Literally, a “grandma’s cure” to remove splinters from one’s fingers and toes
Kuruddan Paala used to remove splinters that get lodged on hands or feet
To remove splinters from hands and feet

Growing up in a village in Kerala, finding nagging splinters in a finger was common occurrence. It came from thorns on plants, splinters from firewood and even little pieces from the spine of the leaves of the coconut tree that was used as makeshift cricket bats. These would typically be discovered in the evenings, when it was time to hit our books. Sometimes, attempts to remove splinters would become family events.

The cure

My grandma had a neat trick remove the splinters without having to resort to any poking and piercing and the drama that goes with it. I now know that this was something many folks did and not something my grandma invented.

She would break off a leaf from the “Kuruddan Paala” plant and apply the white sap that starts oozing out, on the area where the splinter is lodged. A few minutes later, the sap hardens into a film and when it is pulled out, the splinter comes out along with it.

If the splinter had remained lodged for a few days, the skin might get formed over it. If this is the situation, then a small incision would be made to expose the end of the splinter, before applying the plant’s sap.

Is this done elsewhere?

I have continued to use this and have passed it on to many kids in the family. I wonder if this, or something similar, is done elsewhere. I expect similar practices, with different plants probably, might me found elsewhere also.

Here is what American Academy of Dermatology has to say: https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/injured-skin/splinters

Here is another herbal cure that has worked for me:

കാലിലെ ആണിക്ക് (traditional treatment for corns)

 

….. narrated in Malayalam by Anandan and written in English by Joy.