearing this I stopped looking for a cure. Luckily, six months after receiving the injection, someone suggested that I try massaging arnica gel into the wound 3 times a day for 5 minutes while thinking positive thoughts until it healed. I didn't use a specific dose, just enough to cover the surface area and I remember that a little bit went a long way. At first rubbing the wound was very painful, but I persisted. Within a month the cavity filled in, my skin returned to it's normal color,the pain went away, and it was as if I had never had the wound in the first place. To this day, it has remained fully healed and I am grateful. This experience has led me to look into many more natural remedies whenever I have an issue, many of which I find right here on Thanks, EC for such a wonderful site. I hope this helps someone else who may be looking for an answer.

Replied by Amy
(Reno, Nevada)

One more thing

The arnica gel I used included some other herbs as well. It was from a brand that formulates a mixture of herbs to help heal tendons. The ingredients on the label in order: organic comfrey, arnica, organic rosemary, and aloe (as well as some natural preservatives, etc...) I ended up using almost all of the 3.5 oz that I bought during the month.

Replied by Elsaeasterly
(Elsewhere, Ca, Usa)


So glad to see your post!

Many years ago as a teen I was given Kenalog shots and was told by the nurse that they could damage the surrounding tissue. Just being a kid, though, I didn't really understand how disfiguring it would be. I have one "crater" that sounds a lot like what you describe (not discolored, just deep) and at least one smaller one that I attribute to these injections. There may have been discoloration at the time, but I just didn't look. I didn't know until years later how bad the damage was.

Just in the last year I searched the net looking for side effects of Kenalog injections and did not find tissue damage among them. In fact, I couldn't find a lot about Kenalog at all. And this is the first time I've heard anyone else describe having an experience similar to mine.

Even though it has been many years, I believe I will try the gel you had success with. I did a search and came up with TR by PM. I hope this is the same stuff you used.

Thanks again! At least I know I'm not the only one.

Replied by Dc-girl
(Detroit, Michigan)

To: Elsaeasterly from Elsewhere, Ca

How did it work for you? Did the dent fill in? I'm told that with cortisone sometimes it can naturally fill in on its own ever times; but that is usually 6 months to a year. Since you said you had it for "years" I'm very cursious so see if you had success. Please share!

Replied by Elsaeasterly
(Elsewhere, Ca)

DC-girl, When I saw your post, I could not believe that it had already been nearly 3 years since I posted my comment. Shortly after I did so, I took on a HUGE responsibility in my personal life which sidelined a lot of other activities and pursuits. That responsibility is about to come to an end, though, and hopefully I can get back to a normal routine.

I do not want to be one of those people that posts and never follows through. I am glad that you asked about it because your post renewed my interest in this product, and I ordered it online a few days ago! It will be delivered soon, and I will definitely report back my results. Remember, though, that the original poster had only had her "wound" for a few months, and I have had mine for many years, so I don't know if the outcome will be as good. But I will let you know.

Bach Flower Rescue Remedy Cream

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Ecologist Jim McMahon (USA) on 05/13/2007
5 out of 5 stars

For a cut - I recommend Bach's Rescue Remedy cream. It will hasten the healing process and I've had cuts seal up over night.

Replied by Blaseyblase
(San Francisco, California)
5 out of 5 stars

The first time I used this cream I was six years old, and had been scalded on half my body very badly. My mom immediately applied the cream and you couldn't even tell the next day. I still use it all the time, for burns and bruises. Its amazing. Do note, the older it is, the better it works.

Black Pepper

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Doris (Orange County, CA USA) on 01/06/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Black Pepper is loaded with vitamin E. It is a great healer for cuts and scars. Hiking and camping friends all take a shaker along. Once at campout, a climber cut along his finger while climbing. Looked like it could ahve taken 2 or 3 stitches. We watched him pull his salt and pepper shakers from plastic baggies in his backpack. He sprinkled just a dash of table salt in center of his palm, put canteen water in his palm and rinsed it over the cut (stung briefly he said). Then he spriinkled ground black pepper right out of the shaker right onto the cut (said it really stings, but only for a moment, then is numb). He wrapped a clean gauze 2inch square and taped it on (all we had was duct tape!). Next morning changed the bandage (no need to reapply pepper). Cut was half healed. Headed home, 3 days later his cut was gone - and no scar, no pain, full use of finger. Changed dressing daily or as needed. He didn't mess with or touch the wound, just re-dressed it and kept it clean. I wet a washcloth, sprinkled some on, and gently rub it over my old childhood leg injury scar. So far, scar looks stronger healthier, skin not so pale, frail, thin anymore.

Castor Oil

Posted by Edna (Ca) on 10/02/2013

Hi, for any cuts, its always safe to use the old Neosporin ointment right at the beginning and then daily with dressing change.

Cold expressed Castor is another natural cure from Edgar Cayce that could draw out pus. Warm castor oil - soak cotton ball, apply over the cut, cover with plastic wrap then apply heat on top for 15 min, daily. This also works for tooth abscess. Castor Oil is safe to get into the eye area.


27 User Reviews
5 star (25) 
1 star (2) 

Posted by mmsg (somewhere, europe) on 05/01/2021
5 out of 5 stars

Sprinkling regular kitchen cayenne on a cut that kept opening and bleeding, stopped the bleeding with a minimal sting. Quite amazing!

Posted by Teena (Melbourne, Australia) on 06/23/2019 236 posts
5 out of 5 stars

Cayenne powder for cut:

I received an awkward injury in the fleshy part of my palm, I decided on Cayenne powder to assist the clotting. Once bleeding had stopped I got assistance to add some castor oil, it was the closest healing one, to create a bit more of a paste.

Ultimately the paste formed with the scab, attempts to wash off after 6 hours proved this, and has healed well.

Posted by Mtbella (Columbus, Ohio ) on 09/12/2018
5 out of 5 stars

DEEP laceration healed in 7 days (with images)

So this really blew me away. I had about a half inch deep & inch long laceration on my hand. My amazing wife looked on Earth clinic and saw this crazy remedy of pouring alcohol in it (it stung pretty bad for only about four seconds) and Cayenne pepper (felt next to nothing when I poured this in the wound, which is crazy).

Since I didn't want to spend 4 hours in the hospital plus about $1500, I thought what the heck. The middle picture is minutes after the cut, the top picture is one week later, & the last picture is two weeks later (which is just a few days ago).

I changed the Band-Aid and the Cayenne pepper four times during the first seven days. And then I just left it completely open after that.

Absolutely amazing. Thanks to all of you who brought this to our attention.

Posted by Dale (Raleigh, Nc) on 11/07/2015
1 out of 5 stars

I tried cayenne on a knife cut I got on my pointer finger. The pain of the initial cut wasn't too bad, and washing it out with soap was bearable. There was no pain remaining and the bleeding had stopped a couple hours afterward when I read the post on Cayenne Pepper hoping to heal the cut faster. I sprinkled a little Cayenne in the cut, and on came the burn. It was an extreme pain, even though the cut was at the tip of my pointer finger, the pain burned through to my thumb and middle finger. I left it for about a minute thinking the "mosquito bite" type pain was under-exaggerated. It just got worse. I eventually washed it out with water, but the pain lingered. I applied neosporin, and the pain slowly went down and away in about 10 minutes. Wouldn't recommend this experience.

I tried to think of explanations because I'm the one Nay as of now. At first I thought the Cayenne I used had salt blended in. But that wasn't the case. Then I thought it was from the grains spreading the would open. That wasn't it either because with Neosporin, I can flap it all the way open without pain.

Replied by Deirdre
(Earth Clinic)

Dear Dale,

Wow, your post brings back memories! A long time ago I added a post to Earth Clinic warning about using cayenne for deep cuts. I just hunted for my post and found that I had posted it as a WARNING! back in 2009 instead of a NAY.

You are right about the extreme pain lingering from the use of cayenne. Makes me shudder to remember how painful it was for many hours after I washed the cayenne off.

I should have gone for stitches that day instead of sprinkling cayenne all over the deep cut I got from a glass bottle that had fallen out of the fridge and onto my foot. Because it didn't heal properly, anytime I touch the scar on the bottom of my foot, I still get a mild shooting pain.

Replied by KT

Hi Deirdre,

Have you tried taking vitamin E in addition to applying the contents from a capsule? I read it was beneficial to do both. Even though it's been several years maybe keeping the E on the scar under a band aid for several months (six minimum) could soften it and you'd be able to tell if it is helping. I had a horrible wide scar after having an appendectomy. I kept it bathed in vitamin E under a giant band aid for six months and the scar softened and is hardly noticeable. After a shower apply the E and band aid right away.

I think it would be worth trying.