In addition to soaking with salt, I often use herbs as a supplement to my aftercare routine, so I’m going to share with you one way I do it. This is not standard aftercare, which I talked about here. Please note that I’m not an herbalist, and don’t pretend that this way is for everyone. This is a recipe taught to me by one of my first piercers, and is not used much by others, but it works for me.
Lavender is a powerful antiseptic, and the idea is to use this to soak your piercing, just like sea salt soaks. Here’s a nice page on the healing power of lavender.
I usually do this in the very beginning, as a healing aid, then switch to salt soaks later when the crusties start to show up. This herbal soak is relaxing, aromatic, and is particularly excellent for genital piercings. Don’t drink it! It’s not for oral piercings.
Start with washing your hands thoroughly, and make sure all your surfaces and utensils are as clean as possible.
Body Piercing Herbal Soak
- 2 parts lavender
- 1 part arnica
- 1 part red clover
How much is a “part”? About a handful–maybe 1/4 cup. Crush the herbs a bit, and put them in a glass bowl, and pour boiling water over this to make a infusion. Cover and let it steep for a few hours, then strain.
After straining, refrigerate unused portions for 1-2 days. When you’re ready to use it, just pour a little in a cup and nuke it: maybe 30-40 seconds. Soak your piercing for 5-10 minutes once or twice a day. Unlike with salt soaks, there is no need to rinse afterward.
Lavender and arnica:
I usually buy my herbs at my local health food grocery store. Lately, they’ve only been stocking the lavender, so I used that for my last piercing. Here’s a picture of the lavender and some arnica pills. I tried crushing some arnica pills and putting them into the infusion, but that didn’t work out too well. I think I’ll order some herbs from the San Francisco Herb Company for next time.
Next post will be about some other herbal treatments for piercings.