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Mustard (without Bun) for Burn

A common kitchen burn will often feel better and heal more quickly if mustard is applied after the initial cold water treatment.
Mustard (without Bun) for Burn
A bottle of yellow mustard with white background

First Aid for a Minor Burn:

What do you do as first aid for a minor burn? The standard advice is to start by holding the burned area under cold running water for up to 15 minutes. Sometimes that is all it takes to ease the pain and prevent any blisters from forming.

But what if the burned area still hurts after you take it out from under the cold water? There are a couple of household items that you might have handy. So long as the burn is first degree, these might be just the ticket to ease the pain, and possibly prevent blisters.

A serious burn requires immediate medical attention!

Try Mustard:

Q. Last night I pulled a pan out of the 425-degree oven and set it on the stove. Two minutes later, I grabbed the pan without a mitt.
Needless to say, I burned my hand severely. I immediately placed the hand in a bowl of water with ice.

Even after several hours in ice water, my hand hurt too much for me to go to sleep. I jumped on the computer to find a home remedy. I was completely skeptical when I read about mustard on your website, but I gave it a shot.

I poured cold yellow mustard all over my hand and then put my hand in a plastic baggie. I left it on for about ten minutes. The pain immediately went away.

I fell asleep and when I woke the pain was completely gone! My hand is a little sore this morning, but there are no blisters and I can use it.

A. Ice water is the best first aid for a burn, so you did that right. Third degree burns require immediate medical attention.

We have heard from many people that cold yellow mustard can help kitchen burns.

Soy Sauce as an Alternative:

Others tell us that soy sauce is also effective. Here is another story:

“While cooking I touched the heating element of my oven with the pad of my thumb. It was 400 degrees. I heard the sizzle and smelled the burning flesh and saw that the skin looked grey like ash, so I put it under cold water. Then I remembered the soy sauce remedy. I poured some on, let it sit and poured more on; the pain stopped. I left the soy sauce on, put a bandaid over it and continued preparing food. Hours later when I took the bandaid off, the skin wasn’t even blistered. The next day the skin was just dry and cracked-looking but never came off. I was amazed!”

Revised 2/22/16

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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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