Wound Healing, Tap Water vs Salt Water

From skinned knees to surgical wounds. How do nurses and doctors promote wound healing?

A cut, or wound is quickly attended to by first cleansing it with soap and water, thoroughly rinsing it, then allowing it to dry.  What happens next? Research on utilizing tap water or salt water for further cleansing of surgical wounds was performed on patients who were followed over a period of six weeks. Researchers and patients documented their daily results.

Robert Gannon set out to explore how surgical wounds would heal.  “Griffiths et al (2001), (the same experts who assisted the Cochrane database review), carried out a double-blind randomized control trial of Tap Water versus 0.9% Saline Water (salt water) in 49 subjects.

  • Male and female participation was almost equal
  • Average age of 75 years old
  • Wounds studied were a mix of chronic and acute surgical wounds.
  • Explores the importance of warming cleansing solutions before use.

The results that were found have promoted changes within hospital and how wound healing is initiated. The surgical wounds were cleansed and then allowed to dry for a total of 40 minutes as researchers and patients documented the results over a period of 6 weeks.

Conclusion for cleansing with Tap Water

  • Soaking with Tap Water can be an inappropriate choice for regular wound irrigation as it may be detrimental to cells (Towler, 2001) causing cells to burst.  Duly demonstrated by adding water to a suspension of red blood cells causing them to lyse  (loosen or destroy) (Lawrence, 1997)
  • Cleanse wounds with room temperature water as a part of a normal hygiene routine using only a gauze. Do not soak wounds for long periods (Flanagan, 1997).
  • 34.7% of the patients had healed wounds in six weeks using  tap water.

Conclusion with the benefits of Cleansing with 0.9% Saline Water 

  • Room temperature saline water assisted in a faster healing process
  • Cleansing with saline water  (salt water) and with a gauze proved  most effective and quickest way to promote healing of a wound.
  • A total of 61.5% of those given saline healed after six weeks.

Cleansing with salt water made at home is an effective method to promote wound healing.

HOME REMEDY:  Combine 2 Ingredients into a clean glass.

  • 1/2 Tablespoon Fine Sea Salt  or table salt 
  • 1 cup room temperature water

Wash your hands with soap and water before applying.  Stir until salt dissolves. Apply to wound with sterile gauze or clean tea towel. Allow to air dry for 40 minutes before covering with gauze or band-aid. Repeat three times a day. 

RECOGNIZE THE LIMITS of the situation and if a Nurse Practitioner or Doctor should be contacted:

  •  If bleeding persists for 20 minutes.  Stitches may be needed.
  • Any infections that persist after 48 hours.
  • Fever.
  • Swelling is a sign of something more serious.

SALT WATER REMEDIES for the MOUTH:

  • Use salt water as a mouth rinse when your tongue is white! This is a sign that influenza, a cold, or a yeast infection is present.
  • Salt water rinses for tooth ache or after removal of wisdom teeth.
  • Rinsing with 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar will kill germs within the mouth. Rinses should be done three to four times a day.

By: Kimberly Crocker-Scardicchio

References:

  • Gannon, R. (2007) Wound cleansing: sterile water or saline? Nursing Times; 103: 9, 44-46.  http://www.nursingtimes.net/nursing-practice/clinical-zones/wound-care/fact-file-wound-cleansing-sterile-water-or-saline/201829.article
  • Griffiths, R.D. et al (2001) Is tap water a safe alternative to normal saline for wound irrigation in the community. Journal of Wound Care; 10: 10, 407-411.
  • McGuinness, W. et al (2004) Influence of dressing changes on wound temperature. Journal of Wound Care; 13: 9, 383-385.
  • Lawrence, J.C. (1997) Wound irrigation. Journal of Wound Care; 6: 1, 23-26.Selim, P. et al (2001)
  • Evidence-based practice: tap water cleansing of leg ulcers in the community. Journal of Clinical Nursing; 10: 3, 372-379
  • Towler, J. (2001) Cleansing traumatic wounds with swabs, water or saline. Journal of Wound Care; 10: 6, 231-234.

Sore Throat Remedy

Cinnamon, Ginger, Honey and Turmeric all contain properties to fight against colds and influenza.

YES!! Healing your throat can be overcome by using nature’s products so why not give it a try! Four simple items is all that is needed and quickly found at your local grocer.  Honey, cinnamon, turmeric or ginger have a combination of everything needed to fight influenza, colds and germs. The active components are: antibacterial, antifungal, antimricrobial, and antiviral.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 teaspoon honey (Also 1 tablespoon of honey will do!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric (or Ginger)

On the spoon of honey,  place both turmeric and cinnamon. With a toothpick, swirl the spices into the honey. Can be eaten off the spoon 3 times a day, or add to hot tea and drink!

By: Kimberly Crocker-Scardicchio

Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamins & Minerals

Recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals and actual breakdown of Vitamin Content for Vegetables and Fruits with a glance at Mineral Content on Fruit and Vegetables Informative links that nicely graphs the proper milligrams of vitamins and minerals that should be ingested on a day to day basis with warnings about how they may create organ sensitivity or organ damage.

Eat Know How.  Know the Healing Power of Food

Recommended link: Vitamins and Minerals

Home Remedy Facial! Stimulate Your Skins Collagen & Elastin

Our skin is able to play an important role in maintaining the body’s homeostasis. Skin has the ability to cool or keep warm through proper release or conservation of water, assists in maintenance of body temperature and protecting us from disease. Skin is made up of two important proteins that keep the connective tissues from deteriorating; collagen provides firmness to the skin while elastin gives flexibility. Foods that we eat contribute to building a meshwork of important collagen and elastin at the dermis. As we age the skin loses its moisture becomes dehydrated, wrinkled and sagged, both exercise and a healthy diet promotes the longevity and overall health of the skin.Collagen is made through the presence of Vitamin C and while zinc maintains both collagen and elastin.  Include these foods in your diet: Tomatoes, Oranges, Guava, Berries, Kiwi, Red Peppers, Brussel Sprouts, Cantaloupe, Nuts, Olives, Dark Chocolate.

Fish for Omega-3 come in a variety with salmon and  tuna  leading the way as excellent foods for building collagen and elastin in the body, keeping the health of cells strong so that proper blood flow is promoted throughout the body.

Prunes and Blueberries are chocked full of antioxidants excellent for combating free radicals which could otherwise work against the body so that illness could be more prevalent.  Prevent these damaging free radicals by eating ¼ cup of berries (blueberries), or 6 prunes, both which are ideal to optimize antioxidant intake.

Likewise Vitamin K is equally critical to healthy skin, it is a fat soluble vitamin stored in the liver and can be consumed in a variety of foods without exaggerating the serving size.  In most cases a daily serving of ½ cup of a dark green is sufficient for what your body needs.

Vitamin K1: Dark green vegetables (Asparagus, Broccoli, Cauliflower), Leafy Greens (Kale, Collards, Spinch), Green Tea, Cantaloupe, Banana’s, Kiwi, Berries, Apricots

Vitamin K2: found in chicken, salami, ground beef, hard and soft cheese butter.

The list and purpose of Vitamin K show’s why this important vitamin needs to be a part of our daily intake.

  1. Restores health of skin. If topically absorbed, helps to build up the skin around the wrinkle or line to actually erase the sight of them.
  2. Combined with topical vitamin A reduces:  bruises, scars, skin burns, rosacea and dark circles under the eyes.
  3. Promotes Prothrombin then thrombin for proper blood clotting and wound healing.
  4. Aids in curing osteoporosis. Blood is made in the bone. By having vitamin K present bones become stronger, aids bone formation and repair
  5. Prevents certain kinds of cancers that affect the inner linings of the organs, promotes flexible organs, fights against hardening of the arteries.
  6. Important role in the intestines as it helps to change glucose into glycogen(carbohydrate) thus promoting healthy liver function.  (If not present it would result in abnormal or internal bleeding.)
  7. Eat fresh salads, fruits and vegetables in order to optimize on the quality of food and vitamin. Cooking foods high in vitamin K causes the compounds to be leeched and reduces the overall benefit of both food and vitamin.

EASY TO MAKE TOPICAL FACIAL:

  • ¼ cup Rose Water
  • 2 Tbsp Sea Salt or try brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Honey

Combine all ingredients.  With a soft cloth apply mixture to face working in small circles. Rinse your face with warm water and pat dry with a towel, do not rub dry.  Skin scrub only twice a week for optimal skin health.

Homemade Facial Ointment (Cream)

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½  tsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Green Tea (tea water squeezed from wet tea bag)
  • 6 drops Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Rose Water

Combine all ingredients.  The  apply  to face and neck, or entire body.  After 5-10 minutes rinse face with warm water and pat face dry with clean towel. This routine can be done once a day. Complete routine with a moisturizer. For sensitive use less time and if a rash appears use only 3 times a week.

HOME REMEDY FOR EYE SERUM

  • 6 drops Lemon Juice from fresh lemon  
  • ¼ tsp Honey
  • ½ tsp Rose Water

Combine all ingredients and apply under eye on orbital where dark circles and wrinkles are most prominent. Can be used once a day.

  • Honey is utilized to draw in moisture.  Add 1/2 tsp more if your skin is “Dry” and 6 drops of lemon juice.
  • Rose water softens skin.
  • Olive oil provides vitamin A and E to promote building of skin proteins.
  • Green tea has antioxidants to fight against free radicals that come in contact with your skin.
  • Lemon juice is high I vitamin C which stimulates new collagen and elastin in the skin.

Skin cells are rejuvenated every 30 days, utilize the homemade facial cream and see immediate results, noticeable softening and fading of facial lines within 10 days.

You are What You Eat! Improving Your Skin…

How are you aging compared to others in your age group? A question that we do not easily hide from, as the lines on our face tell a story of  our experiences, happiness, defeat’s and triumph’s!

Our own collagen production slows down as we age, drooping and sagging on our body starts to appear. Expensive cream’s are bought and applied early in the morning and late at night with hopes that their magic will work and turn back the hands of time.  While it’s true that moisturizer’s can help reduce the velocity of water loss from our skin, beware of cream’s that indicate a topical collagen to reduce aging.  Research shows that certain cream’s can promote aging, as their collagen droplets are too big to be absorbed by the skin.  Instead, what we should be doing is eating our way to a healthier and younger body, so that our skin is receiving  a proper combination of nutrients to promote collagen synthesis through both animal and plant foods.

Vitamin C is required to improve skin elasticity and slow aging!

Collagen is  not only skin deep, it is a fiber found within connective tissue through out the body including:  skin,  tendons, ligaments, teeth, bones and organs.  Collagen’s main job is to protect  tissue and provide the body with support. These unique fibers are made from protein and have large amounts hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine. Both of these amino acids must be present for development of all types of collagen and are needed to provide the appropriate amount of strength and flexibility.

A good food source of proline from animal is Egg Whites. Wheat Germ is a high quality plant proline.  Fish has an abundance of animal lysine, while legumes (especially peanuts), nuts and seeds are a strong source of plant lysine.

The key macro-nutrient Vitamin C  needs to be present, in order to convert  proline into hydroxyproline and lysine into hydroxylysine (both amino acids present in the collagen form).  While most plants foods are full of vitamin C, eat those fruits and vegetables with bright colors, for a total of 5 a day to keep replenishing this water soluble vitamin. (Enjoy an additional 4 servings of Green Vegetables  per day.)

From time to time collagen damage may occur from diseases. Garlic is food that improves collagen damage and has two principle sulfur nutrients: an amino acid taurine and lipoid acid, giving garlic the unique ability to support damaged collagen fibers.

Lastly, consume foods from two categories of phytonutrients: catechins and anthocyanidins. Research shows that catechins found in Green Tea have been shown to help prevent breakdown of collagen. While anthocyanidins are found in red-blue Berries and Fruits (cherries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries) which help the collagen fibers link together and strengthen the connective tissue, providing you with healthy skin that keeps you from premature aging.

By:  Kim Crocker

References:

Leslie CA, Conte JM, Hayes KC, et al. A Fish Oil Diet Reduces the Severity of Collagen Induced Arthritis After Onset of the Disease. Clin Exp Immunol. 1998;73(2):328-32.

Mirhadi SA, Singh S, Gupta PP. Effect of Garlic Supplementation to Atherogenic Diet on Collagen Biosynthesis in Various Tissues of Rabbits. Indian Heart J.1990;42(2):99-104.

Nandhini TA, Thirunavukkarasu V, Ravichandran MK, et al. Taurine Prevents Fructose-Diet Induced Collagen Abnormalities in Rat Skin. J Diabetes Complications.2005;19(5):305-11.

Thirunavukkarasu V, Nandhini, Anuradha CV. Fructose Diet-Induced Skin Collagen Abnormalities Are Prevented by Lipoic Acid. Exp Diabesity Res. 2004;5,(4):237-44.

Bloomenkrantz N, Asboe-Hansen G. Effect of (+) catechin on connective tissue. Scand J Rheumatol. 1978;7:55-60.

Han B, Jaurequi J, Tang BW, Nimni ME. Proanthocyanidin: a Natural Crosslinking Reagent for Stabilizing Collagen Matrices. J Biomed Mater Res A. 2003;65(1): 118-24.

Health Benefits of Saffron

Health benefits of Saffron make it amongst the most common, sought after, researched spices.  The red colored spice  (yellow when interacting with food) has shown to be a key ingredient in healing the body,  including  its help in the treatment of a number of medical ailments such as: depression, macular degeneration, weight loss, asthma, menstrual discomfort.

With a botanical name  of Crocus Sativus  and commonly called saffron, this wonder spice is sought after from Europe to the Middle East.  Iran is the world’s largest producer of saffron which has researched saffron’s potential medicinal use specifically on how it reduces depression. The research at the Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital in Tehran University of Medical Sciences,  has found saffron to be a safe and effective antidepressant (due to carotenoid alpha-crocin).  Research preformed in Germany has confirmed the results.

While the University of Sydney Australia and  University of L”Aquila Italy have focused on improving the retina as related to macular degeneration through the consumption of Saffron Supplements.  After 3 months of ingesting the saffron the patients had considerable improvement in their vision.

Researchers in France had hypothesized that by improving ones mood through taking a saffron supplement, one could lose weight.  The results showed that in fact by improving ones mood and reducing depression that weight loss could be achieved.

Additional information has confirmed that saffron also totes the ability to ease stomach aches, kidney stones and alleviate bronchial constriction.

Saffron’s medicinal attributes come from minerals and vitamins: copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium.  Cartoenoids: α-crocin, zeaxanthin, lycopene, α- and β-carotenes; all  important antioxidants helping to protect a body from oxidant induced stress, cancers and infections. Vitamin A, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-C.

Saffron supplements have been found to be effective in studies, however, caution is advised if encountering any of the following:  nausea, vomiting, appetite loss or drowsiness. Consult a doctor if more serious side effects occur such as persistent vomiting, blood in the urine or stool’s, nosebleed or dizziness. These may all be signs of a saffron overdose. Use of saffron must be avoided by those with liver or kidney disease, allergies and bipolar disorder. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should also check with a doctor before using saffron.

Kim Crocker

Research Studies

http://www.itmonline.org/articles/saffron/saffron.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15341662
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17704979 http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2010/s2805356.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=weightloss%20saffron
http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/saffron.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15341662

Tuscan Home Remedy for Colds

Passed on from Tuscan natives to tourists and expats alike, this home remedy is tried and proven and will quickly heal those who are ailing from cold ailments, if  utilized multiple times throughout the day.  The idea behind the vapor treatments (done with vinegar and baking soda) is to disturb the present environment of the where the mucus is growing and a virus is thriving. Results after the first 2 treatments are immediately noticeable. This treatment is accepted by Doctor’s when addressing cold’s, however, should still be under advisement.  Often time’s when healing sinusitis and bronchitis, inhalation of vapor combined with eucalyptus drops may also be recommended.
Ingredients
6 cups Boiling water
1-2 Tea Bags
1/3 cup White or Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Baking soda
Have a large towel ready to create a tent as you cover your head over pan to capture and concentrate as many hot vapors as possible while inhaling.
1.  Boil 6 cups of water in medium to large size pan. Turn off stove and Remove pan placing it on to a hot pad on the  table.
2.  Add 1-2 Tea bags (Te`) to hot water in pan
3.   1/3 cup white or apple cider vinegar (Aceto or Aceto di Mela  to hot water)
4.   Cover head with a towel as to keep vapors inside tent,
5.  THEN slowly ADD 2  Tablespoons  Baking Soda (Biocarbinato)
6.   With mouth open inhale vapors that rise up. The first 10 seconds of inhaling the vapors are most important so don’t remove yourself from the bubbling reaction.
7  Utilizing the same pan of hot water, Repeat treatment 2 more times every 3 minutes by adding 1/4 cup vinegar and an additional 2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda. Your total first treatment will be for about 10 minutes.
Repeat 4-6 times throughout the day, may need to repeat for 2-3 days as needed.

ADD TO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE:
1.  Squeeze as much of the juice of a lemon as possible into a glass.  Fill the rest of the glass with water.  Over 20 minutes time consume the lemon water. The vitamin C and antioxidants from the lemon will contribute to strengthening ones immune system.
2.Eat oranges and grapefruit to maximize vitamin C intake.
2.  To Suppress coughing consume 4-6 tablespoons of honey throughout the day.
3.  Drink hot Green, Black or White Tea throughout the day. 6-8 cups to keep body hydrated; additionally, the polyphenols from the tea will combat the virus that the body is fighting against.
4. Gargle with salt water. 1/2 glass of water, 1 Tablespoon salt, stir together . Gargle mouthful’s of water at a time towards back of throat. BE CAREFUL not to swallow water.

Kimberly Crocker