The People's Perspective on Medicine

Soy Sauce Burn Remedy Saved Dinner Party from Disaster

We once heard from an Army Ranger that soy sauce saved him from a bad burn caused by a smoke grenade. Many others also swear by the soy sauce burn remedy.

Have you ever burned yourself while working in the kitchen? Who hasn’t? What did you do for relief? Many people still try the butter trick, which we do not think works very well. The soy sauce burn remedy has a lot of converts.

Q. Last Friday evening, a dinner guest touched a Pyrex lid that had just come out of the oven. Immediately, big blisters rose on her fingers.

Ice Cubes and Soy Sauce:

After handing her some ice cubes, I remembered reading about the soy sauce burn remedy and poured it all over her fingers. I repeated that again later.

Just now, I got the following email from her: “Must tell you my burnt fingers are mostly healed with no pain or anything. So do not know if it was the ice or soy sauce, but will replicate if it happens again. Have never had any kind of burn heal so fast.”

A. Cold water is the recommended first aid for a kitchen burn. We have heard from many readers that the soy sauce burn remedy works wonders. If soy sauce is applied to a minor burn it often stops the pain and reduces blistering. Cold yellow mustard also appears to be helpful.

Would you like to see a video on soy sauce, mustard or Aloe vera gel for burns? Here it is:



Soy Sauce Burn Remedy Stories from Readers:

GN offers this encouragement:

“I have used soy sauce for years for burns. It really works.

“When my kids would get burns I would pour a little in a dish and they would soak in it and lick their fingers until the burning was gone. It was usually within 15 minutes. I also have used mustard when camping.”

Carmen in Fort Worth wasn’t patient enough:

“I recently had a bad burn on my finger due to grease popping. I doused it with soy sauce and if felt better immediately. I did not do it for long, not more that 1 min. and I still had some irritation the next day, but it provided immediate relief. I wish I had left it on longer.”

CM had more patience and more success:

“I burned my hand on a hot frying pan handle. After soaking it in cold water I googled home remedies and came up with the ‘soy sauce treatment.’ It worked like a miracle.

“I soaked my hand in it for about 8 minutes – until I felt the salt soaking into my skin. I immediately washed it off with soap and water and WHALLA – no pain! Today my fingers feel a little tight, but no blisters, no pain.”

Plastic Glove Makes Soy Sauce Burn Remedy Easy:

The best trick we have heard about for employing soy sauce when you burn your hand on a frying pan handle is to grab a plastic disposable glove or a glove you might use to wash dishes. Put the glove on your burned hand, pour enough soy sauce into the glove to completely cover the burned area and get someone to place a rubber band around your wrist to keep the soy sauce in place. This way you can resume activity and still benefit from the soy sauce soak for more than a couple of minutes.

For people who appreciate such practical approaches we offer our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies. Although there is virtually no research on these kitchen cupboard treatments, the testimonials suggest that they may be worth a try. A serious burn always requires prompt medical attention!

Share your own kitchen table wisdom below in the comment section and please vote on this article at the top of the page.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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Since first hearing of the soy sauce remedy for burns about a year or so ago, I’ve had only one minor incident to try it. You know how even minor burns leave soreness and that burning sensation for days? Not this time.

Recently, it occurred to me to wonder whether soy sauce would help any type of burn. How about sunburn? Why not? Yesterday, I was outside for some unprotected exposure (I know, I know), and when I came in to wash my hands and arms, I noticed some redness on my forearms; nothing major, but red skin nevertheless.

I got out the soy sauce, poured about a half ounce along each arm, rubbed it in all over the forearms and waited fifteen or twenty seconds, then rinsed it off with water. Today, no redness, nor any evidence of new tanning from the exposure, nor any of the tenderness I felt later yesterday in the shower, due to the force of the spray on my arms.

So only minor anecdotal evidence, but I’ll try it again when next I suffer exposure to too much sun.

Have you ever tried putting honey on a burn? As soon as you get a burn gently rub honey on it and cover it with a bandaid. The pain goes away immediately and by the next day the redness is gone.

Does anyone have thoughts on post-burn neuropathy? I burned my finger on a hot cast iron pan, immediately put it under cold water. No blisters formed, but a week later, I developed pain when it contacts cold or hot water from the tap (temps tolerated by the other fingers), which has persisted for a month. Capsaicin cream made it temporarily worse, so hesitant to try it again.

The burn information is right on. But I mainly enjoyed seeing Joe and Terri in action. You guys are so cute! (and that’s not meant to be demeaning in any way). Thanks!

I too had an amazing burn story where I was putting wood in the wood burner in the middle of the night only to have my left arm touch the door. The immediate injury went through all the layers of my skin. I poured kikkomam soy sauce on it and the pain stopped immediately & I slept through the night. (I often wondered why I put on the kikkomam but I just felt guided to do it) I never had pain and it continued to heal completely. I have no scar but there is a 3 inch long white area as a reminder these many years later. I think it is probably important to use the fermented sauce rather than the artificial stuff.
I have often thought that this should be tried in burn units and or carried into combat.

ICE is not a real good idea as a direct aplication, as it can further damage the burned tissue. Cold water..even ice-cold…is better (to remove the heat).

I was at the beach over Christmas and was taking a Bundt pan out of the oven with Rhodes bread rolls and butter and pudding mix to make a Carmel sauce while it baked. I took it out of the oven and inverted it on a plate only the extra sauce spilled onto my bare foot.

I had just read about the soy sauce cure and happened to have one close by for something I was making later.. I opened the bottle and poured it on my foot, felt immediate relief and it did not even turn red or blister. I think because I dumped it on so fast, it would have been harder to put my foot in the sink with ice water, that the result was truly amazing.

I’ve used it at home but didn’t work as well as that first time as it usually takes time to find it. Now, I leave a bottle on the counter by the stove.

Also, I’m a firm believer of soap under the sheet to prevent leg and foot cramps. I always tuck one in my suitcase when I travel. Thank you so much for your advice and research into natural remedies. I had a history of chronic pain that went away after 19 years (a lot of prayer) and took a lot of pain pills. Hated them but thankfully they were legal for chronic pain at the time.

I talked to a woman in my water aerobics class and she has had chronic neck and back pains. She was concerned if she couldn’t have them but doesn’t like the side effects, either. She told me she seriously considered suicide because of the pain. She was telling me that she called her pain clinic 1 day early to get a refill and that the nurse or whoever was rude and gave her a hard time for trying to fill it early. This is seriously sad as she has a wonderful life with husband and almost grown children. It is difficult to feel like you are a criminal trying to fill pain meds that you would rather not take. I heard many times in my 19 years that I was an addict which is extremely hurtful when you know you aren’t. . I had tolerance, sure, but when my pain went away, I just weaned off and had no further desire.

Don’t forget about vanilla extract and it smells better than soy sauce, to me anyway :-) I have to put it on the burn 2-3 times the first day, but it works wonderfully and in the second day it’s almost completely healed.

Many years ago at a friends home, I reached into the microwave to take out a bowl of food that had been heated. However, it turned out to be 1 of those bowls that reacted to the microwaves! When I grabbed the bowl I immediately heard my skin start to sizzle. Of course I instantly dropped the bowl. My friend immediately went out to her yard and cut a piece of aloe vera from the plant that was growing. She had me open the leaf and apply it for about 10-15 mins. It was the 1st I’d ever heard of this home remedy! The burned area never even got red nor was it sore.

On one perfect day I prepared my lunch: some bread, ham etc. and a cup of boiling chicken broth.
I don’t know how this happen. In an instant, I had this whole cup spilled on my thighs. Thank God , I had some soy sauce left. I purred it on paper towels and put it on the red-burned skin. In an hour, I had few reddish spots left. The rest was gone. Joe and Terry, thank you for your great work.
The People’s Pharmacy does wonders.

My thumb touched the wire rack in the toaster oven when taking something out and I immediately got the yellow mustard out if the fridge. I applied it to the burned area like a paste and let it set for a few minutes. The sting from the burn left immediately and I was not left with any blisters or scarring. You can not even see that there was a burn there. I did not even apply ice first.

It’s true! I minimized the effects of a lawn mower muffler burning my leg with soy sauce. Later, I amazed customers and staff at an Indian restaurant, when I assisted someone who got burned by a hot plate. Those are but two examples I remember specifically, but I’ve used ice and soy sauce a lot more than that. Every first aid kit and every suitcase should contain a small soy sauce pack kept from after an Asian carry out meal.

My husband decided to get the shingles vaccine. A few weeks later he developed a mild case of shingles, on his head. When he went to his doctor, he was asked what he had tried to relieve the pain. Imagine the doctor’s surprise… when he said he had used soy sauce! (It dis not work very well, in this case.)

Never tried it. Always heard even with butter, only use UNsalted on a burn.
I have for years kept a bottle of 100% aloe gel in my refrigerator. The cold gel feels better than room temp. Plus it’s handy.

I liked your video,
one suggestion. Some.viewers may not understand why the cold water helps or what important beneft it provides .they may skip.that
Putting the burned area into cold water allows the cold water to stop the heat from continuing to cook the.tissue.

I agree with you, SJ- and this is the same reason that butter should never be used on a burn- it seals in the heat.

Thank you. Basic first aid. No butter! No ice! Just hold the burned skin under running cold water, to stop the cooking. First thing to do, always. Do NOT go first to the frig, turn on the water faucet and put your fingers in the running cold water.

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