Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Home Cures for Burns, Blights, and Baby Bottoms

Are you searching for the fountain of youth?

I remember reading about Ponce de Leon's search for the Fountain of Youth when I was a child:
I'm not really sure why that story stuck in this strange collection of saved pieces in my brain,
but it did.

As a child, it didn't seem like such an important wish,
to find water that would make one stay young.

As I've aged
and dealt with my wounds
my children's wounds, however,
the idea of a revitalizing fountain,
or even one that could do just a wee bit of healing
would be something worth finding.

I have come to the conclusion that is was not a fountain he should have been looking for,
but a plant.

Okay, I will now admit that I have not found the fountain of youth;
I have found a pretty amazing natural skin healer though.

Let me present my proof to you.

Exhibit A:
The Cast Iron Beast.

Winter makes this black hunk of steel my friend and my foe.
It's warm embers are wonderful.
But it's radiating heat comes at a price.

It is filled through this top opening which must be opened by hands...

my hands,
which are terribly clumsy when balancing large dirty logs and a poker to stir the hot coals.

Exhibit B:
 The Bubbling Boiler.
Steamy hot water...

preserves summer sweetness,
but can also splash on angry blisters.

Exhibit C:
What in the world is this?

Yes, that's exactly what I said when I noticed my baby's skin breaking out in fearsome red patches of dry skin.

And this is on it's way to getting better.
I didn't want to scare you with the looks of it when it was BAD.
It was heart-breaking and made me chew all my nails off looking for a cure.
But I am happy with the cure I found.

The Hero:

Funny Looking Plant of prickly long stalks.
Aloe Vera.

This plant holds secrets that every person should know,
secrets that I have seen in action.
This plant should be a requirement in every household.

I cannot count the number of times I have burned my fingers on the wood stove and then hurried to scrape some aloe vera gel onto the burn.  I have been left with bubbling blisters that have been painless.  If you've ever experienced burn blisters, you know that painless is not an attribute of a burn.

It is incredible on sunburn
(this I know)
and there are even reports of it healing poison ivy and easing chicken pox
(although these I have not proved but only read).
It is a wonder to skin care.

This past fall I was canning applesauce.
This uses a hot water bath to can.
I fill the canner with water and set it to boil while I get the applesauce boiling and then into the jars.

By the time I am putting the jars into the water bath,
the water is boiling and ready to go.

At one point while I was carefully placing the jars of applesauce into the bubbling bath,
a jar slipped and plopped down into the water,
sending a cascade of boiling water all over my throat area and upper chest.
I do not need to tell you that this area is sensitive;
I shrieked and grabbed a towel to get the liquid off.

I was horrified by what consequences I might suffer from this horrible situation.

Immediately, I ran to my aloe plant,
(an item I purchased after reading about it's benefits)
sweetly sitting on my kitchen window sill.

I snapped off a piece and peeled it back,
releasing an oozing inner substance that I quickly plastered all over the burning area.

After I let that sit for a few minutes, I then got an ice cube to finish off the treatment.

The next morning, I was surprised to see


There wasn't even any redness in the area.
I now know that whenever I deal with burns again,
I will instantly run to this plant for relief.

When I discovered that it was eczema that my baby was suffering from,
I began to search for what might be causing it.

My son also had it,
and I narrowed it down to the dye in the baby soap and the preservatives in the baby wipes that I was using.  I now buy specific products without these things, so I knew it couldn't be these.

I couldn't find what was causing the problem.
It might be our water, which is very high in nitrates b/c of the spraying that goes on in the farm field across the street and all the run-off from several upland neighbors who relentlessly spray their yards with chemicals for greener, weedless grass.  We filter our drinking water, but I know that those chemicals can still get through our skin when we bathe, 
(How "clean" are we really getting when we bathe?  Now that's a funny thought.)
so it could be that.

It could be any number of things.

But I had to do something.
Her back, arms, legs, and now stomach were red and inflamed and miserable.

I didn't want to go to the doctor as,
even though I know they are just trying to help and doing the recommended course of action,
I didn't want to spread chemicals all over my baby's sensitive skin that would not heal but only temporarily relieve the problem.

Then I read on a website that aloe was a possible solution for it.

I'd tried the green bottle of aloe gel we had in our medicine cabinet,
but when I looked at this store bought substitute, I read chemicals and coloring made up most of it.

So, I turned to my plant.

For the next week or so,
I made a concoction straight from the leaves of this plant.

It is very sticky stuff,
so I mixed the gel I scraped from it...

with these things I keep on hand.
I love the smell, feel, and what apricot oil does.
I find it a much healthier alternative to baby oil as it comes from a fruit as well as a grain base.
(Baby oil is just mineral oil which is petroleum based).
Vitamin E is a healer and wonderful for skin.
I used it faithfully on my skin after I had Violet and actually saw stretch marks disappear.

Yes, after Violet.
I haven't been so faithful after my other two.

One of these days I'll make time for it again,
and then I shall flutter about with renewed youth again.


Please don't burst my dreams.

Anyhow, I'd break a 2 inch piece of aloe off the plant in the morning,
(which would last 1 - 2 days: I'd just scrape out some to mix as I needed it.
I used more of it at first)
scrape some of the gel out,
and mix it with about 1/4 tsp. of Vit. E
and 1 tsp. of apricot baby oil.

I then put this directly on the eczema twice a day.

It worked.

I saw drastic improvement in about 5 days.

 The eczema was much better although the red is still healing.

After about a week of this treatment,
I did pick up this:
 which has aloe as one of the first ingredients and consists of all-natural ingredients that I recognize.
It didn't work as well as the straight aloe.
I had to stop using it and go back to the direct aloe gel mixture
for a total of two weeks.

This lotion does seem to be working now to finish the healing process
and to continue to keep the skin moisturized.

 One more natural remedy before I end
for those of you with babies dealing with diaper rash.
(My daughter is teething in some painful teeth: this seems to always bring on the diaper rash.
I think her immune system was down from teething which the eczema could have been related to as well).

I read online somewhere that egg whites are good for diaper rash.
Egg whites?  Really?

Yes, I said the same thing.  I'm very doubtful until I see it work for myself.
 My daughter got such bad diaper rash when she was teething, she bled.
It was horrible and made me sick to see her suffer like that.
Nothing was working, and I had the whole store shelf line-up of creams.

I tried the egg white: just whipped some up in a little bowl like this

and reused the same egg white for a couple days.
After I cleaned her up from her dirty diaper,
I'd just scoop some out with my hands and wipe it on.
I let her get up and walk around with it on for a minute to make sure it dried some to soak into her skin, and then diapered her back up.  I made sure to change her frequently so that she was not in the ammonia atmosphere of the urine.  Then I wiped on the egg again whenever I changed her.  After about a day of this, the egg seemed to "harden" the inflamed skin so that it was not sensitive anymore,
and the diaper rash healed up quickly.
(I'd keep using it til it was healed, or finish by keeping it moisturized with one of the creams.)

I do need to make clear that I am not a doctor.
This is just what worked for me as I studied up on it on my own.
I only share these things because I am encouraged when I find simple remedies for things that make me bite my nails.

So, please use these suggestions at your own judgment.
I'm only beginning to discover this amazing world of natural remedies.


  1. Wonderful suggestions.

    My mom has always used aloe vera plants for her skin problems. But the egg whites is a new one one me!


  2. Loved reading this, as I have aloe vera plants and use them when needed, and I agree with all that you posted! Great info. How refreshing to see someone want to use natural things instead of other remedies. I have tried avon, jason , and burt' s bee products and have found them to work well. I am glad that your baby's ezcema is better.

  3. Wow! Great ideas! I didn't know that about egg whites. I do use the aloe plant and love Burt's Bees!

  4. Glad your baby is doing better!! I know how you feel because my youngest gets eczema something awful and sometimes his wounds wont heal for months on end. Its soo very sad. Anyways, thanx for stopping by earlier! I love the wood top myself. Not sure how well it will hold up to heat from the oven so that is why I have the additional cutting board on top of it. Hot platters have never done anything to our kitchen table though so it would probably be fine. Thanx again for stopping by and keep warm!

  5. I shared your recipe for the skin "cream" for baby eczema with the family I babysit for. Their little guy has awful skin and nothing seems to work. I think they are going to try it - they are willing to try anything at this point.

  6. You're an inspiration for clean and natural living. Thanks for sharing this! Blessings to you and your little ones from Beth.

  7. Thanks everyone! I love using natural things when I can. Jackie, I hope it works for the baby! They may need to cut back on sugar intake as well. I know eczema can come from internal causes as well, too much sugar being one of them. It was around Christmas time that the problem got bad, and she was eating a few more cookies and Christmas treats. I cut back on that as well.

  8. Aloe is amazing. I keep a plant in my kitchen for emergencies.

  9. Thanks for the great tips! And yes, an aloe plant is a MUST!

  10. Egg whites can have salmonella in it so I would not use it on a baby but I can attest to the 100 percent aloe vera, I had a wound infection after surgery for five weeks, two rounds of antibiotics and it still was not gone, I put 100 percent aloe vera on it and the next day it started healing, was healed three days later. Now I use it all the time. Target sells 100 percent Aloe Vera gel in a bottle, that is what I use. Take care!

  11. Thanks for sharing some all-natural beauty secrets! Very unique :)


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