Learning And Healing

We have had another adventure with Ralph in the last few weeks. The week before Christmas he was in our living room playing. He put something over his head, took off running, slipped, and fell into our wood stove, burning his little hand. We were very concerned, because the stove was very hot and he was leaning on it for what seemed a long time, it wasn’t much longer than a few seconds, but thankfully the burn ended up being only a second degree burn.

After running Ralph’s hand under cold water for a while, we got it wrapped up and kept an eye on him to make sure he didn’t start to run a fever. This all happened late in the evening and I thought it might be a rough night. Surprisingly he slept well after finally falling to sleep. Grady did not. During the night Grady woke up and looked up different natural burn creams and found something called B & W cream that the Amish and Mennonites use. We didn’t have access to any of the cream that night, but Grady knew someone to call the next morning. The ingredients in B & W cream: Honey, Lanolin, Olive Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Aloe Vera Gel, Several Herbs, Vegetable Glycerin, and Bees Wax.


In the morning we unwrapped Ralph’s hand, applied honey, and rewrapped it. He passed the morning playing some, but also wanting lots of momma time. Grady called a family in the area who has used B & W cream with many different burns and they invited us to come to their house to get supplies. When we arrived they had everything laid out to help us bandage Ralph’s hand. They were very helpful and showed us how to slather on the ointment, place a moistened burdock leaf over the area, which keeps the gauze from sticking to the skin and also draws out impurities, and then how to wrap it with gauze.


We rewrapped and reapplied the ointment and burdock leaf twice a day for ten days and then once a day for a week. It looked awful for the first ten days, but did not get infected, and over the second week you could see the change in the skin every day. Every time I saw the area I was in awe of how it looked, the fact that our bodies can heal so well with only a small amount of help is amazing!  As of today Ralph’s hand has bright pink spots in the burn area, but you wouldn’t be able to notice if it wasn’t pointed out to you.

Do you have any burn stories/helpful info?

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About Erin Phelan

Born and raised in western Michigan, Erin came to Polyface first as an intern in the summer of 2009. While here she met and got to know Grady Phelan, an apprentice at the time. The next spring they were married and after a couple years in Oklahoma they are back, working as sub-contractors for Polyface. Erin keeps herself busy with the jobs of a wife and mother, as well as helping with the animals, gardening, sewing, cooking, baking, knitting and reading.
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20 Responses to Learning And Healing

  1. Dennis Tracz says:

    Another good solution for burns is Pinee used since 1928. All natural 100% pine oil. http://www.pinee.net

  2. Karen says:

    My friend burned her hand when she was 18 mos old. She said her grandparents poured vinegar on it then packed it with baking soda. they told her by the time they got to the ER she was holding the bottle with her burned hand indicating there was no pain.

  3. Oh my goodness, what a scare, and it would figure that it happened right at Christmas. Stuff happens with kids, and never at a good time, right? I’m so glad he healed well. I was treated for a burn on my ring finger last year (had to get the ring cut off), and they used aloe cream on it before wrapping it with gauze. I’ve heard that honey is good for this too, and the burdock leaf makes a lot of sense. I bet with you little one being a boy and a farm kid, you’re in for plenty more mishaps in the next few years – better stock up on supplies!

    • Erin Phelan says:

      Yes, things always seem to happen at the wrong time, but it does grow you at the same time. Was your burn severe that they placed the cream on, and did it help?
      I have already resigned myself to have to handle many more cases like this one over the next 10, 20, etc. years. I can only imagine what Ralph will get into next. Good idea, I do need to stock up on supplies!

      • Second degree, like little Ralph – the only reason I went in was to get the ring cut off, as my finger had swelled – I knew I could treat the burn myself, but since they had me in there, they just went ahead. We’re in Canada, where stuff like this is paid for by our medicare system. Yes, it healed very quickly – I had the gauze off within a week, it was very pink and tender, peeled a bit, and then it just went back to normal. Not my ring though 🙁

  4. Tonia says:

    The best thing I have found for burns and what takes the pain away almost immediately is Lavender essential oil. We keep some all the time now. As soon as the burn happens we apply by dripping it on the burn. Usually it is gone almost immediately for small burns. But I did treat a major wood stove burn with it on a 6 year old. We applied the Lavender EO then a wet rag with ice on top of it with in hours she was up playing like no big deal.

    • Marta Szuba says:

      I have had similar success with lavender and have used it for all of my burns. I also put a little peppermint on to help cool the burn. Pain goes away within the hour, blister hardens and sloughs off over the course of a few days with no scaring.

    • Erin Phelan says:

      Did you apply it right after burning or after applying cold water to the burn…?

  5. Applying egg whites directly to the burned area is an amazing “cure”. The collagen in the egg whites seems to go to work immediately to heal the wound.

  6. Sandy says:

    That’s awful for your little one – and for the parents! I doubt that we could get that ointment in Australia, but will try the lavender essential oil for a burn next time. In the past with first degree burns on myself and the children, we ran cold water over the burn, then a dose of panadol (rarely use it so always had to search for it!), then applied a slathering of comfrey ointment and covered the area with a dry dressing. By the next day it would have improved significantly and the day after that was healed. Comfrey ointment is a miracle worker in our house. 🙂

  7. Hannah Kilpatrick says:

    Poor little guy. He is so adorable. I got burned pretty bad by trying to burn two ends of rope together. The burning rope flapped back and hit my hand. I still have a bad scar after probably 6 years.

  8. Barry Newman says:

    Silver sulfadiazine can help keep infection out and healing going. Cute little boy.

  9. Marcus Lucas says:

    If your area allows the legal use of the Rick Simpson Oil, use it as it is the best for burns; otherwise,,use Wedderspoon 100% Raw Organic Manuka Honey 16+. Both have been thoroughly tested for burns.

  10. Erin Phelan says:

    Is this easy to get a hold of?
    Thank you 🙂

    • Marcus Lucas says:

      You can pick up Manuka honey at health food stores, online, or at amazon.com. Medihoney is FDA approved and is carried by amazon.com. My doctor is using the tube form for healing a persistent wound.

  11. Megan Volmer says:

    I got a pretty bad burn frying beef liver. Grease came up when I dropped liver too fast. Burned the bottom of my thumb and ran down toward my thumbnail. Second degree burns. Immediately put yellow mustard on it (my mother in law told me about this). Since it is cold from the fridge it feels good and I think the mustard itself must have drawing properties. Kept mustard on for 20 min then cut an aloe leaf in half and bandaged that on for a few hours. Kept it bandaged with aloe for a few days changing it some. Applied Eden Salve from bulkherbstore.com. Mix of olive and coconut oil and beeswax as well as comfrey and another herb or two. Applied that with a q tip twice a day. It looked horrible for awhile, but even though it was in a pretty bad spot and as the mom of 6 with a deployed husband I could not stop using it I had no scaring. It was a bit pink for awhile, but six months later it is invisible.

  12. Ryan Platte says:

    Counter-intuitive, but *hot* water helps immensely after a burn. Start lukewarm and increase the temperature as much as can be tolerated. We use this all the time and it REALLY helps. My wife got a pretty bad burn just yesterday that didn’t even blister after she applied hot water.

    And then for the rest of the healing, +1 for B&W ointment—we’re well-acquainted users with our six kids!

  13. Meg says:

    I haven’t tried this myself, but I’ve heard that if you keep a can of French-cut green beans around (especially if they’re in the fridge to keep them cold) and you stick your burned hand/finger etc. in it for a while before dressing the burn, it will drastically reduce the damage. Don’t know why it works or why they’re supposed to be French-cut specifically, but it is supposed to work really well.

  14. Paula says:

    I recently had a friend with a little boy Ralph’s age that, when falling, grabbed mama’s hot metal curling iron with his hand burning it like Ralph did. She works for a natural sports med chiropractor. They immediately (within 15 minutes) used cold laser therapy on his burn. I saw it the next day & it looked like a week or 2 week old burn. There were no blisters or peeling. Using wheat germ oil & cold laser on his hand, within 3 weeks you couldn’t tell he’d be burned.