ground black pepper in a shaker

Home remedies are rarely put to the test of scientific scrutiny. That’s probably why physicians frequently pooh-pooh them. But there may come a time when a home remedy is exactly what you need. That’s especially true when you are bleeding.

What Works?

It’s hardly surprising that doctors prefer randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. This type of experiment helps rule out expectations, bias and plain old luck.

Black Pepper to Stop Bleeding:

But sometimes common sense, observation and experience can reveal something worthwhile. Take ground black pepper to stop bleeding, for example. If you pour pepper on a cut, it either stops bleeding or it doesn’t. Such an experiment hardly requires a placebo-controlled trial.

One reader reported his own experience:

“This morning I cut my bottom lip shaving, and it would not stop bleeding. I used a styptic pencil several times with no success. No way could I stop it. About half an hour later, the wife read about black pepper in the morning paper. She dampened a paper napkin, loaded it with black pepper and I put it on the cut. Five minutes later, I gently removed it. Voila, no more bleeding. I went on to eat breakfast, had my coffee and no further problem the rest of the day.”

Sugar for Wound Healing:

Some home remedies disappear without a trace because they just don’t work. Others stand the test of time. Occasionally, medicine rediscovers what the ancients knew.

Orthopedic surgeon Richard A. Knutson, MD, was struggling in the early 1970s to help patients with wounds that would not heal. An elderly nurse suggested an old-fashioned home remedy involving sugar. Dr. Knutson found that the Egyptians had used honey and animal fat for battle wounds 4,000 years ago.

He started experimenting with a mixture of sugar and the antiseptic Betadine ointment. Dr. Knutson published his results in the Southern Medical Journal (Nov., 1981). Since then, he has treated more than 7,000 people with a range of wounds, from gunshot to pressure ulcers to burns and other problems.

One reader found this remedy on our website and had occasion to try it herself:

“I have lost three fingertips, ripped off by a rope a week ago. I live in Bulgaria. Though the hospital was fantastic when I first did it, they do not have non-stick dressings. The dressing changes have been excruciating, so I’m looking for Betadine. If I can’t find it I’ll try just plain sugar.”

Two days later, she reported:

“I am amazed that just two days of iodine paste and sugar has my fingers pink with the tissue growing back. My fingers are beginning to look like fingers again. Plus I’ve had almost no pain. After a week of hell and torture at the local hospital, that would have been enough initially. I am over the moon! It looks like I might have fingers for Christmas after all.”

Her latest update included these details:

“At day 9, almost all the tissue has grown back, the edge of the torn skin has tightened and new skin is growing. Sugar prevents any kind of dressing from sticking. The odd time they have stuck it has been to the sugar and not the new tissue, so a nice soak in warm salt water (boiled and cooled) dissolves the sugar and the dressings fall away.”

We are thrilled this home remedy worked so well. Those who are intrigued by such testimonials will find many more at www.peoplespharmacy.com.

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  1. JMC
    NJ
    Reply

    manuka honey for all wounds

  2. S
    Reply

    NO deodorant worked for my BO. Tried every brand and consulted dermatologist. Read on Internet to simply use dry baking soda. Only thing in last two years that did the trick. I am on blood pressure meds (no sodium) but my doctor said baking soda would not be harmful. Try it and see. Cheap, too.

  3. slr
    Reply

    Can’t remember if I put this in or not, burned hand badly, used cold yellow mustard from fridge on it, kept putting the mustard on the burn covering it with a wet cloth. No blistering, got well more quickly that I thought was possible and very little pain.

  4. Abigail
    Seattle
    Reply

    What is the iodine paste mentioned by the reader who lost her finger tips? She used this with the sugar.

  5. Virginia
    Oregon
    Reply

    Soy sauce for burns.
    Mustard for leg cramps.

  6. Gordon
    Reply

    I would like to pass on a helpful hint. Since I married an Asian woman 23 years ago, I have not used any COMMERCIAL underarm deodorant. I learned that by using raw alum rock, you eliminate not only the body odor, but the sticky mess, and the aroma of commercial deodorants. But here’s the kicker, that stuff is so cheap, you can buy a bagful of rocks for a couple of bucks, and one rock will last about a year. Just dampen the underarms with water, and rub the area with a rock. Works like a charm.
    And when the rock finally gets worn down you can crush it into a powder and use it stop bleeding from nicks and cuts. Also works like a charm.

    • Anne
      Wisconsin
      Reply

      I’m going to try the raw alum rock. Normally I do fine using nothing, as long as I wash daily. However, there are certain times when I do perspire, and it’s annoying. Thanks!

  7. Terri W.
    Reply

    I was reading your article about home remedies in the Inland Daily Bulletin 1/1/2012 when I had to tell you about a home remedy I used when I had bronchitis 2x in 2 years. I fixed Lemon Herb tea as directed and allowed it to steep till it was a bit stronger than normal then I stirred in 1/2-1 teaspoon of honey then drank the tea slowly as to enjoy it, then after finishing the tea, I did NOT cough for about 3-1/2 hours which was a big relief because my chest hurt from the coughing. I did this about 2-3 x day and I soon began to feel a lot better. I finally started taking Vitamin 3 500mg a day and soon the bronchitis was gone and the coughing went with it.

  8. Cindy B.
    Reply

    So… would you say that the black pepper wrapped in a cloth or tissue, moistened and held against the lesion would be the best way to use? Might a straight poultice be better? And (like another commenter asked elsewhere), might cayenne be even better? I met a man once who carried a little vial of red cayenne (liquid) everywhere he went and absolutely swore by it for any malady. But I forget how he derived that liquid. Guess I’ll have to Google…

  9. smj
    Reply

    using the ivory soap in bed, to help with foot crapms. IT WORKS…THANKS

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