Stop Bleeding Fast...Make Your Own Emergency Quikclot from Items You Probably Have
This article is about how you can make a substitute Quikclot at home using natural materials like certain herbs that are hemostats, as well as clay—-the same clay that is used in many commercial products. Be prepared for many bleeding wounds in an emergency.
Oh, Man! I couldn't believe it! I had reached into my purse to grab my Swiss Army pocket knife/multi-tool, flipped open the blade to cut off a tag from a new purchase, and BAM! It slipped and cut deeply into my knuckle.
Bleeding profusely, I found a towel in my truck, and held it tightly around the wound. But...it would NOT stop bleeding using just the towel, and it was deep---
What do you do when you have a deep bleeding cut that won't stop?
You could race to the emergency room and spend a lot of money and time (which I considered for a moment)....OR you could potentially handle it yourself with a little emergency preparedness and knowledge. And that's just what I chose.
NOTE: This article and my ideas are not substitutes for professional medical care or advice. If you’re hurt badly, be sure to get appropriate medical help.
It’s a good idea to have items on hand for emergency situations. What if there is no doctor or emergency room available? What would you do? This is the prepper instinct in me taking over.
Items like bandages, basic first aid supplies, iodine and/or betadine, and more are things every home should have. You should absolutely consider some Quikclot to keep on hand too.
Seriously though…..Think of all the recent disasters and hurt people. With a little bit of know-how and a stocked emergency first aid kit, you’re giving yourself a better chance to fix a minor problem that could potentially turn deadly.
Even with large wounds where you KNOW you need to get to the nearest medical facility, it pays to know what to do to stop or at least slow down the bleeding and get the area to clot.
Quikclot is a great emergency item to keep in your emergency supply both at home and in your car. But if you don't happen to have any, there are some other natural things you can do and use to stop bleeding fast!
FTC Disclosure: There are affiliate links scattered throughout this article. If you click through and make any kind of purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Here are Some Ways to Stop Bleeding Fast & How to Make Your Own Natural Quikclot
But first: Maybe you’re wondering what Quikclot is?
Quikclot is a gauze or bandage that is infused with kaolin clay. There have been numerous studies involving the differences between using bandages with and without kaolin clay, and it turns out the kaolin clay bandages work significantly faster to help blood clot and stop bleeding.
It’s one of the very popular items that back packers, ex-military, and serious survivalists or people into preparedness keep in their supply stocks.
Remedies to Stop Bleeding Quickly:
There are three natural items that are my all-time favorites when it comes to patching up a bleeder:
1) Cayenne Pepper (Yep! Don’t run away! You need to read about how and why cayenne works)
Cayenne pepper is usually my number one go-to because I always have this in my kitchen for cooking and other medicinal reasons.
2) Kaolin Clay
Second up is Kaolin clay, and this is because it’s a scientifically proven clotting agent. Plus, it’s a wonderful beauty ingredient, and many women keep it in their stash.
I also love yarrow. It’s an herb with very strong hemostatic properties. You can use the flowers fresh, if you have them growing nearby and need them right away. OR, you can forage, grow your own, or purchase your yarrow from a good supplier and keep the powdered herb on hand. It’s also good for fevers.
Here are more details on these three powerful emergency hemostatic (clotting) remedies and exactly how to use them for bleeding wounds:
How to Use Kaolin Clay, Cayenne Pepper, and/or Yarrow for Wound Care
1) Kaolin Clay:
Kaolin Clay is a commonly used clay that comes from China. It is used in the cosmetic industry as well as helping to detoxify the body. It turns out that Kaolin Clay contains a substance that causes one of the clotting factors to occur quickly. Applying it to a wound or onto the bandage you use on the wound helps clotting occur more quickly.
Kaolin Clay is inexpensive, and it's useful to have around. It's worth while to keep some on hand, just in case you need it. Don't get Kaolin clay confused with Bentonite Clay, either. They are different and they don't work the same for clotting.
2) Cayenne Pepper:
Cayenne Pepper has long been touted as an amazing medicinal herb that no household should be without. Cayenne Pepper does all kinds of things to help the body, and it also can help stop bleeding quickly. Cayenne Pepper has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties as well, so it can actually help disinfect a wound.
Various sources note that the use of Cayenne Pepper can stop bleeding within about 15 seconds. This is because of the styptic found in this pepper.
For heavy bleeding, you should drink an 8 ounce glass of water with about 1/2 tsp. of Cayenne Pepper mixed in. This helps to regulate blood pressure, decreasing the pressure at the wound site.
You can also use a tincture of Cayenne Pepper to drop or dab onto the wound site. I am never without Cayenne Tincture in our home...or Cayenne Pepper powder either, for that matter. You can visit this article, How to Make a Tincture, so you can make your own inexpensive Cayenne Tincture to have available.
You’re probably wondering: Doesn’t putting Cayenne Pepper into a wound hurt?
We all know how hot Cayenne Pepper is. I have read reports that placing Cayenne Pepper in a bleeding wound does not hurt, as the bleeding stops.
Frankly, if Cayenne Pepper can help stop bleeding, and I am looking at a heavily bleeding wound, the pain is probably not going to matter too much, because there will already be quite a bit of pain. I plan to go for it.
In my experience, the cayenne initially hurts like heck! But cayenne has a numbing quality that takes effect after a few moments, so not only does it clot your wound more quickly, it does help diminish the pain.
My husband, Mr. V., has corroborated this many times, and now, so can I.
Using cayenne is a good deal and for most people actually helps reduce the pain significantly after the initial shock of putting pepper on the wound.
Maybe you’re wondering where you can get Cayenne pepper that is really strong?
I get my Cayenne Pepper and all of my bulk herbs and spices at Starwest Botanicals. You can also find your Kaolin clay and yarrow there, too, along with bulk culinary and medicinal herbs and essential oils. It's a great store!
Yarrow is a common herb that grows wild all over the country. I cultivate it in my garden too, just because it has many uses. Known as the Battlefield Plant, it was (and l bet it still may be) used on battlefields to help stop bleeding. It was definitely used during the Civil War, where it got its nickname.
Yarrow is a known hemostatic herb, which means it contains compounds that help stop bleeding and speed the clotting process. You can use the leaves as a poultice---just mash them first. Or, if you have powdered Yarrow or can powder some dried yarrow quickly, combine with the above powders.
If all you have is fresh Yarrow, that will work just fine! You can create a poultice using yarrow alone or in combination with kaolin clay and cayenne pepper, too.
Creating a Yarrow tincture is another way to store yarrow in a long term manner. Again to find out how to make an herbal tincture, this is a great article. OR you can even purchase yarrow tincture ready made.
However, I prefer to have the actual herb on hand as well as the tincture. Why not have options?
What to Do if You Have a Bleeding Wound (Directions for How to Make Your Own Natural Clotting Agent With Herbs & Clay):
If you have Kaolin Clay and Cayenne Pepper on hand, you can mix them and pour them directly on the wound. If you only have one or the other, then just use that. If you happen to have some Yarrow Powder on hand, mix that in too.
Then make a bandage to cover the wound with some pressure. You can also put the powder/clay on the bandage first, then wrap.
If you make a poultice out of the Yarrow if you have the plant handy, that will help. Just pulverize the leaves and flowers and place the mash tightly on the wound. You can place this poultice on top of the pepper/clay mix too, and wrap with a bandage.
NOTE: Cleaning the wound and keeping the area sterile is important. Consider this factor in your actions.
For Smaller Wounds:
In addition to or instead of using Cayenne Tincture on a smaller wound, you can try Honey! Honey has antibacterial properties, just like Cayenne, so it will help kill bacteria.
Besides its antibiotic nature, the combination of the enzymes in honey mixed with blood plasma creates a kind of hydrogen peroxide effect...so use honey!
Be sure it's raw, though.
Processed honey doesn't have the healing capabilities of raw honey because the active antimicrobial constituents have been killed off during heating. Honey doesn't help stop bleeding however--but it will help with disinfection to an extent.
You can find out more about honey and Seven Ways to Use Honey’s Healing Power in this link. You’ll find out about how honey heals, as well as how to use it.
You Might be Wondering: How Does Blood Clot?
The information below comes from HealDove.
"Blood clotting, or hemostasis, is an essential body process that repairs wounds and stops bleeding. The overall steps in the blood clotting process are as follows.
First, the broken blood vessel constricts, reducing blood loss from the vessel.
Next, a platelet plug forms over the wound to temporarily stop blood loss. Platelets are continually circulating in our blood.
The platelets become activated, attracting proteins called coagulation factors or clotting factors to the wound.
The clotting factors cause a soluble blood protein called fibrinogen to be converted into insoluble fibrin threads. These threads form a mesh over the wound, trapping platelets and blood and forming a blood clot.
Within the blood clot the damaged tissue is repaired.
Chemicals in the blood stop the blood clot from becoming so big that it blocks the vessel and also break it down once the wound is sealed."
Other Things to Take Note of Regarding Quikclot & Making Your Own
This is an added edit due to a comment I received from a man named “Mike.” He made some very good medical points, and I am going to repeat them here, but because he got quite nasty and offensive (and obviously doesn’t understand plant medicine), I couldn’t post his actual comment.
Here are some of the potentially valid points he made that you should be aware of:
1) If a person is on blood thinners, Celox is a better hemostatic, according to Mike. I did a little research and found a clinical study comparing the efficacy of several different hemostats. Celox didn’t perform better than Quikclot in the study, although blood thinners weren’t mentioned. The study did not take herbs into account. If you are on blood thinners, it would be worthwhile to do your own research into this as you put your emergency kit together.
With all this said…..If you have nothing else available, I’d absolutely use cayenne, yarrow, or kaolin clay to stop a wound from bleeding at the site. It’s better than nothing.
2) Another thing to take into consideration is sterility. Quikclot is a sterile bandage, and therefore won’t harbor bacteria that could potentially infect a wound. Good point. Again, though, if you don’t have Quikclot on hand, and the wound won’t clot on its own…I myself would not hesitate to use cayenne, yarrow and/or kaolin at the bleed site.
3) Mike points out you need to know how to use Quikclot appropriately. Again, in an emergency situation, if someone is bleeding out, especially, I wouldn’t hesitate. That’s just me, though. You can find out more about what to do in a bleeding situation in this article.
And absolutely, we all should be sure to take a first aid class so we have some basic skills!
Knowledge and Preparedness is Power + Final Thoughts
Remember how I mentioned that deep cut from my Swiss Army knife? Well, I chose NOT to go to the ER or urgent care to have it stitched up, even though it was very deep and right across a knuckle.
It didn’t stop bleeding for over an hour, as I was away from the house and didn’t have my “stuff” with me. I kept it wrapped and re-wrapped tightly (while the blood kept coming) with some cloth toweling I had in my truck.
So, when I got home, I re-cleaned it, disinfected it again, and wrapped it up tight with my natural clotting agents. I also made a little splint of sorts to keep it as straight as possible so the wound wouldn’t continue to break open.
Want to know something just fabulous?
I don’t even have a scar!
The joint is a little stiff in that area, but I suspect even if I had gone to have stitches, it would be the same thing, only I’d have scar tissue, most likely…as I am prone to that.
Having some basic knowledge about emergency medical treatment can be extremely helpful in a trauma situation. With all this said, you should definitely get yourself or the victim of the wound to a doctor quickly, depending on how bad the wound is.
You know what?
We just don’t know what’s coming down the pike, right? We could have a major catastrophe tomorrow, a small emergency today, or have to help someone else in need at any time.
The future is a mystery.
So, why not be prepared and ready for as much as you can? One of the ways you can do this is by having a clotting agent on hand. And if you don’t want to rely on herbs and clay, then I suggest you add some Quikclot to your emergency first aid kit! You never know when you might need it!
If you're interested in learning about herbalism, including using herbs not only for emergencies but for your health and wellness, check out The Herbal Academy of New England. They are an awesome school with all kinds of courses that will meet your needs!
You can also take a look at my own course, The Confident Herbalist: A Guide to Home Herbalism, which I designed to get beginners to using herbs up and running with knowledge and hands-on projects, along with tons of student support FAST.
Have you had a situation where you needed to stop bleeding quickly? I'd love to hear your ideas, comments, questions, and other remedies you might know! Please leave a comment in the comments section.
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And there are lots more over on the blog! :-)
Hugs, Health, & Self-Reliance--
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Disclaimer: The information in this article, elsewhere on my blog, in my shop sites, in conversations, and on labels is for informational purposes only and not meant to cure, treat, diagnose, or prevent any medical condition. I am not a medical doctor, so please see a medical professional for concerns. I simply provide my own personal advice based on experience and study for ways to live a healthy and natural way of life. I disclaim any liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any of the information contained in this article or elsewhere on this website. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.