First Aid

Applying Raw Meat to a Wound: Does it Really Work?

There’s an old legend that says that you can slap a chunk of raw meat onto certain wounds and it will help heal the injury. The story goes many ways, but the most common one involves applying a streak over a black eye. This might seem crazy, but this is a centuries-old story that people swear by. Could there be something to it? Here’s the truth about applying raw meat to a wound.

Could It Work?

Basically, no. There’s absolutely no scientific evidence supporting this theory, and a lot of it that says that the idea is ridiculous. Raw meat doesn’t hold any special medicinal properties, and should not be used to treat a cut, scrape, bruise, or anything other than an empty stomach (after being cooked of course).

So where did it originate?

If this raw meat idea doesn’t work why is it so popular? The answer probably lies with the fact that the reasons it may have appeared to work to some people were not actually why it was effective. Consider the most popular “steak on a black eye concept.” One of the most recommended and effective first aid treatments is to apply a cold pack to the eye. This numbs pain and reduces swelling. Now, where do most people get their steaks? From a refrigerator or freezer, of course. So, when they stick a steak to their bruised face, it actually has the same effect as a cold pack.

Why not to use raw meat

Although there are no good reasons to stick a chunk of raw meat on your injuries, there are plenty of reasons not to. Namely, there are a lot of bacteria in raw meat. Even if the meat has been frozen, it can still carry deadly bacteria like e.coli. Usually this isn’t a danger as long as you cook your food thoroughly. However, applying this to a wound is just asking for it. This is an especially bad idea if the wound it open, like a cut or scrape. However, even if the wound is closed, like a bruise, there’s still a strong chance of infection. Do yourself a favor and just avoid this altogether. Use an ice pack instead. Or, if you’re really set on using food, grab a bag of frozen veggies.

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