Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I don’t know that this is the correct spelling, but this is how it is pronounced.  What is it you ask?  Well it is a green leaf, but not something you eat, instead it has medicinal properties, or so they tell me.  Ever since I have been here, I have had people tell me that they put “salad” on what hurts them.  At times I have seen people come in with redness and swelling of part of their body and when I ask about it, they say, oh I put salad on it.  I just went with it, but didn’t really understand it, until now. 

I had seen the leaf on an abscess, and had seen the effects of it – i.e. rash, but had never tried it until today.  So I was in the ER today and I saw these 2 leafs sitting on the counter where the nurses worked.  So I picked it up and started looking at it, thinking that maybe this is unused salad.  So I asked the nurses whose it was, and one said it was hers, and confirmed that it was salad, which she was using on her knee, which was bothering her. 

As I was holding the leaf, I noticed that it was a little rough and prickly.  I asked how it is used, and said do you just put it on your body like this, and I just put the top, green side on the top part of my hand, and they said no, you use the other end.  So the nurse shows me by applying it to her knee, which was hurting.  As she was applying it, I noticed that she had some wheals, or bumps on her knee and that it was red.  The underside of the leaf is more of a brownish grey color, and is rougher.  So I said ok, and I turn it over and put the underside against my skin, I didn’t rub, just placed it there. 

As I put it on my hand for about maybe 5 secs, I was asking how long the pain reduction lasts, when I started to feel something on my hand.  Sure enough within 15 secs of putting it on my skin, I started to notice a slight burning sensation on my skin, and then within a minute I was noticing it was turning red, and within 3 minutes, I had some wheals – swelling or bumps of my skin, where I got poked by the salad.  Within 5 minutes, my skin was burning pretty good. 

Inflicting pain to reduce pain doesn’t seem like a great idea to me.  They told me, after I used it, that it typically causing a burning pain for about 20-30 minutes, but takes away the other pain you have as it causes pain.  When I asked how long it reduces the pain for they said a few minutes.  Somehow, this doesn’t seem like a good tradeoff – 30 minutes of burning pain for 1-2 minutes of relief of your other pain.  I can definitely verify that it causes a burning pain for the 20-30 minutes, but what I don’t know is if it really reduces the other pain, and if so for how long.  I am sure it would take my focus away from whatever else was hurting me and I would instead focus on the burning pain, but I am not yet convinced enough to use it.