7 Ayurvedic Rejuvenating Ingredients for Wound Management
We’re only human, after all, so accidents are bound to happen—sometimes we cut our fingers with a knife or scrape our legs after a fall. Fortunately, our bodies are built to help us recover from such injuries through the wound healing process. However, it’s important that we help our bodies out by treating wounds right away, and by making sure we have the nutrients we need in order to properly heal. Doing so helps us ensure that our wounds heal in a timely manner and that we avoid exacerbated, long-lasting scarring. If a wound bleeds persistently, or other symptoms persist, it is extremely important to get timely care from a medical professional as soon as possible.
After we are cut or wounded, our body undergoes four stages of healing. First, we experience blood clotting to minimize bleeding. After the formation of clots, inflammatory and immune cells travel to the site of injury to begin the process of healing. Second, as these cells detoxify the wound and remove external toxins and bacteria, inflammation occurs, leading to swelling, tenderness, redness and irritation. Third, the skin proliferates and repairs itself, forming new skin, tissue and blood vessels. Lastly, our bodies secrete collagen to re-elasticize and strengthen the skin, which is also when scar tissue develops.
To ensure that our bodies go through this process seamlessly, and that the skin effectively repairs itself so as to minimize the lasting impact of scarring, it’s important that we treat wounds right away. Consuming ingredients rich in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and collagen-producing properties is an essential way to supplement the wound healing process.
According to Ayurveda, there are a number of natural ingredients whose rejuvenating properties make them essential go-to’s in any first aid kit once the initial care and disinfection of the wound has taken place (including that bleeding has stopped).
Here are 7 of these remedies, many of which you can find in your kitchen, that provide the body with the essential nutrients it needs to heal, rejuvenate and recover.
One of the most well-known natural treatments for wounds is aloe vera—and for good reason. A natural antiseptic, aloe vera has been used for thousands of years as a healing salve, with applications dating as far back as ancient Egypt. It’s rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and zinc, all of which are essential to helping wounded skin repair itself with minimal damage. In addition, several studies have shown that aloe vera increases collagen production and naturally speeds up the process of healing. Its high antioxidant content also enables it to protect the skin from UV damage. Whether you’re dealing with cuts, scrapes or sunburns, aloe vera is an impressively versatile remedy for healing and rejuvenation.
To reap aloe vera’s powerful benefits, you can simply apply fresh aloe vera gel directly to the skin. Take note that that there are mixed studies about consuming aloe vera orally, with some recommending it and others cautioning against it.
Tea Tree Oil
Another revered Ayurvedic ingredient for wound healing is tea tree oil due to its potent antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In particular, its anti-inflammatory effects enable it to soothe injury-induced swelling and inflammation, while its antibacterial properties help it rid the blood of toxins and bacteria, thereby speeding up the healing process.
To heal wounds with tea tree, simply add a drop of tea tree oil to a wound ointment and apply the mixture to the affected areas.
Many people know turmeric as a skincare powerhouse, since its potent antioxidant properties enable it to reduce wrinkles, combating acne, lightening dark spots and more. But its benefits don’t end there—as research has shown, the antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, turmeric’s main active ingredient, allow it to cleanse wounds of bacteria, alleviate inflammation, promote healthy skin cell regeneration and speed up the overall healing process.
To apply turmeric to burns and wounds, you can mix turmeric and aloe vera gel to form a paste, which you should apply to the affected areas and wash off after 10 minutes.
Neem is a tree in the mahogany family native to India that has been traditionally used as a natural first aid salve for wounds and infections. Research backs up this Ayurvedic wisdom, demonstrating that the antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties of neem effectively alleviate inflammation, promote skin cell proliferation and improve collagen production. It is used in Ayurveda to stop the spread of bacteria, reduce redness and swelling and alleviate pain.
Traditional application of neem involves crushing neem leaves into a paste. Apply to the skin for 20 minutes before washing off with cold water.
More than a tasty natural sweetener, honey has been used throughout many ancient traditions, Ayurveda included, as a potent healer for all kinds of wounds, infections and abrasions. Naturally cleansing and rich in antioxidant and antibacterial properties, honey has been shown to cleanse and detoxify wounds, reduce pain and swelling and promote the regeneration of skin cells while minimizing scarring.
To apply honey to wounds (medical-grade honey is best), you can first apply it to a sterilized dressing, like gauze pads, and press the dressing directly against the skin. Change the dressing whenever it fills up with drainage from the wound.
Tulsi is a versatile adaptogenic herb lauded in Ayurveda for its ability to improve circulation, strengthen immunity, improve cognitive function, boost mood and more. In addition to these impressive benefits, tulsi’s powerful antimicrobial activity also makes it an effective cleanser and healer of wounds, combating infection and promoting faster recovery.
To use tulsi for wounds, you can mix one or two drops of tulsi oil with a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) to apply to the affected areas.
Coconut oil has been used in Ayurveda for healthy hair, radiant skin, strong oral hygiene and even wound healing. That’s because it is full of antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that enable it to speed up healing by stimulating collagen production and prevent infection.
Reaping the wound-healing benefits of coconut oil is simple: all you have to do is apply coconut oil to the affected areas and cover with a bandage.
With a few accessible, at-home ingredients, you can quickly and effectively promote the healing of wounds for rejuvenated, healthy skin.