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Minor Wounds

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Minor wounds are very common. Most will heal on their own with little or no treatment. Others such as chronic wounds may need more care. All wounds should be kept clean and dry. Some may need a bandage.

If there are signs of infection such as swelling, redness, pain, or discharge from the wound, contact your doctor.

Natural Therapies

Some therapies may help wounds heal faster. They may also decrease the risk of infection.

Likely Effective

Comfrey is a shrub. It is likely to speed healing when applied over fresh abrasions. A1-A2

May Be Effective

  • Aloe vera is a succulent plant that may speed healing on some types of wounds.B1-B3
  • Medical grade honey may speed healing and lower the risk of infection when put directly on wounds and burns.C1-C3
  • Royal jelly is a substance secreted by honeybee workers and fed by them to larvae. It may ease symptoms and speed healing.D1

Unlikely to Be Effective

  • Zinc is a nutrient found in cells throughout the body. It is unlikely to help ease chronic wounds.E1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about all herbs or supplements you are taking. Some may interact with your treatment plan or health conditions.

Comfrey cream contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which should be used with extreme caution when applying to broken skin or open wounds. These substances can cause liver disease, which can lead to liver failure.



Comfrey Cream

A1. Barna M, Kucera A, et al. Wound healing effects of a Symphytum herb extract cream (Symphytum x uplandicum NYMAN): results of a randomized, controlled double-blind study. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2007;157(21-22):569-574.

A2. Barna M, Kucera A, et al. Randomized double-blind study: wound-healing effects of a Symphytum herb extract cream (Symphytum×uplandicum Nyman) in children. Arzneimittelforschung. 2012 Jun;62(6):285-289.

Aloe Vera

B1. Dat AD, Poon F, et al. Aloe vera for treating acute and chronic wounds. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;(2):CD008762.

B2. Molazem Z, Mohseni F, et al. Aloe vera gel and cesarean wound healing; a randomized controlled clinical trial. Glob Health Sci. 2014;71(1):203-209.

B3. Panahi Y, Izadi M, et al. Comparative trial of Aloe vera/olive oil combination cream versus phenytoin cream in the treatment of chronic wounds. J Wound Care. 2015;24(10):459-460.

Medical Grade Honey

C1. Robson V, Dodd S, et al. Standardized antibacterial honey (Medihoney) with standard therapy in wound care: randomized clinical trial. J Adv Nurs. 2009;65(3):565-575.

C2. Jull AB, Cullum N, et al. Honey as a topical treatment for wounds. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015;(3):CD005083.

C3. Lindberg T, Andersson O, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of dressings used for wound healing: the efficiency of honey compared to silver on burns. Contemp Nurse. 2015;51(2-3):121-134.

Royal Jelly

D1. Erdem O, Güngörmüş Z. The effect of royal jelly on oral mucositis in patients undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Holist Nurs Pract. 2014;28(4):242-246.


E1. Wilkinson EA. Oral zinc for arterial and venous leg ulcers. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;(9):CD001273.

Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC