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Do You (Figuratively) Lick Your Wounds? Should You? | Psychology Today
When faced with a minor cut or bruise, most people will instinctively lick the site of injury. Everybody does it — humans, dogs, virtually anyone with a tongue and saliva. But does it accelerate healing in any way or does it just act like a comforting placebo? A study published by Dutch researchers suggests putting saliva in contact with an open wound comes with many benefits. The researchers first collected epithelial cells from the inner cheek then cultured them in multiple petri dishes until the surface was completely covered in cells. An incision was then made in the cell layer by scratching away a small area of the cells. One dish was bathed in isotonic fluid containing the same number of dissolved particles as blood.
lick your wounds
Wound licking is an instinctive response in humans and many other animals to lick an injury. Dogs, cats, small rodents, horses, and primates all lick wounds. The enzyme lysozyme is found in many tissues and is known to attack the cell walls of many gram-positive bacteria , aiding in defense against infection. Tears are also beneficial to wounds due to the lysozyme enzyme. However, there are also infection risks due to bacteria in the human mouth.
Verified by Psychology Today. Evolution of the Self. For humans, the essence of wound-licking involves not a lapping tongue but a rationalizing mind.