Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Curing Infection Naturally

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

DISCLAIMER:  I am not a doctor or an herbalist, so please consult a professional.  Infections, particularly staph infections, can be very serious and can KILL YOU.  In my case, modern medicine was failing me and I tried this just to see what would happen, knowing that I could head to the doctor if its didn't work. 

Last July, I was out in the garden and something bit me on the back of my left ankle.  Could have been a mosquito (I apparently was the best buffet in town last night for these nasty little things) or I could have just gotten scratched somehow. 

Not me, but a good representation
of a cellulitis infection.  The
source of this pic is no longer available.
 The result was that it got infected and the red hot inflammation spread all the way around my ankle and started up my calf before I was able to get to a doctor.  Since it was on the weekend, I had to go urgent care and not my regular doctor.  Big mistake,  as she gave me what we later found out was a child's dose of antibiotic and never even cultured it to see what we were dealing with.  Long story short, the infection went deeper into my leg and it swelled up, turned dark red and started weeping fluids all over the place.  Disgusting, I know.  The name for this infection of the skin is cellulitis - not to be confused with cellulite, but I'd also like to get rid of that also.  LOL.

Since that fateful day last summer, I've had 7 recurrences and my ankle has never looked completely normal.  (Seven!  Can you believe it!?)  With the last one, came a 100 degree fever which scared me - cellulitis can quickly become a serious infection that can kill if not treated.  With increasingly stronger antibiotics each time, the swelling would slowly come down over several weeks but my ankle would still remain pink.  To me, it still seemed that the antibiotics weren't killing the infection and were just knocking it back.  I'm at my wits end now having dealt with this for a year!!!!

So....when I woke up with it last Friday morning with the telltale sore ankle and redness, I knew I was in for it again.  I was at my wit's end.  So I decided to try something different after doing some research on homeopathic remedies. And it worked!  By Sunday night, the redness had subsided and today, the soreness is gone also.  Time will tell if it is truly gone, but the results are amazing!

How did I do it?

Tea Tree Oil (melaleuca spp, or ylang ylang)
Tea Tree Oil is available at your local drug store in small bottles that cost a large fortune.  I think I paid $11 for it.  According to my research, it has very powerful antiseptic, antibacterials, antiviral and antifungal properties.  It can help fight yeast infections, can be used as a topical acne treatment, can treat nail fungus, and even cure dandruff and lice!  Application is topical only and you have to be careful about skin sensitivity, so I mixed it with a little bit of olive oil as a carrier and then applied it to my ankle right before going to bed Friday night.  It's messy because it truly is an oil, so I covered the entire lower part of my leg with plastic wrap.  There was a HUGE different in the inflammation and swelling when I got up the following morning!

Echinacea (Echianea spp.)
Echinacea is famous for its ability to strengthen the immune system.  I thought it couldn't hurt, right?  My body really needs to figure out how to fight this off on its own.  The only problem is that the over the counter echinacea is a horse pill and you have to take it 3 times per day.  Recommended dosage is between 500 and 1000mg 3 times per day.

Other Natural Remedies for Infection

While we're talking about natural remedies, I thought I would also mention several others that I might try IF I have a recurrence.  And let's hope that I don't!

  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is actually approved in Great Britain for treating skin infections and inflammations.  Apply it topically or use 100g per 5 gallons of warm water for a sitz bath and soak the affected area.  I really wanted to try yarrow, but couldn't find it any stores here in the KC area.
  • Gotu kola (Centella asiatica, 60 mg two times daily) seems to help wounds heal and reduce risk of infection.  Just be careful as it interacts with a number of medications.  This is another herb that I wasn't able to find locally.
  • Calendula flower (Calendula officinalis) is officially approved in Germany as a topical treatment for leg ulcers or open wounds that could become infected easily. Steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of the dried flowers in one cup of boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes.  Let the mixture cool, then soak a sterile cloth in it and apply directly to the affected area.
  • Garlic (Allium sativum) is believed to have antibacterial properties. Herbalists recommend orally consuming three garlic cloves or three garlic oil capsules a day, starting when symptoms of infection first appear.
  • Cleavers (Galium aparine) is an anti-inflammatory and is believed to support the the lymphatic system. It may be taken orally to help heal staph infections and reduce swelling of the lymph nodes.  You can also apply a cleavers compress directly to a skin infection.
  • Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis). Another herb believed to fight infection and reduce inflammation, goldenseal may be taken orally at first signs of infection. You cna also treat skin infections by making a paste of water and powdered goldenseal root and applying it directly.  Then cover it with a clean bandage and leave it in place overnight.
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris, 1 to 2 g per day), lavender (Lavandula officinalis), or bergamot (Citrus bergamot) oils also have antibacterial properties and may help to prevent the scarring that may result from skin infections. Just add a few drops of these oils to water and apply a compress soaked in the water to the affected area.  Never swallow oil of thyme, as it can be toxic.  However, taking powdered thyme or just picking thyme from your garden and eating it as OK obviously.

All of this got me thinking about learning more about homeopathy (natural healing) and possibly starting a beneficial herb garden.  I'm adding it to my list of to-do's this summer after all this get-the-garden-started madness has settled down.

Have you found a natural remedy that works?  Do you grow beneficial herbs?  Know of a good place for a beginner to start learning about beneficial herbs and oils?  I'd love to hear from you - leave a comment!

This post is linked to this week's Barn Hop. Clicky to find out what other folks are up to!


  1. Thats good to know! Thanks for posting!

  2. Activated charcoal or clay poultices are great for curing infections..My hubby got cellulitis later on I learned about charcoal and since then I have did many a charcoal seminar teaching others about it's ability to heal many ailments!

  3. Benefits of Calendula Arvensis? Comments. ... Also, a fluid extraction, or the succus, from the flower itself can be used to irrigate wounds.
    Calendula Succus Benefits


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...