Burns, of which over two million are reported annually in the United States, are a result of denatured protein ending in tissue injury.
The extent of injury relates to what agent caused the burn and the duration and intensity of action. Minor burns involve local dilation and increased permeability of capillaries resulting in edema. More severe burns can be life threatening; a burn which affects more than 20% of the body is considered as such.
Burns are classified according to the following criteria:
First degree burns (ie. sunburns)
damage is limited to the epidermis
Second degree burns
damage extends to the dermis
Third degree burns
involve destruction of skin and can extend into underlying tissue
Second and third degree burns may require hospitalization.
For many burns, treatment involves application of ice or cold compacts to relieve pain. Petroleum jellies can be applied if no blisters have formed, and the area can be covered with gauze bandages for a few days.
All chemical burns should be flooded with water prior to these actions. In the event of a severe burn, the person's life may be threatened due to systemic effects such as pain, fright, anxiety, hypovolemia and invasion of bacteria. In this situation, help should be sought immediately.
Thermal burns (the cause of most burns)
Excessive exposure to sunlight
Strong acids, especially common household products
Strong alkali, especially common household products
High tension electric wires
Touching home appliances with wet hands
Signs & Symptoms
Structure & Function:
Immune System Support &
Hair, Skin and Nail Support
Adult Child/Adolescent Aloe vera* Arginine 500 - 1,000 mg 200 - 800 mg B-Complex hi-potency hi-potency Bee propolis*** DHEA* Fish oils 3 - 5 g 2 - 3 g EPO 1 - 3 g 1 - 2 g Vitamin C 1,000 - 3,000 mg 500 - 2,000 mg Vitamin E (Oral) 400 - 800 IU 200 - 400 IU Vitamin E (Topical) as tocopherol (same) Zinc 20 - 100 mg 10 - 50 mg
* Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.
**Aloe vera may also be consumed but is more usually applied topically for this condition.
***Bee propolis may be taken orally, or applied externally, as a salve ( both with honey).
All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.
Burns heal with a great expenditure of energy and nutrients. Nutritional management is aimed at meeting this demand through adhering to a Protein Enriched Diet.
The rate of tissue breakdown and loss of body fat is greater for burns than for any other wound. Much of this decrease arises from the catabolism of muscle to meet the accelerated needs of the body for protein. For example, despite ingesting 40-60% of their estimated nutritional requirements, wound patients lost as much weight after three weeks as people undergoing starvation. The interpretation of this finding was that healing wounds require energy and protein expenditures above those spent on maintaining healthy tissue.
Protein is essential during all of convalescence. During the first two to six weeks of healing, protein is needed to mount the immune response and to effect healing.
There is an increased synthesis of white blood cells for combatting infection. These cells in turn use protein for forming antibodies, and other host-defense factors. Cells proliferate at the injury site and mend the burn.
In the weeks that follow, the body attempts to replace the diminished protein stores and repair the damaged muscle. There is still need for a Protein Enriched Diet at this stage.
Burns which are late in healing may become protein donors for the rest of the body if diet is insufficient. In this case, they may never heal well.
Protein needs are 50% or more above normal, and the individual may require 150 to 400 grams of protein per day.
Caloric needs are 50-100% above normal; it is not unusual to require 3,000 to 6,000 kilocalories per day during the healing process. Arginine and one to two grams of vitamin C are needed daily to promote tissue regeneration. Liberal doses of the vitamin B-Complex are advised to fuel the accelerated metabolism. Zinc supplements (100 to 200 milligrams per day) are advised to aid in healing.
Liberal amounts of fluids should be provided as there is great loss from wound exudates.
Burns / Scalds
If the burn is larger than the palm of your hand, see a physician immediately.
1.* Cantharis 30C
2.* Urtica urens 15C use only for stinging sensation.
3.* Arnica montana tinct. 30C for healing
4. Thiosin aminum tinct. 30C for dissolution of scars
5. Calendula officinalis 3X to 15C
Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.
X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency
Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.
Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.
Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.
Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.
Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.
Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.
Calc. Sulf. purulent discharge; Ferr. Phos. inflammation, fever; Kali Mur. greyish-white exudate covers surface;
Aloe vera plant
St. John's Wort
Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.
Aloe gel has wonderful properties if available. Calendula (Marigold) gel is an alternative.
Otherwise, Comfrey is another traditional remedy, used in the form of a compress.
St. John's Wort (applied externally) is recommended by the German Commisssion E.
Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.
Collins CE & Collins, C: Roentgen dermatitis treated with fresh whole leaf Aloe vera. Am. J. Roentgen. 1935, 33:396-397.
Hoffmann, D: The New Holistic Herbal. Element, 1983. Third edition 1990.
Robson, MC et al., Myth, magic, witchcraft or fact? Aloe vera revisited. J. Burn Care Rehab. 1982, 3:157-162.
Aromatherapy - Essential Oils
Calendula Essence, Clary Sage Essence, Eucalyptus Essence, Lavender Essence, Tea Tree Essence.
Related Health ConditionsAbstracts
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Baker, J.L. The Effectiveness of Vitamin E In Reducing the Incidence of Spherical Contracture Around Breast Implants. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 68 1981.
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