Abrasions, light scrapes and grazes are perhaps the most common injuries from which gardeners suffer; they include those surface layer wounds that often you don’t notice at the point of occurrence but may smart or sting later in the day – a scraped knuckle, a lightly skint knee, a scratch along your arm from a thorn or a cane, an incidence of friction between skin and wall or other abrading surface. Most abrasions will heal quickly and without scaring or complication, once cleaned and kept clean for a few days post incident. Generally resolving within a week but abrasions like any laceration or wound, if not treated promptly and properly may become contaminated by dirt or dust particles and are liable to septic infection and a spectrum of bacterial infections also.
A first-degree abrasion involves superficial damage to the epidermal layer of skin, bleeding is minimal if present at all.
First response: Washing the site with soapy water to remove any debris and following up with antiseptic wipe, liquid dap, iodine or ointment application is the traditional approach. Slight stinging may arise in the process of cleaning and sterilizing.
Garden Aid; Upon rinsing of the wound with clean hose water or supplying a lick of naturally antiseptic saliva, the garden offers an array of natural antiseptics that are quickly utilized – A rub of crushed or torn calendula petals or a smear of Aloe vera gel will clean and seal over the wound from potential secondary infection.
Sustained remedy – if the abrasion was from a less than desirable surface or source then an infusion of thyme is an excellent wound healer with instant antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. The trick is in its thymol content, which is similar in antimicrobial potential to carbolic acid and as effective as iodine or phenol based antiseptics.
TRY THIS AT HOME -Thyme antiseptic rinse
Thyme infusions and oil of thyme have an ancient linage in healing, back to the Egyptians and the origins of medicinal botany but before the discovery of antibiotics, doctors once soaked bandages in thyme to disinfect the cloth, to kill germs on the surface of wounds and help activate the healing of wounds. The active antibiotic principle in thyme, thymol is considered to be 25 times as effective as phenol (the active ingredient in over the counter antiseptics).
- 1 bunch Thyme (several sprigs) or 2tbspoons dried herb
- 1 cup water
Method: As you would make a herbal tea – Garden grown thyme can simply be harvested, torn or crushed to open a pathway to the volatile oils and phytochemicals within, then added to boiling water, steeped for a few minutes, before straining and cooling to yield a soothing wound rinse.
Intended for immediate use but will store in refrigerator for several days. Suitable to also remedy cough, sore throat, cold and flu, headaches as an herbal tea or topically applied to cuts, infected wounds, athlete’s foot and yeast infections.
Note: Adding some lavender or rosemary herb to the mix will boost the disinfecting properties of this rinse.