How to Stop Bleeding in a Pinch!

arm bleeding

Severe bleeding wounds require immediate attention, but depending on the situation you are facing, traditional first aid might not be available.

These household items can be used as part of your regular first aid regimen or in an emergency.

Cayenne Pepper – Sprinkle a generous amount of powdered cayenne on an open wound to help blood clot and close the wound faster.

Salt – Rubbing salt in a wound may sound like it would make things worse, but salt can absorb blood that can help an open wound to dry, close and heal faster. Salt is a disinfectant and can pull toxins from the open wound to prevent infection.

Toothpaste – Dabbing toothpaste on a minor shaving cut has an astringent effect and can constrict blood vessels to help close the cut faster.

Styptic Sticks

Men who regularly shave with a straight razor know that they are more likely to knick the skin than they would if they used a safety razor. Often they will have a styptic (also spelled stiptic) stick in their shaving kits. The stick must first be wet with water and is then applied directly to a cut. It stops the bleeding by sealing the skin.

These sticks are readily available at drug stores and also in the grooming section of pet supply stores. The active ingredient in styptic sticks is alum. Alum is frequently used in pickling recipes and is sold in stores that carry pickling supplies. If you have the powdered form of alum on hand in your kitchen, it can be applied to minor cuts in place of the styptic stick.

Botanical Herbs

The ingredients in styptic pencils can be replaced with botanical herbs that you may have on hand in your garden or kitchen. The key ingredients in botanical styptics act as astringents, which cause blood vessels to constrict, thus reducing blood flow. Some herbal styptics are also antiseptic or disinfectant by nature, which promotes healing.


There are many common spices in our pantry that can be made into a poultice to help quickly stop a bleeding wound. To make a poultice, combine fresh or dried herbs with hot water and apply directly to the skin or place between two layers of clean cloth before applying.

Treating bleeding wounds is critical if you find yourself in a survival situation, but depending on the circumstances, you may not have traditional first aid products available.

If that is the case, chances are very good there are a number of common, household supplies that can be used to stop all but the most stubborn bleeding.

To learn more about treating wounds, check out the Power of Positivity.