My family and I participate in LARP (Live Action Role Playing, for the uninitiated) We  play in SCA and Amtgard. My kids play at sword fighting and archery with foam weapons. It’s great exercise, educational, the people are pretty awesome, and it’s just a whole lot of fun.  Well, this weekend, we were playing and someone threw a javelin. (they are foam, remember?) The wind caught the javelin and carried it off it’s mark. It hit my 8 yr old daughter in the forehead. Somehow, the core of the weapon poked through the foam and she walked away with a nice little gash in her forehead. Lots of blood(head wounds bleed more than other parts of the body), and 7 stitches later, she’s all fixed up, and looking forward to getting back on the field to “get back at” they guy who threw the wayward weapon.  Any sport brings a risk of injury, and frankly Amtgard is safer than many other sports.

But, as we all know stitches hurt. The ER doc did a great job of numbing the injury before she stitched my daughter up, but as the topical numbing meds wore off, my daughter started feeling it.  My go to herb for skin injuries is typically kava kava. It’s a solid topical numbing herb, but you have to use a compress on the wound, and of course, you can’t soak or put a wet compress on stitches. So, I looked at my herb stash. I always keep white willow bark on hand for headaches and such. I try to avoid pharma meds whenever possible, so my herbal first aid kit is pretty extensive.

I took about 3 tablespoons of white willow bark, and simmered that in water for about 15 minutes. That’s not the standard recipe, but I didn’t want it to be too strong. My daughter is only 8, and a little small for her age. When it was done, I had enough liquid to fill a baby food jar. When she complains of pain, she gets 1 -2 tablespoons in a mug of hot water with a little raw, local honey to cover the taste. It’s working well for her. It’s not strong enough to completely get rid of the pain, but it takes the edge off,so she can play and run around like the active bouncy little girl she is.

She’s looking forward to getting the stitches out next week so she can exact her revenge.



Tell me your thoughts.