Perils of the Kitchen! Quick Fixes For Wounds & Pains!

cheese grater

I am continually amazed at the remarkable talent dogs have for injuring themselves. In my veterinary practice, a high percentage of the cases that walk in the door are wound cases from trauma; like the dog that skewered himself on a tomato stake because he was climbing a tree trying to get to a squirrel. Or the dog with the nasty electrical burns on his lips from chewing on a lamp cord. Or the dog that….well, you get the idea. Yup. Dogs are dumb.

Sometimes we as humans are dumb too. For example, who was the sadistic maniac that invented the mandolin? I’m not talking about the musical instrument, I’m referring to that evil device of culinary torture that was designed to lop off the fingertips of distracted cooks. Or the cheese grater! How many of us have nipped a knuckle on one of those devils? And don’t even get me started on kitchen knives! Then there are the stoves and ovens and pots and pans, all of which will eventually give us a burn worth remembering.

As the holiday’s roll into full swing, our kitchens get more crowded, more chatty, and less focused on the myriad perils facing our poor, unsuspecting fingers. Invariably, someone is going to get a bad owie before it’s all over!

But there are other perils from our kitchens! All of that amazing holiday food! Along with the delicious delights and delectable deserts come the wild swings in blood sugars, the dietary fat levels we haven’t seen in a year, and the extensive over-distention of stomachs and other innocent innards that really aren’t equipped for that many tasty wonderments in one day. Our poor bodies try to warn us that this sort of overindulgence is a bad idea. They plead with us by giving us headaches, bellyaches, sore joints, and other aches and pains hoping that we’ll learn from our mistakes and remember not to do this again next year. Yeah…probably not going to happen.

Well, there’s good news. God knew when he put this whole thing together that we’d cut ourselves, burn ourselves and traumatize our innards with our holiday cooking adventures so He prepared some wonderful plants to help us heal our woes.


Yarrow and cayenne are both wonderful for stopping bleeding when applied topically. Dusting that cut with a little powder of either one before putting on the Band-Aid will generally stop the bleeding very quickly. And, as if stopping the bleeding wasn’t enough, both of those herbs have some good bug-killing properties that can help to prevent infection of the wound as well. Calendula flowers are another wonderful antibiotic and also a great anti-inflammatory. Of course, the real hero for wound healing is Comfrey. Comfrey contains a chemical called allantoin which is the physiological equivalent to smooth jazz and chocolates and causes cells to reproduce like crazed bunny rabbits, markedly accelerating wound healing.


Of course, the old stand-by for burns is Aloe vera. Many homes have an aloe vera plant growing on the kitchen window sill. The gel in the leaves has an osmotic property that draws the edema and swelling from a burn and thus relieves the pain. But aloe isn’t the only good burn remedy. Purslane, that weed growing in your sidewalk cracks, is every bit as good. Just grind up its little succulent leaves and apply the goo to the burn. Hens & Chicks is another great burn remedy. Like the succulents above, it is very effective on burns. So effective in fact, that the Babylonia King Nebuchadnezzar ordered that every village in his realm grow hens & chicks. Another good choice for burns is the prickly pear cactus. Just fillet the cactus leaf and slap that rascal right on the burn. Umm…do make sure that you put the correct side of the leaf facing down though. Both hens and chicks and prickly pear have the advantage of overwintering in places that actually have winter and of being just as useful in December as they are in June.

Brains, Bellies and Bowels

Interestingly, some of the same herbs that are good for headaches are also excellent for stomachaches, colic, and other post-prandial pains. About any of your kitchen spices will help as will about any member of the mint family. Of course, almost all of your kitchen spices are in the mint family, hence the correlation. Rosemary, basil, and peppermint are all good for either headache or bellyache. Fennel, ginger, and chamomile are really good choices for tummy troubles as well.

How About Having Some Things On Hand…Just in Case?

This Holiday season, I encourage you to do your body a favor and have a few herbs on hand to protect it and patch it up after the inevitable kitchen consequences of the season. To that end, I encourage you to have a look at these two nifty herb kits.

The Cut Bite & Sting Kit

Prepper’s Pain Management Kit

Have a great day!

~ Doc Jones

(Psssst… You may not have heard about our upcoming Respiratory Masters Seminar! Sign Up Quick! )

30 thoughts on “Perils of the Kitchen! Quick Fixes For Wounds & Pains!

  1. Mark Manno says:

    Just love your subtle (and sometimes, not so subtle) humor. Thanks for your sharing your knowledge in a light-hearted and entertaining manner. God bless you and your work.

    • Dr. Patrick Jones says:

      I probably should have warned folks at the beginning of the article that I was even going to bring those up…Much too scary for sensitive readers. LOL

    • Dr. Patrick Jones says:

      When it’s in flower, lop off the top 25% and dry it. Don’t dry it in the sun…sunlight ruins herbs. After it’s dry, poke it into a blender and powder it.

  2. Mary Ellen Cota says:

    Love your great humor AND your willingness to share this valuable information. I have two new plants on my property now, the elderberry bush and the yarrow I was told grows well with it. Thanks so much!

    • Dr. Patrick Jones says:

      That’s fun. I have yarrow growing near my elderberry too. Didn’t know they were supposed to be friendly…it just worked out that way. :0)

  3. John Fulton says:

    Thanks for your information. I love your teaching manner.
    I always keep some Comfrey available and use it almost daily on something. Separated or pulled my shoulder and treated it daily with comfrey and just cut and split a trailer load of wood yesterday without any pain. I was wondering if Comfrey would also help a hernia? I make up my own concoction by putting the leaves in my Bullet blender along with some Rosemary, Mint, Plantain, Basil and Vodka. Place it in a glass bottle and use it that way. Not sure if it’s the correct way but it seems to work for me. Your thoughts? Later…John

    • Dr. Patrick Jones says:

      That blend would be fine. I’d let it sit a week to really get good extraction into the alcohol.
      As to the hernia question, the problem with hernias is that there is space between the two edges of the wound and there tends to be something in that space (usually omentum) so the edges aren’t touching. If the edges aren’t touching and something is in the way mechanically to keep them from coming together it’s tough for the comfrey to do its job. Usually with hernias, you need a good mechanic to pull it all together and sew it up.

  4. Kathryn says:

    Hi Doc, LOVE your articles. So fun, educational and humorous. You have a real knack there. A few months back, signed up for your herb school and one of these days, I’m going to start it, I swear! When I read these articles, I know the school will be just as fun.

    Question: I have some yarrow flowers and stems. I have had it for YEARS. Literally. Would you say it’s still good? It’s been enclosed in tins or bottles. Thx.

    • Dr. Patrick Jones says:

      Dried herbs have an optimal shelf life of a year or two. I’d throw it in your compost and start over. Yarrow is good for compost piles.

  5. Alina says:

    The last two times I cut myself, I used the cayenne powder, remembering your wisdom, and it worked great. One of those times was a large slice from glass, and it eventually healed up fine…I didn’t want to be heading into covid territory for a cut, so I was happy to have the info, plus my body’s healing ability. Thanks, as always! Aloha, Alina

    • Dr. Patrick Jones says:

      I think having some skills and resources to heal ourselves is a great idea. Most things don’t require a trip to the emergency room. It’d be pretty sad to go in for a cut and come out with something worse.

  6. Leslie Hanson says:

    About the cheese grater. I just got my thumb knuckle again, 2 years after the first time, same spot!
    Thank you for all the suggestions! I love your articles!

  7. Chrissie says:

    Hens & Chicks is completely new to me – I looked it up – Sempervivum tectorum – but I noticed there are very many different varieties – are they all the same medicinally or do I need to look for a particular one please?

    • Dr. Patrick Jones says:

      Any of them will be fine for the topical uses I mentioned. Sempervivum means “always alive”. You can go out to your snow bank on Christmas day and dig one out to treat a burn. Aloe isn’t nearly that tough. :0)

  8. Linda Mount says:

    While I was slicing and dicing veggies this fall, I sliced off a small segment of my left thumb right next to my nail. While it was bleeding like crazy it struck me that I was the crazy one because I had a whole lot of yarrow growing in my herb garden right outside my kitchen and I was ignoring it. So, I went out and got a few leaves and slapped them on the cut. It stopped bleeding instantly! (And it didn’t even burn! :-)) So, I am a total convert to using yarrow for stopping bleeding! It really works! Aloe is awesome, too. I routinely burn myself while cooking and I use aloe on those burns. One or two treatments are all it usually takes for small cooking burns.

  9. noreen says:

    Hi Dr.Jones,,I love reading everything here,very informative(the humor is awesome),,especially at this time with so much tention in our world. What is a dog lacking when he eats his poop.

    • Dr. Patrick Jones says:

      Dogs eat their own poop as a defensive/protective behavior. It’s particularly common among females with pups who have an interest in not alerting local predators to their location/den.
      Also, some dogs eat poop just because dogs are dumb.

      There is a product called Forbid that you feed to the pooper which makes their poop taste worse so that dogs won’t eat it. Now, who they got (and how much they paid him) to make THAT determination is a closely guarded industry secret. Forbid is actually just MSG, the flavor enhancer used in many foods. Take home message: If you eat lots of Doritos, don’t eat your own poop…it won’t taste good. I think you can buy Forbid on Amazon.

      • Linda says:

        Haha, so just feed your dog a little Accent and you can do the same thing. Of course MSG is a excitotoxin that I would never feed to any human or animal-hence I no longer eat Doritos, Cheetos, or those wonderfully “flavored” chips. All contain MSG.

        • Dr. Patrick Jones says:

          Yeah. MSG really has no “flavoring” components. It’s just designed to make your brain think stuff tastes good.

  10. Paula says:

    At work my sister was cutting boxes open with a razor blade and sliced herself between her thumb and finger. They couldn’t get the bleeding to stop [just slowed it down] I made her put dried yarrow leaves [powdered] on the wound and then wrapped it up. Not only did it stop the bleeding but the next day there was no swelling or redness at the cut. It is amazing. I didn’t realize that the orig. white variety is best to grow. Most of mine is colored but it worked well anyway. I am getting original white variety to plant next spring.

    • Dr. Patrick Jones says:

      I think maybe products that contain MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) should have a disclaimer on the package. “Warning: This product may make your poop taste really bad.”

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