Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic practitioners have used antiseptic salve to treat broken bones, wounds, and ear abscesses for hundreds of years. Herbal salves may include turmeric, lavender, tea tree oil, calendula, aloe, and echinacea among their ingredients. These herbs are said to prevent infection, decrease swelling, inflammation and pain, and speed healing. Before using any antiseptic salve, do a patch test on the skin inside of the elbow to be sure an allergic reaction does not occur. Salve may be purchased at local health food stores, markets, online, or made at home.
Zhen Gu Shui antiseptic salve is used in TCM to speed the healing of fractured bones. Gauze soaked in the salve is placed on the area of the fracture twice a day for 30-120 minutes. The Zhen Gu Shui antiseptic salve contains sheng tian qi, wu ma xun cheng, ji gu xiang, bai zhi, qian jin ba, da li want, bo he nao, and zhange nao.
Turmeric is a well-known antiseptic in Ayurvedic medicine. To make this antiseptic salve at home, bake a spoonful of turmeric and then add mustard oil when the turmeric comes out of the oven. This paste may be applied to burns or other wounds and covered with a bandage. A liquid salve for ear abscesses uses turmeric and alum. The turmeric is combined with alum and water at 1:20 ratio and left standing overnight. The next day, the preparation may be bottled. After shaking the bottle well, two drops can be applied directly into the ear canal four times a day.
Lavender and tea tree oil have both been shown to possess antibacterial and antifungal effects which may help to prevent an infection or fungal overgrowth. The properties in calendula may speed healing of cuts and burns. Aloe contains more than 200 active compounds which have been shown to stimulate cellular regeneration and provide a cooling effect for burns. Echinacea may be added to antiseptic salve to provide an immune-system boost.
Before using any antiseptic salve, do a patch test to make sure there are no allergic reactions. The patch test may be done on the inside of the elbow with a small amount of the salve. If after 24 hours there is no skin redness or itchiness, the salve is probably safe to use. It is important for people to avoid the salves that contain ingredients to which they are known to be allergic.
Antiseptic salve may be purchased at local health food stores or online. For homemade salves, one can find a multitude of recipes on the Internet. The ingredients for homemade salve may be found locally in most major cities and may already be in one's spice cabinet.