(And especially hard to heal wounds)
Erysipelas is a specific, acute, inflammatory disease caused by a hemolytic streptococcus and characterized by an eruption, limited to the skin and sharply defined, usually accompanied by severe constitutional symptoms.
Appears as an inflammation of the skin in splotches of deep red and copper color, causing itching and burning. Most commonly on the face, but may spread to any part of the body. The irritation appears as a very red, hot, swollen area with a sharp margin. May start from a slight wound or abrasion, but may appear spontaneously. May contain blisters, spreads rapidly, covering the face and neck in a short time. Even in moderately severe cases, the face is swollen, the eyes are swollen shut, the lips and ears thickened, and the patient is feverish. When it begins from a wound or scratch, the spot becomes slightly reddened before spreading. Sometimes, the first symptoms begin with a chill and/or fever, and in a few hours a slight redness appears over the bridge of the nose and on the cheeks. In about 24 hrs. blisters begin to appear in the red areas. An attack of erysipelas generally leaves the patient susceptible to the disease for a long time.
This condition is very contagious. Strict isolation and special nursing care should be maintained. Do not wash sores with soap and water. Use a saturated solution of boric acid only. Make this solution with: 1/2 tsp. goldenseal, 1 tsp. lobelia, 1 tsp. burdock, 1/2 tsp. yellow dock root, 1 tsp. boric acid, and 1/4 tsp. of myrrh. Dissolve in a quart of boiling water. Dip a piece of cotton in this and lightly touch all the affected parts. Moisten a piece of gauze in this solution and leave on the sores. This will greatly relieve the pain. Do not wipe the skin.
(Chickweed tea may be substituted for the mixture given above. Use 1 heaping tbsp. of granulated herb to 1 pint of boiled water).
A poultice of raw cranberries, or raw cranberries mixed with buttermilk, applied cold, will allay the intense burning; also lemon juice may be used, diluted half-and-half with boiled water.
Pleurisy root, burdock root, sage or ginger should be taken internally as a tea. These herbs affect the skin and keep it moist, keeping the pores open. A heaping tbsp. pleurisy root, a tbsp. sage, and a tsp. of ginger steeped in a pint of boiling water should be given 1/2 cup every 2 hrs. to drink.
Herbal salve may be used. Use granulated or powdered herbs. Use one pound of herbs to one and a half pounds of cocoa fat, or any pure vegetable oil, and four ounces of beeswax. It is necessary to use a little more beeswax in the warmer climates, as this is the ingredient that keeps the salve firm. Mix the above together, cover, and place in the hot sun or in an oven with the fire turned low for three or four hours. Strain through a fine sieve or cloth. When it is cold, it will be firm and ready for use. (It can be used, however, before it is cold).
Another excellent wash is: Mix equal parts of gum myrrh, echinacea, witch hazel, and goldenseal, all granulated. After thoroughly mixing, use one tbsp. to a pint of boiling water; steep 1/2 hr. and strain. Apply gently with cotton.
A very good remedy: Cover the affected parts well with grated raw potatoes, about 1/4 inch thick. When the potatoes dry out, remove them and replace with fresh potatoes. Keep bowels open with herbal laxatives or enemas.
Another mixture that may be used: Witch hazel powder (50 parts), wild indigo powder (5 parts), myrrh powder (2 parts), boric acid powder (20 parts), echinacea powder (2 parts). Blend thoroughly. Use as a dusting powder, particularly on septic areas.
For canker sores of the mouth or thrush in children, use gold thread (roots or whole plant) or mouthroot (Coptis groenlandica). One ounce of crushed root to a pint of diluted alcohol (100 proof, not rubbing alcohol) for an ulcerated mouth.
Flaxseed, crushed and applied as poultice for external sores, or the oil may be used (linseed).