Warrior Salve and Healing Helichrysum
When most people think about how to treat a cut, scrape, healing burn, or any open wound they often turn to their medicine cabinet and pull out the antibiotic ointment. While this will certainly keep the wound free of germs, do we really want to keep it free of all bacteria? Lots of the bacteria found on the skin is helpful, and erasing it's existence tends to increase the risk of infection(1) and scarring. Just as I avoid taking antibiotics internally, I also prefer to keep them off my skin. Most ointments also contain petrolatum, which is a petroleum product. I don't use petroleum in any of my Prairie Bloom products. Petroleum penetrates the skin and then resides in fatty tissue(2). It has been shown to be toxic to consume- and once in the body it is not metabolized, and can be found in breastmilk(2). Petroleum impurities, unregulated by any governing body, are known animal carcinogens and possible animal carcinogens(2). Petroleum is classified as a xenoestrogen, a chemical that promotes estrogen dominance and lead to endocrine (hormone) disruption. Petroleum, also known as mineral oil, petrolatum, or praffinum, is used in everything from lip balm to lotion to foundation(3)- basically anything requiring a smooth, gliding action when applied. It also aggravates acne and can cause premature aging. Cosmetics aren't the only thing containing petroleum- remember that smooth gliding action? Think about all those things you usually put on an open wound. Now you've introduced petroleum directly into your system. Yikes!
All of this being said, it is nice to have something on hand to assist in the healing of a wound. Whether a deep cut or a minor abrasion, no one likes having to deal with a slow healing process. This is what I had in mind when I developed both Warrior Salves- both using an infusion of herbs known for their wound healing properties as well as some for their anti-inflammatory potential to reduce pain and general irritation. I personally don't like to overexpose my kids to the strength of essential oils, and I'm pretty conservative in recommending their use on children in general. Since children seem to have constant scrapes, cuts, bug bites, and boo-boos, I end up applying the Little Warrior Salve almost daily to my littles. Since it's apricot oil infused with powerful healing herbs, I don't have to worry about sensitization occurring. In addition to the Prairie Bloom Soothing Infusion, the Helichrysum essential oil in the regular Warrior Salve will expedite wound closure even more due to anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties of the plant constituents(4), as well as reduce inflammation(4). Helichrysum has been used for wound care in the Mediterranean for generations, and is now being studied for medical use in Western medicine as well.
My daughter has intense reactions to mosquito bites, and if we apply the LittleWarrior Salve immediately the bite becomes virtually nonexistent, which means she doesn't scratch it until it bleeds and she's not in any discomfort. We have an extremely active little boy and we apply the Little Warrior Salve to scraped knees, wind-chapped cheeks, and almost every other minor abrasion you can think of. One customer emailed me saying it is the only thing that alleviates her son's eczema, and another said "This stuff is AMAZING on my kid's noses! It helps so much to de-crust boogers and soothe raw skin!!! I'm obsessed! And it does not burn at all!" I recently got an email from one of my midwives telling me she had used the Warrior Salve on a very deep cut. She ended up sending me three pictures- one taken the day after she cut her thumb, another taken four days later, and one more taken eight days after the cut occurred. Even I was amazed at the results- I've (thankfully) never had a very serious wound that needed tending, but now I know that even a wound of any caliber can benefit from the Warrior Salve.
So what's the take-away here? We know that we want to keep any sort of wound free from infection. But just as we know that killing all bacteria in our gut is not a good plan (this is why we take probiotics any time we take antibiotics!), we know that killing all bacteria in a wound is not ideal either. We need some of the microorganisms found on our skin and in our wounds. Plants have evolved along with people, and I can think of no better way to appreciate our beautiful relationship with the earth than to take advantage of the healing benefits offered by nature in these plants. So ditch the antibiotic ointment, and see how well that next wound, big or small, responds to some Warrior Salve.
. Evidence for cosmetics as a source of mineral oil contamination in women. Concin et al. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011 Nov;20(11):1713-9. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2011.2829. Epub 2011 Oct 4. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21970597 .
3. Mineral oil and synthetic hydrocarbons in cosmetic lip products. Niederer M1, Stebler T1, Grob K2. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2016 Apr;38(2):194-200. doi: 10.1111/ics.12276. Epub 2015 Oct 7. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26352930 .
4. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Helichrysum italicum. Sala et al. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2002 Mar;54(3):365-71. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11902802 .