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Gangrene

General characteristics

General characteristics

Gangrene is a condition whereby the blood supply to an area is so severely restricted that the body part or tissue affected is irreversibly damaged or dies completely. The two principle kinds of gangrene are 'dry' and 'wet'.

Dry gangrene is where the blood supply to an area has ceased and the body part slowly dies and withers away, no infection is present and the skin will initially appear paler than normal and feel cold to touch. As it progresses, the skin becomes darker, the body parts die slowly and resemble mummified tissue which eventually may fall off of its own accord (auto-amputation). Dry gangrene is associated with long term poor blood circulation (such as Raynauds disease) and arteriosclerosis, smoking and diabetes.

Wet gangrene often begins with injury, inflammation or infection and lack of proper blood supply to the affected part. Wet gangrene often progresses further into the tissues as infection and inflammation further restrict blood flow, causing blood stagnation in the tissues and setting up the perfect conditions for blood poisoning and rampant putrefaction to take place. It is more likely to spread rapidly into surrounding tissues and needs urgent treatment. Causes include frostbite, crushing injuries, complications of bed sores and ulcers, burns, diabetes, untreated localised infections (such as a poorly treated wound).

Herbs and natural healing aim to kill any infection and ease inflammation whilst promoting proper circulation to the affected areas and enhance the bodys vital immune systems.


Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Avoid all sugar and sugar filled foods, fried foods, refined carbohydrates (pastries, biscuits etc), processed foods of all kinds, fizzy drinks, alcohol and smoking. All these will rob your body of nutrients and could worsen your gangrene, even if taking medications for it.

Eat only organic, fresh, whole foods and include plenty of salads, homemade soups, breads, dips, sauces, water, herb teas and fresh juices. Include as many dark leafy green veg, especially cabbage, as you can every day.

Include plenty of circulation and immune boosting foods like garlic, onions, turmeric, ginger and chilli in your meals.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Make a poultice using marshmallow root, slippery elm, lady's mantle, plantain leaves, comfrey leaves and myrrh powder. Use equal quantities of each and simmer slowly for 15 minutes in water. Use enough to be able to immerse all the affected areas in the liquid. Strain the liquid off and discard the herbs, add a couple of drops of tea tree or peppermint essential oils to the herbal water and soak the affected area in it for as long as the liquid remains hot. Do this daily.

Chilli powder can be taken in hot water, start with a quarter teaspoon 3 times daily and increase to a teaspoon 3 times daily if you can. The condition may well be improved by the increase in blood flow.

Drink a tea of nettle, lime flowers, vervain and ginkgo (equal parts) 3 times daily.

Take echinacea tincture, 1 teaspoon three times daily to boost immunity.

Capsules of powdered reishi mushroom will also help immunity and provide valuable nutrients involved in tissue repair.

A formula to fight and prevent infection and prevent blood poisoning could include tinctures of wild indigo, myrrh, thuja, goldenseal, black walnut husk or leaf and bayberry. Use equal parts of each and take 10 drops in water or herb teas, 3 times daily. Stop after one week and revert to plain echinacea tincture, dose as above.


Natural healing

Natural healing

Cut a raw onion into slices and loosely bandage them around the affected parts. This an old remedy for gangrene.
An old tried and tested Russian remedy involves chewing pieces of wholegrain rye bread thoroughly (to mix with saliva) and applying the bread/saliva mush to the affected parts, at the first signs of gangrene. They reapply freshly chewed bread daily until healing occurs.

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