The People's Perspective on Medicine

Is Black Pepper Better Than Styptic Pencil for Cut?

Many people find ground black pepper better than the alternatives for stopping the bleeding from a cut or scratch. Surprisingly, it does not hurt.

Do you have a favorite home remedy to stop bleeding? Many people insist that pouring ground black pepper on a cut stops the bleeding more quickly. Is black pepper better than other approaches to stopping bleeding?

Black Pepper Better Remedy for Bleeding:

Q. Yesterday I cut my bottom lip shaving and it would not stop bleeding. I used a styptic pencil several times with no success. No way I could stop it.

About a half hour later, my wife read your article about black pepper. She dampened a paper napkin, loaded it down with pepper and I put it on the cut. Five minutes later, I gently removed it and voila, no more bleeding. I went on to eat breakfast, had my cup of coffee and had no further problem the rest of the day.

Black Pepper Remedy Is Wood Carver’s Favorite:

A. We first learned about this remedy thanks to a wood carver. He and his hobbyist friends always kept packets of black pepper with their carving tools. That’s because they had learned from experience that black pepper helps stop bleeding.

Since we shared this idea, we have heard from scores of people who have tried it with surprising success. People have also told us that cayenne pepper or powdered sage or thyme can provide the same benefit. If you have a favorite remedy to stop bleeding, please tell us about it in the comment section below.

If you enjoy home remedies like this, you may be interested in our book, Quick & Handy Home Remedies. In it, we have collected home remedies for many dozens of troublesome problems like cuts that won’t stop bleeding. In addition, we include discussions of the wonderful health benefits from some of our favorite foods, including blueberries, coffee and chocolate.

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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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I too have used black pepper successfully to stop bleeding but have equally good results with fresh-cut onion. I discovered that while slicing an onion and going from the kitchen to find a bandaid on the other side of the house, I had the onion I was slicing pressed against the gash. A few minutes later, when I removed it to apply the bandaid, it had not only stopped bleeding, but had already knitted together. Many cuts later for both myself and family members, the onion has been our go to trick to stop bleeding. We still keep black pepper in our vehicles and as an emergency backup when an onion isn’t handy!

I used to get nosebleeds. A friend suggested that I ‘cauterize’ it with Cayenne Pepper. I dampened a cotton swab stick and rolled it in a little of the cayenne and inserted it into my nose and gently swirled it around the surfaces (since I really didn’t know where it was coming from). The bleeding stopped immediately and did not happen again for several years. That was in about 1997. I have done it one other time since then. It doesn’t happen any more. It doesn’t burn or sting. It opened up my nasal passage breathing. Before using it, I wd have to sit down and be still and apply pressure to the side of my nose for two full minutes to stop the bleeding.

Many years ago my elderly mum got a nasty cut on her hand and poured black pepper on it and wrapped it up. Her landlady, who was a retired nurse, stopped in for a visit and wanted to take a look at the cut. She decided that mum should see a doctor so off they went. He was astonished to discover the pepper on the wound and seemed surprised because he had never heard of using it. Mum said she thought it was a coagulant and had antiseptic properties. Anyway, the wound was clean, and he had to do a few stitches but it healed up beautifully. Mum said she must have learned about using black pepper from growing up on a remote farm with no medical help close by.

Curcuma powder is very efficient to stop bleeding, and it also disinfects and helps to minimize scars.

Black pepper never worked for me. I cut my finger once with a new knife and tried the black pepper treatment for about a half hour with no luck. Had to go to the ER where they used the medical glue which worked instantly. I’ve tried pepper on other smaller cuts but never had any success with it.

I don’t know if it’s the makeup of the pepper or not. I expect it’s the clotting of the flakes that stops the bleeding. Whatever it may be it’s always good to know a natural remedy.

An old time remedy to stop bleeding is a piece of brown paper bag and pressure.

A wet teabag stops bleeding

This is a wonderful “tip”, I’ll be sure to try it the next time one of us has a bleeding cut.

While not in the nature of a health tip, black pepper also works as an emergency/temporary plug for a leaking automobile radiator, as I learned when I was in college in 1950. Grocery stores are more plentiful than radiator repair shops, and carry 2 to 4 oz. cans of black pepper for a nominal price. When a leak occurs, shut off the engine and wait for the radiator to cool to drop internal pressure to zero while you find a handy supermarket to buy a can of pepper. Carefully remove the radiator cap and pour in am full can or two of pepper, add enough water to refill and restart the engine. This temporary leak stop should last for an hour or more, which should be time enough to reach a radiator repair shop for a permanent repair or replacement.

In July I cut my heal deeply and it would not stop bleeding. I remembered reading that black pepper would stop bleeding from your article. It did the trick. And I even thought a few professionals that trick too as they had never heard of such a thing when I went to the ER. Thank you for sharing this information .

Used paprika to stop bleeding.

My understanding is that this originated with the American Indians. I have been using black pepper for cuts for years.

No. Pepper originated in “India” (the country).

While shaving my legs, I nicked a vein. The blood was squirting everywhere. Freaked me out. My husband grabbed a can of black pepper. It formed a crust, allowing me to put a bandage on it. Off to urgent care. The Dr. knew of this remedy. It is only a temporary fix. I also used it once when I cut my finger on a can lid.

I recently cut my finger while cooking and somehow managed to remember the black pepper remedy to stop bleeding. I tried it and was amazed at how quickly and efficiently it stopped the bleeding. And it didn’t hurt at all! I am a believer now.

I read an article about black pepper & bleeding and tried it and it works so whenever I have a cut that is what I use. Amazing!!

On a recent trip, my husband, who takes blood thinners, scratched a scab, and the small wound would just not stop bleeding. Not gushing mind you, but oozing blood for hours! I didn’t know about pepper so I went to a local pharmacy for over-the counter remedies. I found several and bought them all. The cellulose pad didn’t work. But the spray!! It has “natural” ingredients which include cellulose, and it stopped the bleeding immediately. Whew. I was afraid we’d be spending a vacation day in the emergency room. Next time, if it happens again, I’ll try the pepper. Or just take the small spray bottle of blood stopper.

What was the spray called? I know how difficult it is to stop bleeding with blood thinners. I have had to take my husband to emergency clinics for it.

I carry black pepper in my car first aid kit, in ‘to go’ containers for emergencies and have used it successfully. I highly recommend it to persons on blood thinners because it really does work.

Where are the comments?

I was told by a dentist once to put a teabag on the site of dental surgery afterwards to stop bleeding. As I recall, it did work. I have thought since that a teabag might work on bleeding elsewhere on the body, but have not had an occasion to really test it.

My dentist had told me to eat soft foods after the surgery; I found out by accident that sorbet stopped the bleeding. Obviously anything frozen would work such as ice cream or a Popsicle, maybe a Frapuccino.

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