Burn Remedy

Main piece:

“I burned myself with oil when I was cooking, and I put white toothpaste, like it can’t have any stripes or any green or anything it has to be white. And I got it from my friend… she used to work in a restaurant and that’s what she said the chefs were always doing.”


Informant is a third year pre-med student at George Washington University who grew up in Mill Valley, California. A few years ago, her arm was badly burned while she was cooking, and her friend told her about this remedy. She has used it ever since, and has passed it along to some of her friends and family as well. 


I asked the informant if she had any home remedies, and this was her response.


This practice, like all folk medicine, has no real basis is science but is still commonly accepted to have healing properties. The informant was desperate to relieve the pain of her burns, and as this was corroborated by both her friends and professional chefs, she believed it to work.