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Stop Bleeding With Black Pepper & Cold Keys? {Interesting}

Here’s a neat tip I found in my notes (loose page from an old community cookbook):

When accidentally cutting your finger or your hand, cover with a generous amount of ground black pepper.

Contrary to ones thinking this will not burn, instead it stops the bleeding, is most healing, takes out the soreness also forms a crust over the wound to keep out infection.

Who knew! I did try this on a new little cut I have just to see if this would sting and found that it didn’t at all. The cut is a bit deep but it is a day old so the healing process already started before I applied it.

Rinse wound first before applying, this would be a treatment for minor cuts and scrapes only.

I did look around a bit online to see if I could find any info on why this works and although there was some information that pepper can be used for this, I didn’t find any solid answers explaining why it works. However I did find this on a discussion page in Wikipedia [1]:

Pepper has some antibacterial properties; the small bits may provide places for platelets to glom onto and quickly begin coagulation, and lastly, probably because it’s easily available in a big kitchen. I used to use salt for the same purpose, for the same reason. (For small surface scratches / very shallow cuts, nothing deep. Stings a bit but not intolerably.)


Here’s an interesting trick sent in by Michael…

If you look in the fridge of anyone in my family, you’ll inevitably find a small plastic tub filled with a few rings of old keys. It’s an odd find for sure but we use them to treat nosebleeds.

How it works: take the keys out and hold them against the back of the neck until they’re no longer cold.

If that doesn’t help, run a second set up and down the spine. The bleeding should stop after a few minutes.

As far as I know this practice began with my grandfather and we don’t know why it works, but it’s never failed.

This was new to me so of course I had to do a little bit of investigating ;). Here’s what I learned:

The body will instantly react from the cold metal placed against the skin by constricting the blood vessels in the area. You can use any metal item (such as a spoon or coin) since metal retains the temperature so well. You could also use a wet cloth, an icepack or run water down the back. Thanks for sharing this Michael!

Research Source: The People’s Pharmacy, Quick & Handy Home Remedies [National Geographic]. The book’s website [2] suggests it’s an old folk remedy that’s come over from Europe.

If that seems too wacky for you, I also have this from my notes:

Soak a piece of cheesecloth or clean cotton strips in chilled tea, squeeze out excess liquid then use to tightly pack the nose. Carefully remove after one hour. The tea is a natural antiseptic and the cold temperature helps stop the flow.

For a more traditional treatment:

While sitting up, pinch the nostrils closed (about half-way down the bridge of the nose) and squeeze for several minutes. Lean forward slightly (tilting the head back will only drain the blood into the throat). Apply pressure for at least 5 minutes, check to see if it’s working and reapply pressure if it isn’t. An ice pack or wet cloth held against the back of the neck during this time can also help.

If bleeding won’t stop after 20 minutes or so, or if patient is pale and feeling light headed, seek professional medical attention since it could be an internal injury (broken nose) or nasal passage may need to be cauterized.