Medical

Adding soil to wounds may halt the bleeding

Adding soil to wounds may halt...
The secret apparently lies in soil's silicates, which are ions made up of silicon and oxygen
The secret apparently lies in soil's silicates, which are ions made up of silicon and oxygen
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The secret apparently lies in soil's silicates, which are ions made up of silicon and oxygen
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The secret apparently lies in soil's silicates, which are ions made up of silicon and oxygen

So first of all, no ... no one is saying that you should just grab dirt off the ground, and rub it into your wounds. That said, a new study does suggest that sanitized soil could be used to halt bleeding, when other means aren't available.

Via lab mouse trials, scientists at Canada's University of British Columbia recently discovered that the naturally-occurring silicates in soil activate a blood protein found in all terrestrial (land-based) mammals. Once triggered, that protein – known as coagulation Factor XII – starts a chain reaction that causes blood to clot, forming a wound-sealing plug that prevents further blood loss.

Of course, plain ol' dirt contains many microorganisms that may cause infections if applied to an open wound. Sanitized soil, on the other hand, could be easily procured and stored onsite in remote locations or developing nations, where traditional wound-sealing products such as sponges and sealants are scarce.

In fact, the researchers are even planning on testing silicates obtained from regolith on the surface of the Moon, to see if they also trigger Factor XII. If so, the "moon soil" could conceivably be used for wound treatment in the medical bays of future lunar colonies.

A paper on the research, which is being led by Assoc. Prof. Christian Kastrup, was recently published in the journal Blood Advances.

"This finding demonstrates how terrestrial mammals, ranging from mice to humans, evolved to naturally use silicates as a specific signal to Factor XII to trigger blood clotting," says PhD student Lih Jiin Juang, first author of the paper. "These results will have a profound impact on the way we view our relationship with our environment."

Source: University of British Columbia via EurekAlert

6 comments
Jose Gros
Perhaps adding soil to wounds may halt bleeding, same was proposed for spider's webs, but for sure, soil may containt spora from deadly diseases such as tetanus, carbuncle, and many others. Forget, please! unless you have a bag of FDA approved 100% sterlile 'soil'. Blessings +
AryehZelasko
The quickest way to sanitize soil would be to put a small amount of it in a microwave.
dominic67
Can this compound be use the treatment of hemophilia?
buzzclick
AryehZelasko - yes, that would work, as long as there's some moisture in it, but it may have little silica content. A microwave oven can be run empty for a couple of minutes but don't make it a habit if you want the magnetron in the unit to last. If I were to use silica medium from my sand blaster and roasted it in a pan on a stovetop to at least 80 degrees celsius, that should work. I have had a small infra red thermometer gun in my kitchen for years and use it daily. For about 30 bucks, it's an incredibly useful tool to have.
Signguy
A forgotten source of natural healing: Natural Healing Clay.
A powerful Negative charge that will absorb Positively charged wounds/bacteria. Can even "pull" splinters out through direct application.
Karmudjun
Great write-up, but this is not news to anyone with wilderness survival training. The problem of infection runs deep, but using poultices with anti-bacterial properties like honey work. Where the hell are you going to get sterilized or sanitized soil when you have a wound? These folks need to investigate the numerous old home remedy poultices so you can write about them - and why they work and how they keep the bacteria, fungal, and viral elements found in nature from taking over the wound. For dominic67, you must not understand hemophilia. Classic hemophilia A, you are lacking clotting factor VIII, hemophilia B you lack enough factor IX - all the clotting factors interact in different clotting pathways - if you lack one or it is blocked, you don't form a stable clot. So just because you can initiate the intrinsic cascade by triggering XII, without functional VIII or IX, your pathway stops and you get no clot.