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Amish Home Burn Treatment: B&W Salve and Burdock Leaves

Posted in Science Based Medicine by Skepdude on February 3, 2009

People in the Amish community have been using “The New Concept in Treating Burns” and their experience is recounted in a little booklet by that title. It is a compilation of articles, testimonials, and letters to the editor of a monthly newspaper Plain Interests, published in Millersburg PA.

The treatment, involving B&W ointment and dressings of scalded burdock leaves, was developed by John Keim, an Amish farmer and natural healer. The Amish have a tradition of taking care of their own, and they try to avoid hospitals whenever possible. In the booklet, they even recommend treating hip fractures at home without surgery. (Which, after all, is what we did before we had hospitals and surgery).

They claim that with the B&W burn treatment:

  • Painful burns are rendered non-painful.
  • Healing is faster.
  • Painful debridement is not necessary.
  • Skin grafting is not necessary.
  • Scarring seldom occurs.
  • Iatrogenic harm from hospitals is avoided.
  • Patients can be treated at home at much less expense.

According to Keim, with his method it seldom takes more than seven days to get a completely new skin cover on second and third degree burns, and in over two decades he never had an infection. He saw only 2 cases of scarring, and they were minimal. He does not charge for his services.


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7 Responses

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  1. Magdalena Julie Bragdon Perks said, on March 13, 2009 at 1:30 PM

    I had a look at the formula for B&W and there’s no reason it wouldn’t work as promoted. One could guess at the proportions of the ingredients, and it make it yourself at home. I’ve made similar formulas myself, with the same results. Common plantain is well-known for healing burns, fo instance.

  2. Dan Byler said, on May 11, 2009 at 1:57 PM

    Where can I purchase B & W Salves and Burdock Leaves ?

  3. Rachel Weaver said, on June 6, 2009 at 3:41 PM

    You can get it from – write and ask for a catolog
    Holistic Acres
    1398 Twp. Rd. 1106
    Ashland Ohio 44805

  4. More Christ Like Blog said, on June 7, 2009 at 1:25 AM

    Hi Dan,

    You can get the B&W ointment at Better Than Greens.

    As far as the leaves I would suggest you got ahold of a burn caregiver in your area and they will be able to help you.

    I have a number of articles on Burn Treatments on my blog that may be of interest to you.

  5. Henry Swarey said, on December 27, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    I was appalled at some of the remarks about the Amish in a related blog, I was unable to respond to it so I will speak my peace right here and now. I am dismayed (but not surprised) that there was a blogger who likened the Amish to the Taliban. As a son of ex-Amish parents, I have heard of a few hateful detractors who were apparently jealous of the work and reproductive ethic of the Amish. I’ve even had a son of an NC Legislator level this kind of hatred at me personally.
    What I have noticed is these same kind of people are the ones who promote abortion, the teaching of abhorrent sexual behavior, and the brainwashing of our children in public Schools.
    I am asking that those who have nothing good to say, please just say nothing at all. Who knows, maybe in time the good LORD will help you see the error of your way before you say or do something unpardonable.

  6. Kathy said, on May 21, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    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 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!!

  7. Rebeckah Shurrum said, on June 12, 2017 at 12:01 PM

    My husband had third-degree burns from our house fire period he had burns on his face neck and arms and the hospital said he needed skin grafts on the tops of his hands and possibly the elbows period we had a herbalist come help us after we were released from the hospital a week later and she applied B&W. We changed his dressings twice a day for 2 weeks and he was healed. He said it was the only relief that he had since being burned. Wonderful stuff we will never go to a hospital for burns again. It was an absolute nightmare! We highly recommend this salve.

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