The efficacy of Aloe vera, tea tree oil and saliva as first aid treatment for partial thickness burn injuries

Burns. 2008 Dec;34(8):1176-82. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2008.03.012. Epub 2008 Jul 7.


Many alternative therapies are used as first aid treatment for burns, despite limited evidence supporting their use. In this study, Aloe vera, saliva and a tea tree oil impregnated dressing (Burnaid) were applied as first aid to a porcine deep dermal contact burn, compared to a control of nothing. After burn creation, the treatments were applied for 20 min and the wounds observed at weekly dressing changes for 6 weeks. Results showed that the alternative treatments did significantly decrease subdermal temperature within the skin during the treatment period. However, they did not decrease the microflora or improve re-epithelialisation, scar strength, scar depth or cosmetic appearance of the scar and cannot be recommended for the first aid treatment of partial thickness burns.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aloe*
  • Animals
  • Bandages
  • Burns / therapy*
  • Cicatrix
  • Complementary Therapies / methods
  • First Aid / methods
  • Models, Animal
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Saliva*
  • Skin / injuries
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Swine
  • Tea Tree Oil / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing


  • Plant Preparations
  • Tea Tree Oil