Molly Time, if you remember, has a whole passel of kids, seven in all. During the summer she has to deal daily with the things kids get into. The kids practically live outside, so when they do come in before supper it usually means someone has a cut, scratch, or other "boo boo" that needs attention.
Cuts and Scratches
If the bleeding will not stop or if the cut is gaping or deep, she gets her child to the doctor. She never applies tourniquets because that can cut off circulation.
Kids will not always come in for help as soon as they get a cut or scratch. Sometimes, by the time Molly looks at the wound, the blood has already dried. Yet she knows that does not mean it can be ignored. Infection can set in easily if the cut is not attended to. Cuts can bleed a lot so Molly stays calm so as not to panic her child. If the cut is still bleeding Molly applies pressure with cotton gauze or a clean cloth. When the bleeding stops, she washes it thoroughly with soap and water, an antibacterial cream on it, then bandages it to keep it clean. She does not, nor lets her child, peek or take off the bandage until the cut is healed or the bandage gets dirty.
If the bandage gets dirty, she takes it off, checks the wound for signs of infection (redness around the wound, or the wound is weeping, that is when a clear liquid seeps from the wound). If there are signs of infection, she takes the child to the doctor. If no infection has set in and the wound has closed, she gently cleans the area, applies an herbal salve and re-bandages it.
Minor cuts and scratches can also be washed with a strong tea made from calendula flowers, or distilled Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana). If her child balks at having the wound cleaned out, Molly lets the child just soak the wound in a warm bath, using a mild soap. This softens and removes any dried blood and foreign matter.
Molly makes her own healing herbal salve and keeps it on hand for these little calamities. The salve consistency is thick enough to remain in place on the skin.
Molly's Herbal Salve
Lard (or other fat which will be hard at room temperature)
Equal amounts of following powdered herbs:
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Licorice (Glycirrhiza glabra)
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
small amount of gum benzoine or tincture of benzoine
Ratio is one part of herbs to four parts fat. With as many kids as Molly has, she makes four cups at a time. So, she uses one cup of herbs for four cups of fat.
Mix herbs and preservative into hot fat with a wooden spoon, let cool a little and pour into small sterilized glass jars that have a tight fitting lid. Do not tighten lid until salve is completely cool. Label jar with the date and "Herbal Healing Salve". The tincture of benzoine will allow you to store the salve for several years. Always keep tightly closed. To apply salve to wound, put a small amount on a gauze pad, apply to wound, and secure with adhesive tape.
Once the wound has closed and is well on its way to healing, Molly applies vitamin E oil directly from the vitamin capsule to help prevent scarring.
Note from author:
Molly Time is a fictional character created by author.
Most minor cuts, scrapes and scratches can be taken care of at home. Serious wounds need the prompt attention of a doctor. The information in this article is not meant to replace the care or advice from your family physician. The author does not guarantee any remedy mentioned in this article.
Make sure your child's shots are up to date.