5 Natural Ways To Heal Road Rash

Don't feel like overloading your scrapes with chemicals? Try one of these natural remedies.


Kasandra Brabaw |

Don’t feel like overloading your scrapes with chemicals? Try one of these natural remedies. – By Kasandra Brabaw

Photograph by Image Catalog/ Flickr
Photograph by Image Catalog/ Flickr

Let’s face it: No one makes it through life on a bike without at least a few cuts and scrapes. Road rash, a gouge on your shin from a missed pedal, even a cut finger from changing out a flat tyre – they’re all just the price of participating in two-wheeled motion.

But the idea of loading up those cuts and road rash with chemicals – even if they are FDA approved – can seem a little sketchy. If you want to try the all-natural route, you’ve got options – a few of which are probably already in your kitchen.

Here are five natural remedies for cuts and scrapes:

Honey

The idea to use honey as medicine isn’t exactly new – there are references to the sweet substance’s healing properties in the Bible, the Torah, and the Quran. And people have been using honey to heal cuts since at least 2000 BC, when Egyptian doctors recorded its ability to heal wounds for the first time. Scientists believe the antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals in honey make it able to kill both the bacteria and the fungi that infect wounds. Its viscous texture also allows a cut to heal in a moist environment, which leaves you with a softer-looking scar or no scar at all.

But doctors ask that you don’t just slather on a spoonful of the stuff that comes in a cute little bear at your supermarket. Honey sold for food purposes often contains pollen and bacteria that could infect your cut. Instead, grab medical-grade honey which is filtered and sterilised. Then go wild.

Tea Tree Oil

Yes, tea tree oil makes excellent shampoo, but it’s also a great way to heal a cut quickly and efficiently. Several studies have shown that tea tree oil has the antibacterial qualities needed in wound care. When researchers tested tea tree oil on patients who had infected cuts, they found the time it took the tea tree group to heal, compared with the control group treated with conventional antibiotics, was strikingly shorter. Applying tea tree oil or tea tree cream directly to your cut twice a day will cut down inflammation.

Peppermint Oil and Cinnamon

It’s like Christmas for your sores. Scientists recently found that peppermint and cinnamon make an awesome bacteria-busting team. When they packaged antimicrobial compounds from peppermint and cinnamon into tiny capsules and applied the treatment to volunteer’s cuts, the combination killed four different types of bacteria, including one antibiotic-resistant strain. It worked so well, researchers recommend it for infected cuts that still haven’t healed after a month.

But don’t run to mix up a peppermint-cinnamon paste for your first-aid kit just yet. “I wouldn’t suggest homemade pastes,” says Vince Rotello, lead author on the study. “If nothing else, the dosage required for effectiveness without our method of application would sting like crazy!” Unfortunately, the bacteria-fighting duo hasn’t yet been made into a medicine you can buy, but Rotello and his team are hoping to change that in the near future.

Lavender Oil

Not only can lavender keep infections at bay, but it also cuts down on pain. In a study of 160 women who had recently given birth, doctors tested lavender essential oil for healing wounds from childbirth – particularly the cut made between a woman’s vaginal opening and anus. About half of the women in the lavender group reported feeling no pain as the incision healed, compared with less than a third in the control group. Women in the lavender group also had significantly less redness on the incision than other women. Experts suggest diluting lavender oil in olive oil or a neutral lotion before using it to treat a cut, since lavender can sometimes irritate skin. For a mixture that’s safe for the skin, add 12 drops of lavender oil to one ounce (30 ml) of your base.

Chamomile

The little sleepytime flower has been used to treat burns, bruises, sciatica, and hemorrhoids, among other things. It’s also a viable treatment for minor cuts and mouth sores, as well as bleeding or infected wounds. Doctors in Germany tested chamomile as a treatment for recent tattoos, which often bleed. Tattoos treated with chamomile extract healed more efficiently than those treated with typical tattoo balms.

The flower’s healing properties, according to another human trial, likely come from its flavonoids and essential oils, which scientists have found can penetrate deep into skin. Doctors suggest applying chamomile made into a cream or ointment directly to your cut. You could also drop a scoop of dried flowers into your tub for a healing, relaxing bath that not only takes care of cuts and scrapes, but can also soothe insect bites, eczema, and hemorrhoids.

This article originally appeared on Prevention.com.

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