We’ve all been in a situation where we managed to injure ourselves at home, be it a cut, bruise, or a scrape and there was no disinfectant to treat the wound. Perhaps we had run out of our regular store-bought disinfectant/antiseptic or ointment. What is one to do in such a scenario then? Fortunately, there are some Ayurvedic herbs and treatments that can be used in lieu of our go-to disinfectants.
There are a plethora of plants and herbs in nature which have antiseptic properties. These plants have been used by our ancestors to treat their wounds long before commercial antiseptics were available. Here are just a few of them:
Raimuniya (Lantana Plant)
The Lantana plant or Lantana camara is a flowering plant that grows perennially. It grows like a weed in Africa, Asia, and America. The Lantana plant has antibacterial properties that are effective for treating wounds. The leaves of the plant can be used and applied topically on the infected area. To do this, take a bunch of Lantana leaves and wash them well. Grind the leaves into a paste and apply this paste on the wound. Secure the paste with a cotton bandage if necessary. Lantana oil can also be used in the same manner. Because of its antifungal and antibacterial properties, the Lantana plant is used to treat ailments of the skin.
Triphala is an ancient Ayurvedic herbal preparation that has been used for ages. It is a mixture of the fruits of Emblica Officinalis (Amalaki), Terminalia Billerica (Bibhitaki), and Terminalia Chebula (Haritaki). Although Triphala is more commonly used to treat digestive and gastrointestinal issues by consuming it, it can also be used as an antiseptic. When combined together, these plants have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties. This makes it an effective remedy for injuries and skin issues.
Neem or Azadirachta Indica is an essential plant in Ayurveda. It is a revered plant that is well known for its anti-fungal, anti-microbial, antimalarial properties. Neem leaves have long been used to treat fungal infections. Owing to its disinfectant properties, neem has long been used to treat skin problems. To use neem as a disinfectant, simply make a paste of it and apply it on the affected area. Neem leaves can also be boiled and the water can be used to disinfect wounds once it has cooled.
Aloe Vera is a succulent plant which has a range of uses in Ayurveda. The juice of the aloe vera plant is used to balance the Pitta Dosha. Aloe vera has a cooling effect on the skin hence it is commonly used to treat burns and acne. It has potent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. To treat wounds, scoop out the gel from the flesh of the aloe vera plant and apply it on a clean cotton cloth. Wrap this cloth around the affected area.
Honey or has antioxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used as a wound dressing to promote rapid and improved healing. These effects are due to honey’s antibacterial properties. Secondly, its high acidity, osmotic effect, antioxidant content and hydrogen peroxide content help with the treatment of wounds and skin infections.
The aforementioned home remedies serve as natural disinfectants. They can be used as substitutes for your regular disinfectant when you find yourself in a pinch. These natural disinfectants are non-toxic in nature and can be used safely without any side effects.
This article is reviewed by Dr. Sanjeev Prabhakar Purkar