This is a very practical question. Our Nde members who work on farms, or still use traditional tribal medicines, probably know the answer.
I am looking for a native plant or herb that can be used to clean and sterilize minor wounds. Amongst Indian tribes, it is very common to make a simple medicine to clean small wounds ... cuts, scrapes, and torn skin. These medicines are for external use only, only for washing the skin to kill germs.
Does anyone know what the Apaches or Navajo's used for simple care of wounds.
I was reminded about this ... because i was working on a family farm in Brazil. My hands got some cuts from cutting bamboo (sometimes it splinters). We handle this problem by mixing a local plant we call "propolis". Its an old remedy from the Brazilian Indians. My mother-in-law is an Indian from Brazil, and the herbal remedy works better than store-bought medicines.
I am not Apache or Navajo; I hope you do not mind if I comment on some of the things my grandfather used. What he called propolis he got from the comb of wild honey bees (any honey bee will work). He took part of the dry comb, ground it up and added water to it and it did wonders on cuts. He also used pine sap. On the trees are small bumps, when you press them sap runs out that looks like honey. Place over the cut. The outer layer of the Echinacea (also called coneflower) root is also good.
thank you. you are definitely correct that wild honey is a good antiseptic for wounds. honey does kill bacteria, and it is mild on human skin. I have used it myself. so your grandfather was perfectly correct.
In Brazil, the herb they call 'propolis' is a native medicinal plant. it is very strong. although some people use it as a mouthwash, it is better to use it externally on the skin.
I have some books on medicinal plants and herbs for the Southwest USA. When i have some time, i will investigate these plants and see if i can develop my own herbal medicine for skin wounds.
But I'm pretty sure that the Navajo and Apache people will already know these cures. They have been living in their homelands for centuries. And so that's why I asked.