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 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 it would sting and found that it didn’t at all. The slice is somewhat deep but a day old so the healing process already started before I tried it.

Rinse wound first before applying, suitable treatment for minor gashes and scrapes only.

I did look around online to see if I could glean any more details and although there was some information that pepper can be used, I didn’t discover any solid answers explaining why it works.

However I did come across a discussion on a page in Wikipedia:

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.)


  • Collect those little seasoning packets included in deli bags and stash a few in the car, wallet and first aid kit so you’ll always have some close at hand–just in case!

Quick Trick For Stopping A Nosebleed

Here’s interesting advice 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 flow 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 to the frosty metal placed against skin by constricting the blood vessels in the area. Any metal item will do the trick (such as a spoon or coin) since metal retains the temperature so well. You could also try a wet cloth, an icepack or run water down the back. Thanks for sharing Michael!

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

If that seems too wacky a treatment, I also have another tip:

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

For a more traditional remedy:

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 be helpful too.

If the flow won’t cease after 20 mins. 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 (yikes! not fun).

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    • Maree

    Sugar will do the same thing. GREAT for those toddler “learning how to walk” injuries because it tastes good too!

    • Susan

    I also read that cayenne pepper will do the same.

    • Vickie

    Black pepper, sugar, cayenne pepper oh my! I will have to try all of them out. Thanks 🙂

    • Brandy

    My husband just cut a huge flap of skin on the top of his finger and we tried this pepper trick! Bleeding stopped in 5 minutes!

    Thanks so much!

      • Kathy

      bleeding is suppose to stop within 5 to 7 mins…

    • David

    I’m laid up at this very moment with a cut on my heal. It does sting but seems to be working.

    • Kay Cee

    I would think that the black pepper MIGHT stay in the wound longer than one might like afterwards, depending on how deep the pepper infiltrates the wound.

    • S R

    Turmeric ( is an even better medicine for this purpose. I have used it first hand, and can vouch for it. In fact lots of antiseptic creams use Turmeric as an ingredient (don’t think I have seen any using Black pepper 🙂

    In fact, Turmeric is useful for so many things (stomach, skin, antiseptic, etc) its unbelievable (read the wikipedia article for details).

    • Teresa Cuff

    In first aid training we were taught to put a gause wad under the upper lip, between the lip and gum. Holding it there stops bleeding for some strange reason. I know it works, I’ve used on kids at school and on myself. I think I used a piece of a rolled up napkin on myself because I didn’t have the gause.

    • EML

    We always use black pepper if we cut the dog’s nails too short and they bleed- it stops the bleeding immediately! It doesn’t seem to sting like styptic powder does and I don’t have to worry if they lick it off!

    • Jan C

    How do you apply the pepper to dogs nails?
    Sprinkle, dip nail into the pepper,
    make a paste? I read somewhere that corn-
    starch paste worked also. I tried that on my poor
    little dog last wk., but it bled a lot, for about 8-9
    min. I felt so hopeless. Thank you all.

    • NyssaDawn

    My husband cut the tip of his thumb while cutting veggies, and it was bleeding slot, so I made a guess that corn starch would work, theoretically. We dipped his thumb in a small dish of it and held it there for a few minutes, and oila! It scanned over and we were able to wipe the corn starch off, apply antibiotic pigment, and bandage it up. When I was a kid, my younger sister cut the tip of her finger off halfway down the fingernail, and we had to call an ambulance because my mom couldn’t drive and keep pressure on it. Corn starch might have helped somewhat if we had any on hand. I think I will start keeping a can in our vehicle.

    • Heather

    My baby son, (probably when he was 9 or 10 months old) cut his finger tip on the AC vent, and if you can imagine how stressfull it iswhen you’re trying to stop a baby’s little finger tip from bleeding, you can imagine how flippin crazy I was, at trying to band aid this little non stop bleeding cut.. This info would have been SOOOO useful to me then… I will be remembering this tip for our future boo boos, so thanks a bunch!!!


    There is a chemical in tea that will stop bleeding. When my husband was on non clotting medicines its the only thing we could use to stop his bleeding if he got a cut or a scratch…I carried tea bags in my purse for years!

    • Phil

    Do not put cayenne pepper in an open wound or ingest it to stop bleeding. That’s not how it works!

    What do you think is in PEPPER SPRAY!

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