Thursday, 6 December 2007

Herbal cures for pressure sores

Isn’t it incredible, and evil, how much pain one little scabby sore can cause?

Take that pea-size patch at the bottom of your spine. Just under the coccyx Ouuch! If you’re immobile – and who with progressive MS isn’t? - there it will be. Fixed. for life. A permanent fixture. Part of your new anatomy and more alive than the rest. Ironic. Not funny.

You sit back in your chair – at its best and most “pressure-relieving” cushioned – and bang: you’re right on it. You wriggle, you’re not comfortable, the scabby edge lifts. If it bleeds you’re in real trouble. The pain, pinching and raw is excruciating, you scream (if someone’s with you and you’re trying to be polite/tough (when aren’t you the latter?) silently/imperceptibly – you might just pull a “pained” face). You try to lift yourself forward and oww, there’s the new ones forming on your buttocks.

You can’t sit. You can’t stand (your legs won’t hold you up and that’s a whole differnt ball-game of pain) and you can’t lie down. The sores are always with you (that reminds me of something!).

They’re on your bottom, your elbows, your heels. There’s no escape.

Perhaps I am being a bit flippant here. Sorry, it’s my way. I mean, if it weren’t so tragic it would be funny wouldn’t it, to someone (I usually think the Devil)? Anyway I laugh in the face of adversity, and, of course, look for ways to deal with things.

I decided to share with you what I use because it seems to work and I know so many people (not just MSers of course), are suffering too much and having to have anti-biotics and dressings. Which calls for lots of nursing and is a nuisance for everyone (including financially, the NHS (or equivalent in your country)).

Also, a friend on an MS Forum went down with them (bed-ridden for the forseeable future), and that breaks my heart.

I’m not the only one who uses marigold/calendula ointment (I know that because Tom, of course, works at a Herbalist’s*) and it has a great reputation for healing pressure-sores. But, as we were saying, there’s many – iincluding all conventional practitioners – who don’t.

In this family we have been astonished, and thrilled, by the superlative powers of the marigold flower to heal, for many years. Every little scratch and tear, cut and blister, spot and indescribable blemish. Eczema, psoriasis, you name it, it’ll be fading within minutes of application and in the case of a cut, closing before your very eyes. The miraculous marigold flower.
Just smear some over the beginnings of a pressure-sore. Re-apply maybe every few hours (with me it’s usually daily) and voila, ecco, gone before you know it.

It is best to get it early though because if you do leave them too long (or maybe someone with dementia for instance isn’t able to let anyone know in time; or an MSer might not feel it getting bad) they may become badly infected and possibly even threaten the bloodstream and so, life (septicaemia). If they get infected you do need an anti-biotic.

And the best one to use is also herbal (God’s counter to all this [“... and as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” – Gen 9:3]): golden seal (either powder-into-paste or a fluid-extract – again smeared over wound), you will kill the bacteria without doing damage to the rest of your body. Golden seal will eat a pus-ridden thing away.

Both marigold (aka calendula) and golden seal are antiseptic and anti-fungal.

So, my prescription:
- marigold/calendula ointment
- golden seal (as powder formed with water into paste, or fluid-extract)

Available at any good herbalist’s (see below for mail order).

Ensure you are using pressure-relieving cushions on all seats and, if possible, the same with your mattress. (A profiling bed is worth it’s weight in gold. If necessary, beg, borrow or... (no, just those two!), one I did and am so grateful for it.)

Also: keep up the anti-Candida/yeast diet; supplements, herbs and essential oils (see October posts). A lot to do with these things is fungal.

May the sores not be with you!

*G Baldwin & Co., Medical Herbalist
Tel: 0207 703 5550