Check out this fascinating article by my friend and colleague, Tom Bozzuto, DO published in Today’s Wound Clinic about “Herbal Treatments for Diabetic Foot Ulcers.” I have never heard of mountain papaya, maritime pine or marigolds being used for wound healing so I learned a lot. However, I do remember the first time a patient came in with the green leaves of her aloe vera plant covering her wound. The weirdest treatment I’ve seen was a patient with truly horrific wounds (due, it turned out, to an undiagnosed iron storage disease) who arrived with a jar of “healing salve” made from the placenta of his concerned and generous neighbor. All I could say was, “Wow, you are a lot more friendly with your neighbors than I am.”
I have to confess that after 30+ years, I have decided that what we put ON a wound is a lot less important than addressing the reasons for the wound (e.g. vascular disease, nutrient deficiency, repetitive trauma) – so I am actually OK with a lot of home remedies – as long as the patient is willing to work with me to manage all the causative factors. I know that perspective will not earn me points with dressing manufacturers.