June 25, 2008

by David Christopher, M.H. and founding member of A.H.G.

There are a lot of misconceptions in treating and caring for burns.  Those that have been burned need not suffer pain and disfigurement nor undergo expensive and questionable plastic surgery. 

The first myth that causes excruciating pain is the supposed necessity of exposing the burn to air.  Adherence to this myth has caused extreme pain and suffering.  Airing out burns is not necessary and is counter productive.

The next myth that causes undo pain and scarring is that one should not use oil on burns.  Olive oil based herbals prevent scarring and alleviate pain.

The third myth is the necessity of debridement.  Clearly, leaking fluids, decaying tissues, and bacteria need to be removed but not by the present methods using wipes and brushes.  I can not think of anything so tortuous.  In fact, nurses who care for burn patients take special psychological training enabling them to continue their duties regardless of the screams of their patients.  It is even more heartrending when they change dressings for children who have been badly burned.

Herbal Protocol

First- submerge wound in very cold or ice water.  If clothing is involved, submerge affected areas in ice water clothes and all, and then carefully remove clothing from these areas.  This is to prevent pulling off the skin.

Second-apply burn ointment (see Herbal legacy - http://www.herballegacy.com/Burns_Sunburns.html Comfrey Paste) or simply combine Dr. Christopher’s BFC salve (now called Complete Tissue and Bone ointment) with an equal amount of pure raw honey.  Mix well and apply thickly (1/16 inch), then apply soft fresh leaves (plantain, dandelion, even the soft parts of spinach or lettuce) then apply gauze to secure the leaves, then cover with soft padding and secure with an ace bandage.  (Caution: gauze applied directly over the ointment, when removed, will pull off the new skin that the body is trying so hard to make). Non stick pads will trap bacteria and fluids and worsen the condition.  Leaves allow oxygen in the air to counter the bacteria but still provide a comfortable barrier.  The dressing should be changed 2 to 3 times daily, depending on elimination.

Case History

Glory, age 5, was on the floor doing her homework when her brother passed by carrying a load of books.  He tripped on the cord to the crock pot, which spilled its contents of hot soup on Glory’s abdomen and legs.  Panic ensued, resulting in running around with scalding hot clothes.  Her Dad rushed in and immediately put her under a cold shower.
They removed the clothes and rushed her to the hospital.  On the way they applied the honey that they grabbed on their way out the door.

At the hospital the prospect was grim.  They applied Silvadene or some such product and pain killers.  Needless to say, there was no progress or relief for three days, yet they would not release the child to the parents.  The mother called me on the second day and I taught her the herbal protocol for burns.  Instead of releasing the child they transferred her to Shriner’s Hospital in Galveston, Texas.  The family followed.  At Shriner’s one of the top surgeons in the country explained about shaving her head and removing the skin from her head to graft into the legs and abdomen.  This was necessary because according to modern medicine, “the damage was too great and could not heal without horrible disfigurement.” 

The parent’s pleaded for time at home for mental calming of the child, good sleep and familiar food and surroundings.

A miracle ensued that they were able to take the child home. Here they applied the protocol mentioned earlier.  They saw more progress in one day than was evident in the hospital in 10 days.  Today she is doing great and is mostly scar free.  If they hadn’t wasted time in hospital care, she would have healed faster with little pain and no scarring. 

Glory’s mom has agreed to allow us to share the pictures of her burns and recovery with you.  They are located on our website – however, we want to warn you before you click on the link that the pictures are very graphic due to the severity of the burns.  In order to show the burns and the healing Glory is unclothed.

To see the pictures please click the following link:


For complete protocol on burns I suggest the excellent book “Comfort for the burned and Wounded” by John Keim.  This can be purchased from Christopher Publications for $14.95. To order please visit: http://www.christopherpublications.com/Keim_Comfort_Burned.html.