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Title: Healing with Turmeric

Lesson learned: Do not handle sharp objects when stressed.


Trying to stop the bleeding

After a particularly tense week, I sought refuge from my woes in the comfort of a warm bath. Wanting to clean up and feel refreshed, I grabbed for my razor and sure enough – the first glide up the outside tendon of my ankle caught a nice chunk of flesh between the blades. This was probably the worst I had ever cut myself shaving before and I could feel it as soon as it happened. I knew as soon as I lifted my leg out of the water, I would have a mess of blood to deal with. I grabbed a washcloth and pressed it firmly into my skin, the blood soaked through almost immediately. I folded the washcloth twice more over itself to insulate the wound and grabbed a towel to dry off the rest of my foot before double socking around the washcloth. I then grabbed a belt and put my foot in the air while I wrapped it to keep the washcloth from moving. I had to work in an hour. This would have to suffice until I could figure out what to do next or get up the courage to look at it again.


Washcloth is impossible to remove after being wrapped all day

This is my experience using turmeric to aid in wound healing. I’ll share my personal experience and delve into the myriad of health benefits, highlighting its remarkable ability to help the body repair itself.

Cleaning the wound

On my way home from work, I knew I would need to remove the belted washcloth sock and keep this gaping flesh wound clean. I gently peeled back the socks but the washcloth was stuck. My body was filling the void of a protective skin suit with this washcloth and it wasn’t ready to let go. I grabbed a pair of surgical scissors and cut as much of the cloth off as possible. Rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide (because I can never remember which one is best) were doused over the bloody washcloth and I screamed profanities in my bathroom for the next 10 minutes. If I couldn’t get the washcloth out, at least it would be disinfected. I worried whether I was doctoring this correctly, unsure of what else to do… I went to bed with it uncovered, hoping that maybe the washcloth would fall off from me moving around in my sleep.


Washcloth threads stuck inside the wound

The Healing Power of Turmeric

Turmeric, scientifically known as Curcuma longa, is a vibrant yellow spice derived from the rhizomes of a plant native to South Asia. It’s been used for centuries in traditional medicine and cuisine for its numerous health benefits. If your first reaction is to write off the healing benefits, here’s an interesting podcast on how the US attempted to patten those benefits while simultaneously dismissing them as valuable: Spotify: Planet Money – How to fight a patent pirate. One of the key compounds responsible for its healing properties is curcumin, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.

  1. Anti-Inflammatory: Turmeric’s curcumin content is known to reduce inflammation, which can be beneficial when applied to wounds and cuts. Inflammation is a natural response by the body to injury, but excessive inflammation can hinder the healing process.

  2. Antioxidant: Curcumin also has powerful antioxidant properties, which help protect cells from oxidative damage and support the body’s natural healing mechanisms.

  3. Antibacterial: Turmeric has natural antibacterial properties, making it effective in preventing infection in minor cuts and wounds.

  4. Skin Health: Turmeric is known to enhance overall skin health, promoting the regeneration of healthy skin cells.

If you would like to read about these benefits in greater detail, here’s an article from The National Library of Medicine: Wound-Healing Effects of Curcumin and Its Nanoformulations: A Comprehensive Review.

My Experience

It’s difficult to know if the turmeric increased the rate of healing, but it certainly helped me keep it dry when the cut was oozing clear gooey white blood cells. It also soothed the sting of the wound exposed to open air. While soaking it in the tub, I was able to gently pull out the bit of washcloth thread by thread. I just sprinkled the powder directly on the cut and covered it with a nonstick bandage. Over the course of a few days, the wound was looking clean and healthy. Just be careful with what you get it on – it did stain the ledge of my bathtub and bed sheets bright orange.


Turmeric applied after gently removing washcloth threads

Conclusion

Don’t stress shave. But if you do, consider reaching for this common kitchen spice to help you heal. My experience with turmeric as a remedy for healing not only soothed the inflammation but also helped keep it clean. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial qualities make it an excellent choice for minor wounds and cuts, and its overall skin benefits are an added bonus. While turmeric can be an effective home remedy, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for more severe injuries or if you experience any adverse reactions.

So, make sure you keep some of this spice on hand to not only enhance bland food but also assist in overall health and well-being.

Sources:

  1. Kumari A, Raina N, Wahi A, Goh KW, Sharma P, Nagpal R, Jain A, Ming LC, Gupta M. Wound-Healing Effects of Curcumin and Its Nanoformulations: A Comprehensive Review. Pharmaceutics. 2022 Oct 25;14(11):2288. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics14112288. PMID: 36365107; PMCID: PMC9698633.

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