There are two types of gangrene, wet and dry. Dry gangrene has no bacterial infection involved. It is caused by the stopped or reduced flow of blood, which results in oxygen-deprived tissue. doesn't spread to other areas, but the flesh dies. It may be painful at first, but as the skin dies, it becomes numb and slowly darkens. All dry gangrene is caused by cutting off blood supply to tissue. Most often occurs in feet and hands, especially toes and fingers. Surgery may be performed to improve circulation (see a doctor). If the area has been injured the area becomes red, swollen, and painful. May develop an odor. Dull, aching pain and coldness are early signs. Wet gangrene is a result of a wound or injury that becomes infected. The infection prevents adequate venous drainage, depriving the area of needed blood supply. Careful hygiene usually can prevent this condition. Antibiotics and/or removal of dead tissue are usually necessary.
Burns, injuries caused by acid, or frostbite. Poor circulation, diabetes. May also be caused by hardening of the arteries, poor circulation, diabetes, or arterial embolism (a blockage in the bloodstream).
See a doctor immediately! If no professional medical help is available, there are poultices that may be used. (Take 1/4 lb. powdered charcoal and 1 oz. of water pepper or smartweed; put these in a pan and pour 1 pt. boiling water over them; let them steep for 20 minutes. Then mix two tbsp. of whole wheat flour and enough dry charcoal to make a poultice. Spread this on a piece of gauze that is somewhat larger than the involved area. Apply this to the affected area, then lay another piece of gauze over it and bandage it on. If painful, add a tbsp. of lobelia when steeping the herbs. A little flaxseed meal or cornmeal may be needed to make the poultice stick together. When there is pus and ulceration, use hydrogen peroxide to bathe the affected area thoroughly, repeatedly applying and wiping it off with a piece of cotton, until the area is absolutely clean. Do this before applying the poultice). (Another poultice may be made as follows: 2 tbsp. ground flaxseed or flaxseed meal, 1 tsp. golden seal, and 1/2 tsp. of myrrh. Add enough hot water to make a paste. The paste must not be too stiff, it must be soft enough to penetrate. Apply the same as any other poultice. Renew this every 6 hrs., cleaning each time with hydrogen peroxide if pus forms). To take internally, mix equal parts of skullcap, valerian, yellow dock, and buckthorn bark. Use a heaping tsp. to a cup of boiling water. Let steep for 30 minutes only. Take a cupful one hour before each meal and a cupful hot upon retiring. If constipation occurs, take an herbal laxative. The bowels must be kept open.
Chlorophyll liquid or tablets, 1 tbsp liquid 4 times per day or 2 tablets 4 times per day, is a blood cleanser.
Coenzyme Q10, 100 mg. twice daily, improves circulation.
Germanium, 200 mg. daily, increases oxygen utilization.
Potassium , 99 mg. daily, helps reduce tissue swelling.
Proteolytic enzymes, 2 between meals and with meals, aids in clean up and repair of damaged tissue.
Vitamin A and E emulsion, 50,000 IU vitamin A and 400 up to 1,600 IU vitamin E daily (do not take this much vitamin E in pill form). Emulsion enters the system more quickly. Vitamin A is essential for tissue repair. Vitamin E improves circulation, both enhance immune function.
Vitamin C plus biofavonoids, 4,000-10,000 mg. daily, helps tissue repair and improves circulation.
Kelp, 6 tablets daily, is a rich source of chlorophyll and minerals, good for circulation and is a blood cleanser.
Calcium, 2,000 mg. daily, repairs connective tissue.
Magnesium, 1,000 mg daily, repairs connective tissue.
Multivitamin and Mineral complex, as directed on the label, repairs connective tissue.
Zinc, 50-80 mg., speeds healing and is necessary for tissue repair and immune function.
- Butcher's broom
- Castor bean
- Elm, slippery
- Ginkgo bilboa
- Golden rod
- Indigo, wild
- Marshmallow root
- Myrrh, willow
- Pleurisy root
- Red seal
- Willow, black, American
Heat should never be applied to affected area if the gangrene is caused by lack of adequate circulation, present or impending.