Charcoal Remedies in Malawi 2015
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Painful Foot Swelling
I was in Kela Village in a remote and very difficult place to access in Malawi, Africa. I was traveling with a team doing a Water Wells For Africa site inspection tour. I am not sure how it happened but my right foot began to swell and the pain increased until it was hard to walk. I thought I might have dropped something heavy on my foot. I couldn’t pinpoint the reason for the pain but I could feel a toxic throbbing creep up my leg. It had been a long day and I hoped I could go to sleep and deal with it in the morning. However, the pain in my foot and leg was so great I couldn’t sleep. I am not sure to this day what the cause was. I didn’t twist my ankle or step on anything to cause such grief. I am not allergic to mosquito bites so I thought it could have been a spider bite or a venomous insect of some sort. I tried to ignore it but finally it was too pain much to bear. I got up around 2am. The Milky Way was out in full glory and everyone was asleep. There were a number of African visitors wrapped in blankets lying on grass mats around the still warm cooking fires. I found a pot of warm water and added three large tablespoons of charcoal powder. I soaked my foot in the charcoal mixture. In about an hour the pain subsided substantially enough for me to go to sleep without much discomfort. The next morning the swelling had gone down and I had no more pain. I still am not sure as to the cause. I do know that the aching, throbbing, excruciating pain was gone and the swelling diminished considerably. I forgot about it after a few busy days. When my foot returned to normal size and color I did notice a red spot in the place where the pain originated. My grief could have been caused by some kind of insect bite and the simple charcoal solution was the cure.
I haven't had a canker sore in my mouth of any serious degree since 1987. I learned to use peroxide to treat my oral wounds very effectively. I mix 50% peroxide with mouthwash and I use it regularly not only to prevent canker sores but also to heal them. So on my annual site inspection tour in Malawi in the summer of 2015 I took 4 large bottles of peroxide with me. I wanted to give 3 bottles to our medical team and keep one for our WWFA inspection team. However, all four bottles of peroxide were given to the medical team. Of course I got a huge canker sore that prevented me from sleeping at night. It was so painful and so extreme that it kept me awake. Finally I forced myself in the middle of the night to mix up some charcoal powder with corn flour and put it between my lip and gums on the sore. Within the hour the pain resolved itself so completely that I was able to sleep comfortably all night long. The next morning I woke up and the pain returned but since it was daytime I was very busy I didn't do anything about it. That night I couldn't sleep again due to the throbbing pain and again I mixed and applied the charcoal powder and corn mixture to my gum. Again the pain subsided and I was able to sleep all night long. The next morning I made my moist poultice mix and kept it in my mouth all day and replaced it as needed. I used another poultice at night. And I did the same thing the next day for the second day. I did that for 3 days and the canker sore was completely healed. I was so happy because nothing that I did in the past would ever relieve the pain and heal a canker sore. So I was glad that charcoal powder mixed with corn flour and water was the perfect solution to heal a very stubborn problem.
On our annual WWFA 2015 site inspection tour one of our team members developed a blotchy rash over his body. We were in Phalombe in Thuluwa village visiting a number of new boreholes in the area. We didn’t know the cause. Regardless, the itching and discomfort were so great that we were driven to mix up a moist charcoal powder and put it directly on each of the many rash spots. The itching ceased and after a few days the inflammation diminished.
WETSUIT BOOTY “I Don’t Smell Anything”
Each year for the past 30 years I have been going with a family group to Yosemite National Park. Each summer over the past 15 years we have been doing volunteer work which consists of cleaning the Merced River in the valley floor. It is about a five mile stretch of river and gets plenty of trash from campers and boaters during the summer season. Our job is to remove all the debris that we can find from the banks, from the shallow shores and from the water itself. Since the water is so cold those who swim in the river must wear full wetsuits. And because the bottom is often rocky we wear wetsuit booties with firm soles. At the end of the day the booties can smell horribly bad as any diver or surfer knows. So this year I took some charcoal pieces leftover from the campfire and put them in my wetsuit booties to see if the charcoal would remove the hideous stench. I put about a handful of charcoal pieces into one booty as a test. I don't know why I am always shocked by this after being familiar with the power of charcoal for so many years but in the wetsuit booty where I had placed the charcoal chunks there was absolutely no odor whatsoever. I was so ecstatic that I took the boot around to all the other campers and had them smell it. At first no one wanted to put their nose in the top of my boot and smell it. Yet anyone that did it was pleasantly surprised and even amazed in the 100% odor reduction. When I ask them to smell the other booty that had not received the charcoal they adamantly refused. Again it is always incredible to me the power of charcoal to remove the foulest of odors in a wide range of situations.