The People's Perspective on Medicine

Can You Stop Bleeding with Black Pepper?

Have you tried to stop bleeding with black pepper? Many readers have found it works surprisingly well.

We have been collecting home remedies for more than 40 years. One of the most unusual came to us from Nell Heard, who told us about a camping trip to Yellowstone National Park. She went with her sister and brother-in-law Wendell, all in a camping trailer. The day they saw the geyser Old Faithful, they had lunch at the nearby cafeteria. Wendell picked up several extra single-serving packs of black pepper, telling her that you can stop bleeding with black pepper. All his woodcarving buddies carry it with their tools.

That night, after they pulled into their camping spot, Wendell stretched out to relax while Nell and her sister started making supper. A mug fell out of an overhead cupboard and struck him on the forehead, causing a gash. It was bleeding freely, but it wasn’t a deep cut. After they sponged it off, Wendell handed Nell the black pepper from earlier in the day and she poured it on the cut. Very quickly it stopped bleeding. He left it in place for several days and the cut healed without a scar. Have you ever tried to stop bleeding with black pepper?

Finding How to Stop Bleeding with Black Pepper:

Q. I had a deep cut on my finger and the blood was pulsing out. I grabbed the black pepper, poured it on the cut and the bleeding stopped immediately. I left the cluster of black pepper on the cut. The cut sealed shut and was healed in two days. Thanks for writing about this remedy.

A. We always encourage anyone with a serious cut to apply pressure and seek immediate medical attention. That said, you are not the first person to report that you were able to stop bleeding with black pepper. Ground black pepper is frequently readily available and not expensive.

Learn More:

If you would like to read about other simple approaches for common ailments including cuts and bruises you may find our book, Quick & Handy Home Remedies, of interest. It is available at or your local library.

If you have tried this or a similar remedy, share your results. Others will be interested.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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This is an old Chinsese remedy for cuts and lacerations that are not too deep. Very serious, deep cuts and large wounds require medical attention. But, in my experience,for small cuts and lacerations black pepper grounds kill the infection and stop the bleeding, quickly.

One time I was bathing my 4 year old daughter at night, and she slipped and fell and got a 1/2inch gash on her chin that started bleeding. First I thought to take her to emergency then I decided to try holding it together and put a lump of sugar on the gash, and sure enough the bleeding stopped very soon. I was so relieved. Would definitely use this remedy again.

Have been using for yrs. I take a bunch of blood thinning herbs due to a vascular disease, so cuts bleed freely. If compression doesn’t work (recently for 20 min), i get out the pepper; never fails. Also worked on a contractor who couldn’t stop bleeding.
A small bottle of common pepper and band aids constitute my car first aid box.

Because I’m on Clopidogrel Bisulfate 75 mg (Plavix) I tend to bleed quite easily. Sometime ago I cut my finger with a large knife and it would not clot. I remembered reading in your column about the black pepper and searched the house for some but because my wife is allergic to pepper, there was non to be found so I toughed it out with compression. Again, another bad cut but this time I had pepper. The bleeding stopped almost immediately and leaving the poultice on for about ten minutes and then slowly soaking it off, no more bleeding.
I am a avid reader of your column in the Seattle Times as well as your daily online newsletter.
Thank you.

Glenn, Bellevue, Washington

Works for me. Most of our cooking is done grinding whole peppercorns, but I always have a container of ground pepper on hand for any cuts that may occur.

I never had luck with using black pepper on cuts. After a cut with a kitchen knife I tried for a half an hour to stop the bleeding with black pepper but it didn’t do anything. Ended up having to go to the ER where they put this new glue made for cuts on my finger. This stopped the bleeding instantly. I didn’t ask but I wonder if this glue is available OTC?

I am a firm believer in black pepper for cuts. Not too long after I first read about black pepper for cuts on your site, I was chopping vegetables and cut the tip of one finger off. I was just about ready to go to the local ER (knowing they would charge at least $1,500 to $2,000. I grabbed the black pepper, ran to the bathroom, poured the pepper on my finger and bandaged it up. The next morning there was still a little bleeding but not much. I repeated the above, and by the next day there was no bleeding. My fingertip grew back with no scar. I now keep some black pepper in my bathroom.

I am shocked and amazed that this is so effective. I would have worried about causing an infection with this procedure.

Works instantly. Have used it several times.

I have stopped kids’ bleeding in the mouth/on the lips with sugar. Not only were they shocked to see their mom pushing sugar, and they enjoyed the taste of course, but also were relieved to have someone actively do something to turn the situation around. ALso easily available and fast acting.

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