The effect of Burns & Wounds (B&W)/burdock leaf therapy on burn-injured Amish patients: a pilot study measuring pain levels, infection rates, and healing times

J Holist Nurs. 2014 Dec;32(4):327-40. doi: 10.1177/0898010114525683. Epub 2014 Mar 25.


Purpose: The purposes of this pilot study were to measure pain associated with dressing changes, assess the presence of infection, and document healing times of burn-injured Amish in central Ohio using an herbal therapy consisting of Burns and Wounds™ ointment (B&W) and burdock (Arctium ssp.) leaves. B&W contains honey, lanolin, olive oil, wheat germ oil, marshmallow root, Aloe vera gel, wormwood, comfrey root, white oak bark, lobelia inflata, vegetable glycerin, bees wax, and myrrh.

Design: A prospective, case series design guided the study within a community-based participatory research framework.

Methods: Amish burn dressers provided burn care. Registered nurses monitored each case and documented findings. Pain scores were noted and burns were inspected for infection during dressing changes; healing times were measured from day of burn to complete closure of the skin. All cases were photographed.

Results: Between October 2011 and May 2013, five Amish were enrolled. All had first- and second-degree burns. B&W/burdock leaf dressing changes caused minimal or no pain; none of the burns became infected, and healing times averaged less than 14 days.

Conclusion and implications: The use of this herbal remedy appears to be an acceptable alternative to conventional burn care for these types of burns. The trauma of dressing changes was virtually nonexistent. Nurses working in communities with Amish residents should be aware of this herbal-based method of burn care and monitor its use when feasible.

Keywords: Amish; B&W ointment; burdock leaves; burns; herbal burn therapy; nonstick dressings; pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amish
  • Bandages / statistics & numerical data
  • Burns / drug therapy*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Formularies, Homeopathic as Topic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Leaves
  • Prospective Studies
  • Wound Healing / drug effects
  • Wound Infection / drug therapy*


  • Plant Extracts