Monday, April 7, 2008

Herbal Parenting: When your kid bashes their knee

The dreaded announcement:

"mOm ..... Sis is hUrrrrt...... uh ...... baAad"

My girl is known to ignore anything that isn't catastrophic. I'm not sure how she got this rock-steady - but thank heavens because I would be a blubbering mess otherwise, well, like I nearly am when her younger brother gets hurt.
"OK hunny ..... come on over, let's see"
Ohhhh. hm .... breathe deep honey, it's not so bad. (ok so I can almost see the bone, but we don't say that, do we? ... silent gag...)
Her 'tough' face is looking rather pasty. But she breathes, and permits a small, adrenaline induced shutter to run through her.

I think to myself, ugh what to do. Stop infection, stop the pain. My two main goals. In fact, they should almost be the other way around when you are treating your 11 year old child - because the first thing you want to ensure is this: Don't make it hurt any worse!
My trusty spice cabinet has the first key: Cayenne powder. Did I post about this before? I used it a couple years ago for the first time, when a window slammed down on my finger. It reliably stops excess bleeding and also dulls the pain. It's not a tincture so I don't worry about it stinging extra or dripping all over the place and preventing a bandage. It also prevents bacteria from making a home in the wound.

My second remedies are Rescue Remedy. First me, then the child.
Then Meadowsweet or other strongly salicylic herb, internally to deal with the pain, and externally for both cleansing the wound if needed, and also for helping to relieve the local pain. I only put a couple drops in, as the wound had begun to coagulate, but it will work well for a wound wash if needed.
Thirdly, I wrap. I don't say band-aid here because we didn't use a band aid. They aren't very breathable, or helpful. In this case, pine pitch works wonders. It helps keep away the pain, and packs the wound with sticky healing magic. In this case, I didn't have any fresh, but I do have some that I harvested, rolled into balls and coated with rose petal powder last summer - the inside is still quite soft, making it easy to open up and use.

I did pull out my favorite books and look for some quick references about what do do. I indexed cuts, first aid, and wounds .... and frankly didn't find anything that seemed better and in some I didn't even find any quick reference, to my disappointment. What kid wants alcohol or peroxide poured on their fresh wound? I'm very thankful that I had a few things stored in my memory for emergency use. It's no good to have a wounded child and nothing in mind for it... Can you imagine? "sit here honey, while I go read some books. I'll get back to you on that smashed up leg of yours."
The last remedy to mention here, that I didn't use but have in the past, are essential oils. Lavender, Tea Tree, and Blue Chamomile are all widely used for an array of first aid needs including open wounds and burns. The latter I have used with the greatest most reliable results. Lavender and Tea tree seem to have variable results - from sighs of relief to curdling screams of burning stinging pain. Unless the would MUST be cleaned out with something liquid, my first choice is an antibiotic-styptic powder.

Well, she's a good sport - but there'll be no soccer this week. Oh, and no more 'balancing' on the guard rails, either.


Ananda said...

..from Amber Magnolia, sent to me through

"I loved your blog about your daughter's wound. I have a 20-month-old and am definitely starting to think about the warm outside seasons ahead.
The pine pitch with rose powder is genius."
.....Thanks Amber! Green Blessings

Maria said...

What a great Momma! It's so hard to keep your head and remain calm when you see your little ones hurt. How did she take the Cayenne. I've known it to be a great styptic, but never used it as such, 'cause I was afraid it would burn/sting. Cinnamon is my kitchen herb of choice for bleeding... works great, too!
Nice to meet you Amber!

Ananda said...

hello Maria
I've heard that about Cinnamon but never tried it - nice to hear first hand that it works! They cayenne works extremely well, and in my experience actually dulls the pain. Some say it stings or burns but I have found the opposite to be true. I wonder why - if it has anything to do with what or where the cut is.
Thanks for reading, Maria!

Yarrow said...

What wonderful tips. Thank you so much, I have two boys ages 13 & 11 and a three year old daughter who is a complete nature child. I know these ideas will come in handy. I hope your young one is feeling much better now. Thanks.

Ananda said...

great! glad they will come in handy for you.My girl healed fast, only bandanged for one day, thanks!
Green Blessings

juliaNY07 said...

Ouch! You are quite amazing, I think. I would never have thought of any of this, so I'l try cayene if ever this happens to us. Jxx

Ananda said...

Hi Julia! Hopefully you'll never need it :)

Alchemille said...

I wish I could have thought about cinnamon or cayenne last weekend when my husband cut his finger with a mandoline.
I was panicking and couldn't think clearly...We spent saturday evening at the hospital where the put some kind of super glue on his finger instead of stitches.
I'm waiting for that glue to thin out before applying some comfrey and calendula salves.
At least I managed to stop the bleeding with a tight bandage...

Ananda said...

Oouch!!!! Oh dear. I hope he gets better soon!
Green Blessings

Anonymous said...

Ananda - I have always used Turmeric Powder for cuts and bruises. It closes up open cuts very quickly.

Ananda said...

Hi Nature and me,
yes, Turmeric is a great herb, I keep it on hand for many things like coughs, digestion, arthritis, wounds, and sprains, but my blog here focuses mostly on indigenous (to me anyway) plants that I can harvest wild or grow easily. Thanks for adding!