You may remember an Amish woman in Pennsylvania who died last year after a kerosene fire explosion left her severely burned. The woman first treated herself with B & W ointment but only after a few days of what must have been excruciating agony finally went to a hospital. By then it was too late. In Ohio over the weekend a 2-year-old boy who's Amish grandfather invented B&W died under similar circumstances.
B&W's ingredient label says it contains the following: Honey, lanolin, olive oil, wheat germ oil, aloe vera gel, marshmallow, wormwood, comfrey root, white oak bark, lobelia, vegetable glycerine, beeswax and myrrh.
I actually am an enthusiastic supporter of home remedies and insular cultures like the Amish and Native Americans may well have some non-traditional treatments that can be of value. But I think what has happened in both these cases is some basic common-sense was not applied. I think it's possible if one suffers a minor burn the ointment may well help. But, c'mon, there's not a cream in the world that can help when you've got third degree burns over a large part of your body. Just sad and senseless. Even B&W's own label doesn't recommend the ointment as a first treatment, it says to use "after first aid has been given" (which admittedly is vague). So I'm not sure the cream is to blame as much as the people using it.
Has anyone used B&W? What was your experience with it?
The greatest risk with third degree burns is infection and dehydration, both of which occur rapidly without adequate medical treatment. IV fluid boluses and antibiotics are a priority when dealing with full thickness burns, followed by a debridement of dead tissue. I, too, prefer naturopathic remedies as a first line treatment, but in this case time is of the essence and traditional medicine is the best route. Sadly, their deaths were likely due to inadequate medical attention.
Kevin, I'm surprised that you would imply that the cream has ANY responsibility for these deaths. It's like having to put warnings on hot coffee (hot) or jars of peanuts (may contain peanuts). People need to take responsibility for their own actions. The cream didn't kill these people, their own actions (or lack thereof) were to blame. Seems everyone these days need their hands held. Commonsense seems to be coming rarer and rarer.
Paula, not to quarrel with you...but I'm not sure where I even implied that the cream played any role? The cream wasn't the problem, the problem was not getting medical attention soon enough - kevin
I just had to post a comment about this salve as I am living proof of this miraculous product. I was in a horrible accident in 2007, and at the time my husband employed several Amish gentlemen at his sawmill, and when they heard I was in a burn unit with 3rd degree burns over 75% of both legs, they insisted I try B & W. Unfortunately, I had already had one skin graft surgery before I got it. I wish so much that I had known about it because the area where I DIDN’T have the graft (also 3rd degree) looks perfectly normal now…with ZERO scarring! The area of the graft is the only part of my leg that looks awful.
Naturally, my doctor scoffed and laughed when I stopped using traditional western medicine…that is until he saw my legs a week later when I was supposed to be scheduled for a 2nd skin graft. I showed him the jar of salve and he just shook his head then said “whatever you’re doing is amazing, so keep at it…and no further surgery needed!”. He even brought in a photographer because he couldn’t believe it. I’ve had nurses tell me I obviously didn’t have 3rd degree burns if I look the way I do!
I should note that I could not tolerate the Burdock leaves (I was allergic to them), but the salve did just fine regardless. I agree that one should seek immediate medical assistance and not solely trust just the salve. But all I know is I progressed much faster WITH the B & W salve than with the silvadine. Since then, I keep a jar handy at all times…especially with 2 kids and my propensity to burn myself on the stove or cookie sheet frequently. It does as it says…the pain disappears within minutes of applying it!
I have told EVERYONE about this product and I think it is a shame that burn units across the country do not use this. So many suffer from severe burns every day and there is something out there that will save them from the embarrassing scars – but they don’t know about it! I’m a clinical researcher, so I understand that until (if/when) alternative, holistic therapies are proven through the clinical trial process and FDA, there is no hope of seeing B & W on the hospital shelves. I would love to personally thank Mr. Keim for developing this product!!
Thanks for the insight. Personally, I wasn't quarreling with the use of it, only with the decision to not seek professional medical help first and then use the salve as a second-line of defense...Would you recommend receiving the third degree burns and only using the salve, or going to the hospital/medical doctor and then using it? - kevin
Kevin, Please understand, some of us prefer natural remedies, as they are "natural". I, personally would avoid hospitals as much as I could... my b-i-l had a stroke in ICU and there was no nurse around, another came home w/staff infections after visiting his wife and new little daughter... won't bore you w/more.
My friends son was tearing siding off my house when his pry bar slipped and contacted w/loop at the electrical connection to my house. Unfortunately no one was aware the insulation was falling off it, and Dan ended up w/a 2" 3rd degree burn on his arm. He did go to the Clinic, and w/in 24 hours began using the salve... he did not need skin grafting, and does have a scar, but did not continue the use of the salve until the scar was gone.
A few weeks ago my sister steamed the back of her entire hand. She kept it in cold water for a long time, then applied the salve, W/in minutes it no longer pained. She followed up using the salve w/burdock leaves on top, and it was healed w/out scarring in 1.5 weeks.
A month ago I was attacked by a dog and received 25 stitches in my leg. About a week or so later I was reminded of the salve, so I began using it... w/Dr approval! His comment was, "You use that, I have seen it work." So far I have had no infection, but it remains red around the wound.
Yesterday I was able to speak w/David Keim, son of the formulator of this salve. He is very knowledgeable, and so helpful. (He consults free). Part of my wound has ulcerated, and underneath may not be getting the oxygen it needs, so am on my way to a wound care facility in a few hours for evaluation.
The thing people, including you need to realize, is that first we have a right to chose our method of healing, but also we must use good judgement, as w/any other issue we face. And there are times; as w/my wound, I have no idea which direction to take at this point, but can see how the salve has healed the wound in the back of my leg, plus some of the torn area outside the part that has ulcerated. Even my Dr is a bit uncertain which direction to take... is underneath getting enough oxygen or no? So sometimes we simply do not make good choices because we are uncertain.
I wish you had been kinder in your assessment, and not so condemning of the Amish (it appears you are making money off them), and diminished the effectiveness of the product. You may not have meant it that way, but that is how it appears to me.
Actually, I am very open to natural remedies...and I'm not sure that I ever said people shouldn't try B & W...just my opinion that people need to use a balance of both....If it were me, and I had massive burns over my body, I'd probably partake in the best modern medicine had to offer...but I also think there is a place, an essential role, actually, for natural remedies.
As for your unnecessary dig about me "making money off of the Amish." This is my job. This is what I do for a living. Using your logic, my Mother, who is a nurse, is "making money off of sick people." Anyone who works is earning income off of something, so that is a silly point on your part, in all due respect.
My nephew fell in a campfire a few years ago. He was holding his body out of the fire pit with one hand that was in the fire, but had no where safe to put his other hand to get up. He was like that for at least 20 or 30 seconds until someone heard him calling for help and pulled him out. He suffered 3rd degree burns on his hand and fingers and the ER Dr initially thought he would lose his little finger. The Dr. at the regional burn center said the finger would probably survive but he would need multiple skin grafts on his hand and fingers. In addition to the antibiotic cream the Dr. prescribed, they used B & W ointment. When they went back to the specialist a few weeks later, he said it was a "miracle" and skin grafts probably would not be necessary. He used the word "miracle" until they explained that they had used the B & W Ointment, then he chided them for using anything except what he prescribed. The Dr. didn't want to know anything else about the treatment that led to the "miracle". End result: they administered first aid, sought medical treatment, had the wound cleaned, applied antibiotic cream, used the B & W Ointment and dressed the wound daily--twice a day early on--and my nephew doesn't even have scars from this very serious accident.
Best stuff on the planet. I have not used it for anything past a casual ouch in the kitchen, but we use it for all skin issues. We have used it successfully for treating boils, bites scratches and works great on sunburn too. I do work in healthcare and I obviously would not use it in place of the hospital visit, but it is the first thing I reach for at home. Works great on bruises too. A medicine cabinet must have!
I lived in an Amish community and my neighbors swear by this cream for many things. They have testimonies of severe burns being treated with this cream, and burns are very common in the Amish lifestyle, which is why it was developed by an Amish man. Of course they still have to worry about infections. I would use it myself.
Thank you, Paula, interesting...this product definitely seems to have a following, I hope I never need it!
The medical community does not have the answers for everything, and some of them are even open to such things as natural remedies. When I go to the doctor, I have a list of prescriptions, vitamins and supplements I am taking, and what I am allergic to or doesn't agree with me (not necessarily the same thing). I do use supplements and natural remedies, and I have doctors and nurses ask me if they actually work. My reply...would I use them if they didn't? I haven't heard of the B & W Ointment, but if I see it, I will try it. My remedy for burns (or other wounds) is Vitamin E capsules. Snip (or bite) off the end and put it on the burn. But it takes quite a few for an injury of any size!
I think both the Amish and the Native Americans, along with others are right on target with these natural remedies. I prefer these over the chemical replacements any day. I do believe in 3rd and 4th degree burns being treated at a hospital first though as to get infection, dead skin and dehydration under control though. I've used several medicines made by the Amish and Native Americans as we live in an area with both communities. I once had a horse who got his leg caught in the ramp of a trailer and ripped the skin to the bone. An Amish gentleman told me to mix sugar, honey and water into a paste and apply it to the wound after stitching. I thought he was crazy!! After using modern medicines it wasn't healing and getting proud flesh, so I tried the mans recipe and, low and behold you can't even see a scar now.
Suzette, wow, awesome about your horse....like you, I do believe there is overlooked wisdom in the "old ways", nature has answers for a lot of problems if we just look