Yesterday I have written about one of my favorite ways on the road to disinfect an open wound using lemon juice. But when it comes to making sure the wound can heal properly and nothing antagonistic and inflammatory can survive inside the wound I have found nothing that compares to the effectiveness of some finely ground, red chili powder.
Are you crazy?
Granted, it does sound a bit egomanical and braggy but hear me out! It really started as a simple experiment once because a) I'm a huge fan of hot food and all sorts of chili powders in general, and b) because there is something to be said about the average health of people in countries with hot food but less than ideal medical access (when compared to the Western medical system that has many laboratory-grade options to keep wounds sanitized and hazardous toxins at bay).
Adding to that the many beneficial health aspects of regular meals with amped up hotness and the marvellous characteristics of Capsaicin (one of the main substances that gives hot plants their spiciness) and I was ready for some reckless self-experimenting!
After I had cut myself (by accident mind you, I'm not that much in love with chili powder) I remembered the above mentioned bits of information and wondered how chili powder would actually do when put into an open wound.
After the initial bleeding had stopped to wash the wound clean as best as the body could, I would simply walk into the kitchen, get my glass that is always filled with red chili powder (any strain of chili peppers will do really) and put some directly into the wet wound.
God did that hurt! It hurts like hell, but if you have ever gotten a wound sanitized by a doctor with some weird smelly spray you will be familiar with the sensation - it stings.
Then - just like with the lemon juice method - I would simply put a bandaid over the wound or a piece of tissue or toilet paper held in place by electrical tape or even just regular tape. Don't care much ;) The main thing is that the chili powder can work on the wound without falling out too quickly or being disturbed by further dirt or contaminants.
Depending on the size of the wound it might continue hurting for an hour or two but eventually it will stop stinging. Leave the bandaid on, only take it off the day after or so.
You will be amazed at what you see!
It works a charm for burns as well! After the initial lemon juice on my recent burn I opted for chili powder a few days after the wound got disturbed again by dirt and me scraping my hand up once more by accident. Left the chili powder in there and peaked the following day - WOW! Not only was the wound completely dried by all the powder (it will literally draw the wetness out of the wound) but it also looked cleaner than a mere 20 hours prior.
It's like the powder both soaks up the body fluids and disinfects them at the same time, making it the perfect combination to treat wet, open wounds in an easy but efficient manner.
The powder forms some sort of sanitized, protective layer allowing your body to create new skin underneath.
It also seems to be a lot gentler to the body than lemon juice is, maybe because lemon juice adds more wetness and chili powder actually soaks it up.
But like lemon juice there are many benefits to using chili powder in this manner - It's easy to travel with, it's ubiquitously available anywhere in the world and you don't need to pack anything extra if you are a hot-food nerd like myself because you will have the powder with you anyways!
I will be sure to take some pictures the next time I hurt myself and pull out the red powder. Until then, maybe you got inspired to not run to the pharmaceutical giants for little wounds and cuts but instead use a plant and its natural functions to help your body heal itself.
If you do, let me know how it went for you won't ya?