Dr. Marjorie Baldwin, MD, of the Wildwood Hospital, Georgia, has often used activated charcoal to promote healing. She says that any inflammation, any area that is red, painful, swollen, and hot, responds to charcoal. She applies charcoal as a poultice if the inflammation is on the outside of the body, or gives it by mouth if the inflammation is in the digestive tract. Dr. Baldwin tells of a young woman with diabetes, who had developed ulcers on her feet and was threatened with gangrene. Her husband had frantically taken her to a very well known medical clinic in the Midwest. When the feet did not respond to careful treatment including antibiotics, she was told that she would need double amputation. She absolutely refused amputation, saying, she would rather die than live without her feet. Instead they went to Wildwood Hospital and Dr. Baldwin took charge of her case.
She writes in her e-mail,
“I had the severely damaged feet put into separate double plastic bags partially filled with a slurry of charcoal and water at body temperature. The baggies were loosely tied above the ankles and a pillow was used to prop up the knees to keep the charcoal around her feet and from running out. When we completed applying the poultices, I and my helpers gathered around our patient and asked the Lord to bless the treatments and to guide our minds as to what more we could do.
Except for a brief period each morning when her feet received a sunbath and were allowed to dry, they were kept in the bags around the clock, with the charcoal mixture being changed four times a day. Her diet was also supplemented with extra Vitamin A in the form of a daily glass of carrot juice. This program restored her health, she was dismissed from the hospital, and she walked out on both feet."
Second Degree Burns
Dr. Baldwin shared one other story about an eleven-year-old boy named Jimmy who was the unfortunate victim of a cigarette and a can of gasoline, leaving him severely burned on the backs of his legs:
“He was brought to our hospital, and immediately laid face down on an examining table. In places his trousers were burned to his skin, and he was shrieking with pain. Immediately upon his arrival, I commandeered a crew of male nurses to prepare a large quantity of charcoal slurry. As I cleared his legs of all possible foreign matter, the crew smeared this thick paste of charcoal slurry on a piece of cotton flannel that would reach from side to side and waist to ankles. Then we quickly flipped this wet poultice, charcoal side down, over the burned area. Instantly the shrieking ceased, and the exhausted boy heaved a big sigh of relief. The cold charcoal had completely relieved his pain. All that Jimmy had was charcoal. He was spared his limbs to walk again. “
This case happened before the advent of cold therapy for burns. After the initial healing, Jimmy received skin grafts to complete his recovery.
What Dr. Baldwin used regularly in her practice, other progressive physicians are also discovering. The Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal, describes the use of charcoal compresses to speed the healing of wounds and to eliminate their odors. This article tells about the amazing ability of human skin to allow the transfer of liquids, gasses and even micro-particles through its permeable membrane and pores. By the application of moist activated charcoal compresses and poultices, bacteria and poisons are drawn through the skin and into the charcoal. Poultices must be kept moist and warm to allow this healing process to take place.
In following up the Lancet article, I noticed that this new trend of using charcoal impregnated dressings is catching on in the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere. The Australian Government Dept. of Health and Aging lists in its national dispensary an activated charcoal bandage as well as a charcoal foam dressing for managing foul smelling wounds.