Last Modified on Jan 05, 2014
Among the more significant side effects of diabetes are diabetic leg ulcers, open leg sores that may afflict the feet or legs, once or recurrently, and break down the skin's protective barrier so that infection may more easily enter the body to cause disease and further tissue damage at the site of the ulcer. These ulcers often occur with advanced diabetes because the diabetic patient does not feel the damage occurring to the skin, where neuropathy has affected pain receptors in the legs and feet.
There are other health concerns that can cause leg ulcers including trauma, impetigo, tuberculosis, and cellulitis. However, diabetic leg ulcers are the most common. These result from blocked arteries and as a secondary effect of the neuropathy (nerve damage) that often comes with an uncontrolled diabetic condition. The atherosclerosis that blocks leg arteries causes arterial insufficiency, a lack of circulation to the area where ulcers subsequently occur.
Holistic Treatment for Diabetic Leg Ulcers
Of course, a proper diabetes diet and blood sugar control are essential to preventing leg ulcers. For any existing, open ulcers, cleaning and dressing the wound is essential. You may want to consider coating the wound with honey as a natural antibiotic to supplement your immune system's own efforts to prevent infection. Supplemental zinc and vitamin C will speed up the healing process. As one more option, phototherapy offers a promising alternative medicine treatment for diabetic leg ulcers.(1)
Table of Contents
- Activated Charcoal
- Activated Charcoal and Flax Seed Poultice
- Activated Charcoal, Tamanu Oil
- Bread and Baking Soda
- Everclear (Grain Alchohol)
- Hydrogen Peroxide, Coconut Oil, Cayenne
- Manuka Honey
- Methylated Spirits
- Raw Food Diet for Leg Sores
- Remedies Needed
- Sugar Compress
- Tamanu Oil
[YEA] "One of the best remedies to heal dangerous leg ulcers happens to be activated charcoal. Sprinkling activated charcoal (mixed with water) directly onto an ulcer will start the healing process immediately."Replies
03/03/2012: Ernest from San Antonio, Texas replies: "What is activated charcoal? Is this charcoal that is used or charcoal straight out of the bag???? Help?"
07/23/2012: E Hoa from Brisbane, Queensland replies: "I have a pretty agressive ulcer and have given up on conventional medical treatment and looking for an alternative. Would you be able to give me more details on using Activated Charcoal? Does a dressing and bandage need to be used after the Charcoal has been applied? How long does it remain on the Ulcer? Does it have to be cleaned out before another application is applied, if so what do you use?"
04/25/2013: Israel Stanley from Harare, Mashonaland, Zimbabwe replies: "Activated Charcoal is highly porous carbon with the ability to absorb toxins when applied on to an open ulcer. When applied on to an open ulcer, its purpose is to absorb as much waste material or toxins as much as possible so that when the ulcer heals there no unwanted toxins or materail are trapped inside as the wound heals. Most people rush to get medication to close the ulcers before thoroughly cleaning the ulcer of any toxins or unwanted material like clotted blood, serum, puss etc. So the activated charcoal helps in that regard.
In the absence of thorough cleaning of the ulcer, the supposedly 'healed' ulcers will reappear again.
Activated charcoal is a black powder and is available from chemists or pharmacies in powder form or tablets. When someone is suspected of having taken poison by mouth, activated charcoal is given as first aid in order to absorb the poison in the system and confine it to the digestive canal. When that happens, the poison is not absorbed into the blood system, and can be passed out from the digestive canal thru the normal system or by inducing the person to vomit."
Activated Charcoal and Flax Seed Poultice
[YEA] 03/18/2013: Teresa from Bentonville, Ar: "My companion had a very bad ulcerated leg, we believe the cauce was from a fall that damaged his ankle, resulting in a plate and several screws years ago. It happened so fast at a time when he very busy having a large barn being constructed. His calf swelled to 2-3 times normal size in a day, and the skin became open and raw, about the size of a tennis ball. We couldn't get in to see our naturopath until the next day, so we found info on the internet about charcoal/flax poultice.
I was covering a large area, so I took 16'' x12" piece of clean cotton sheet, mixed 1/3 cup food grade activated charcoal with 1/2 cup ground flax seed and enough water for paste that you can spread on the cotton cloth. I would take that and wrap it around his calf. Then wrap saran wrap around that, and then wrap an ace bandage around that and pin it on for the night, 8 hours. You don't want it exposed to air, or it dries out. It takes the pain away in about 20 min. You can do it 3 times daily, but leave time to air out. And Keep the area Very clean, spray peroxide often.
We did this daily for 5-6 months. At first it drained liquid out, a LOT of liquid out. After about 4 months he showed his Dr. They panicked, did a lot of tests, nuclear bone scan and others, sent him to specialist. That Dr. came in looked at the calf, felt the leg, went back out checked tests, came back in, felt the leg for 10 min. checking for temp. We told him what we we're doing, he said, "did a lot of stuff drain out?" I said, "oh ya", he said the leg has no infection or problem he could find. After a total of 5 months we stopped the wraps, and the skin started peeling off, layer after layer... And every so often it gets to acting up, and he'll do another poultice. For the most part he only had poultice on at night."
Activated Charcoal, Tamanu Oil
[YEA] 10/22/2013: Pbird from Wa, Usa: "I used the charcoal early on in the process of healing my leg sores. It did clean them up very nicely and then I was able to go on to things like the tamanu oil to stimulate cell growth."
Bread and Baking Soda
03/27/2013: Debra from Mackay Queensland, Australia: "I have a new leg uler which developed after a bleed. It is on my interior ankle. Extremely painful. Can feel the swelling where the damage was done. I was told of a method using bread, bicarbonate of soda on the bread and water which makes the paste bubble. Does anyone know of this method. Surelly there is some native bush remedy out there. Indigenous people have cures for all their needs which they have used for years. Modern wound clinics just put on a bandage and say see you nexst week. One year later you are still doing the same thing."Replies
03/27/2013: Louwrence from Rustenburg, North West, South Africa replies: "Hi Debra, I have read that a dr from Zimbabwe places sugar on a wound that does not heal & then it starts healing."
03/27/2013: Gavin from Manganui, Northland, New Zealand replies: "Manuka honey the +16 variety, and cayenne to get the circulation going. Capsules might be better. The ulcers are usually varicose ulcers. Pack the wound with the honey and lightly bind it with a bandage."
Everclear (Grain Alchohol)
[YEA] 01/14/2009: Liz from Midland, TX: "My 80 year old mother had horrible looking sores on her legs. She asked me to pick up some everclear.(190 Proof). I was skeptical but she had heard of it somewhere and within two days her legs And foot looked better than they had for months and it did not BURN!!?? We just poured it over her legs first then we patted with washrag. I was amazed but it worked."Replies
04/07/2010: Su from Lillington, North Carolina replies: "do you have to cover the leg with cloth like a bandaid, sort of, AFTER you poured the 'everclear' ????"
Hydrogen Peroxide, Coconut Oil, Cayenne
[YEA] 11/12/2013: Kate from Tonga: "My husband had really bad ulcers on his lower leg, which had lasted about 9 months. Every evening, he was in so much pain, he couldn't sleep. He tried every remedy - both natural and allopathic - that he could think of, with only minor improvement. People kept commenting that perhaps he was diabetic, but he refused to go and get tested. Thinking along these lines, I devised a treatment for him, which we applied morning and night.
First, I applied a few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide to the actual ulcer. (It fizzes and foams for a minute or so).
Then I mixed a small amount (maybe 2 tablespoons) of extra virgin coconut oil with a pinch of cayenne pepper, and massaged the entire leg with it, especially the foot. (Be sure not to massage it onto the actual ulcer, as it will sting like mad! ). The idea behind this is to bring circulation, warmth and blood flow to the limb, to speed up healing.
Within a couple of days we could see an improvement. The ulcers were noticeably smaller. It took about 2 - 3 weeks for all the ulcers to be completely healed over."
[YEA] 11/13/2008: Sue from London, United Kingdom: "My father had a large leg ulcer which he had for some years. I bought him some manuka honey which he put on the ulcer everyday. It completely cured the ulcer and has left no trace of a scar. This took 6 months."Replies
05/08/2012: John from Dublin, Dublin, lenster, ireland replies: "Hi my name is John, I live in Dublin, Ireland-I have an Ulcer on my ankle. It's been treated at the moment with Iodiflex & I'm finding that it heals for so much & then it seems to just go so far & then go back to the way it was before so if you could tell me the full name of the Manuka Honey example I drink one of the Manuka Range & it is called Manuka 15 , so if you could send me the Full name of the Manuka Honey that you used it would be great, Thank You, John"
[YEA] 05/02/2006: Pat from Whangarei New Zealand: "It's a glass (Window) cleaner ... It is POTASSIUM PERMANGANATE in Liquide METHANOL... It stops the rot ...when nothing else will ... How do I know it works :-) I'm a DIABETIC ...and know about Diabetic Grangrene."Replies
11/25/2009: David from Indianapolis, Usa replies: "But where do I find a window cleaner with potassium permanganate in methanol?"
01/10/2012: Vee from Johannesburg, South Africa replies: "I has started to get ugly pigmentation at the back of my knee's and patches on my legs. I was told today to try Methylated spirits mixed with Bio Oil and glycerin. I'm not sure what quantities to mix and if it safe to use Methylated spirits.
Can someone advise me."
Raw Food Diet for Leg Sores
[YEA] 11/07/2007: Rachel from Brooklyn, New York: "My husband developed non-healing sores (but not dangerous) on his leg near the ankle.They kept on getting bigger and were there for about a half year. He also had a bit of sugar in his blood. After going to doctors and trying many things, "Une boot wraps" is what helped heal the sores. Using these wraps was very painful the first few weeks, but they worked.
At the same time, someone mentioned seeing in a book*, a fasting program, that helps heal such sores. The Health food stores didn't have the book and the fasting program seemed hard. Other fasting programs also seemed to be a possibility. Since the sores healed before the books were bought, none of the fasting programs were attempted.
Recently, after getting a knock on the foot, the problem started to come back. There were two sores that were getting bigger. Instead of a fast, we (a few members of the family) began a mostly raw food cleansing program, eating raw fruit and vegetables throughout the day (after the first week, including figs and nuts and seeds) and eating one warm, cooked meal in the evening. The cooked meal being very simply, grilled fish and vegetable soup or chicken soup with cooked chicken and vegetables, including carrots, celery, onions, garlic, parsley root, sweet potato, asparagus and so on. No flour or corn starch was used in the soup to thicken it and no oils. Sometimes a cooked potato was included. Bread and grain flour products were also avoided. Milk and hard cheese was avoided. Unheated, unrefined olive oil was used occasionally on salads or other vegetables. This was meant to be a cleansing program, easier than a fast but cleansing nevertheless. One day a week, a variety of regular foods, including Challah, was eaten in moderation. At this point, several weeks into the program my husbands sores are almost completely gone, the sugar is completely gone, his heart feels stronger and he is able to walk more easily and faster. Thank you for letting me share this Rachel "Replies
10/22/2013: Pbird from Wa, Usa replies: "I couldn't tolerate the Une boot wrapping. It enlarged my first ulcer by abut six hundred percent just from the pressure and rubbing. I had to take over the case myself and worked on this thing for most of a year. I used poltices of bentonite clay and activated charcoal to clean it up and then used Manuka honey, Amerigel, bismuth saturated gauze and best of all...tamanu oil to heal the openings in the skin that did not want to close."
08/31/2010: Minti Patel from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India: "My question is: If someone who is suffering from diabetes and has got a wound which is all full of puss and redness along with swelling in the foot then what remedies should be taken?"Replies
08/31/2010: Tom from Regina, Sk replies: "I searched this site, and I could find "ulcers", and "diabetic neuropathy", but no "diabetic ulcers" or "leg ulcers" or any such. Perhaps we could get a specific new category here, called "diabetic ulcers" or something close?
However, if you wish to try advice out there, I looked over on Curezone. com, a huge site and they have this section:
http://www.curezone.com/forums/search.asp?q=diabetic leg ulcers&action=CureZone Search
This one post from that list looks interesting! I've never heard of this product called Castellani Paint Modified:
09/02/2010: Tricia from Ireland replies: "This is definitely one that you need to go to the doc for. Diabetic ulcers are notoriously difficult to cure and if there is pus in it there is a strong possibility that you have an infection. Infections in the feet and hands of diabetics are potentially dangerous. Lack of attention at this stage will give you and the doctor a lot of hard work. When any signs of infection are gone, come back and discuss prevention. Good luck."
10/16/2009: Felix from Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa: "Greetings, i,m suffering from leg ulcers and hope any one to help me listed some natural medicines that might help (garlic,parsil) etc..."Replies
09/01/2010: Brenda from San Antonio, Tx replies: "I have seen very good results using clay and apple cider vinegar. The clay is placed directly in the wound untill it drys the vinegar and the clay bring blood to heal the spot, and the drawing pulls the infection out. Do not scrub the wound just soak the part in warm water. Just add enough clay and vinegar to make a paste and apply. It may take up to a week to clear the wound. I have seen great results. Brenda"
04/26/2012: Dinah from Elizabeth City, North Carolina: "Stop! I have the answer for leg ulcers. I suffered miserably with non-healing leg ulcers. My doctor gave up, the hospital clinic gave up, a home health nurse who had specialized in leg ulcers started applying to my leg _____ silver pads. They did hurt a little at first... But the ulcers healed. I used to cry up until the wee hours of the night due to the pain, I was even taking strong paid medication but it stopped working. These dressings healed my entire right leg that was entirely ate up with leg ulcers. Please check out this product. You can even email me... I'm a real person and I'm not selling a product. Please, stop suffering. Leg ulcers are the worse pain in the entire world."Replies
05/22/2012: Thomas from Littel Falls, Mn Usa replies: "What silver pads are you referring to?"
06/17/2012: 1chpjl from Alpena, Michigan replies: "Please tell me about the silver pads that Dinah said that really helped with ankle and leg ulsers. My partner is in extreme pain due to poor circulation. Was due for surgery but now has to deal with another health issue first. There getting bigger by the day and pain meds are not helping. Thank you."
06/19/2012: Lesley from Melbourne, Australia replies: "Hi, would love to know more on these silver pads to help my dad with a 2 year old ulcer that won't heal and no doctor has been able to help, he's 90 and in pain.
Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you"
06/19/2012: Rswuniontown from Uniontown, Oh replies: "Julia Schoepick devotes an entire chapter of her book, "Honest Medicine, " to Silverlon. Her husband was suffering with a brain surgery scar that would not heal until she brought some Silverlon in to put on it, and the next day it was finally starting to heal. I think her website is www.honestmedicine.com. I'm not sure where you can get some but she may be able to answer that. Good luck!"
06/22/2012: Kathleen from San Antonio, Texas replies: "If you can't find the silver pads you might want to try colloidal silver topically. You might also be interested in a homeopathic mixture that promotes healing called Traumeel. I gave some to my neighbor when she had a dog bite that wasn't healing and the results were amazing. You could literally see a day to day change in the bruising and healing of the wound."
04/29/2013: Cassim from Durban, South Africa replies: "Hello, I had some sugar ulcer sores on my left leg just above the ankle and below the just below the knee, I have tried doctors and other herbal treatment, I was introduced to cupping, and the on the first session the blood that was removed from the ulcer was a sponge type and looked like jelly, the ulcer began to heal, after three sessions of cupping the ulcers have healed but where the ulcer was, this portion of my leg has become black and the ulcer is ever so slightly returning, please may you be so kind and explain what is silver pads and where can I purchase some. Thanking you, Cassim"
[YEA] 11/28/2008: Juanita from N. O., La. USA: "Try using a paste of sugar and antibiotic ointment on leg sores that will not heal! Bacteria will not grow in sugar and it will heal the sore fast!
[YEA] 05/23/2009: Baldelune from Rainier, WA: "Try this treatment for a DIABETIC ULCER that refuses to heal: Take a piece of gauze large enough to encircle the ulcer site and liberally coat it with vaseline, roll the gauze into a cigarette-like roll configuration and encircle the ulcer. This sticky-treated gauze is used to make a "dam" around the wound. Next, fill the inside of the gauze encirclement with ordinary table sugar about 1/4" deep, place a covering of gauze over the sugar and the encircling sticky gauze and then gently bandage over the wound area. The sugar will accelerate the healing of the wound, absorb the drainage, and prevent infection. I believe you will like the results. It sounds simple--and it is, but it works. Honey can be substituted for the table sugar, but some folks find it to be more messy to use than sugar; however, it's your call. The entire dressing will need to be changed every 2-3 days."Replies
[WARNING!] 10/15/2011: Meg18 from Durham, England replies: "Do NOT use honey - despite the claims that bacteria can not grow in honey, using it for a leg ulcer gave me a horrendous infection that swelled my legs to the size of telegraph poles, after which I lost all of the skin below my knee. Two years later the original leg ulcer still hasn't healed. Honey can apparently carry heat resistant spores for some really nasty diseases!"
08/04/2012: E Hoa from Brisbane/qld/australia replies: "Would you give me some more information about using the sugar please. Does the wound have to be washed before replacement of a new application? What indications tell you there is improvement?"
11/03/2012: Moe from Toronto, On replies: "Hi, Does this really work? How long does it take to heal the wound? My mom really need a help.. Can you please email or reply here.. Also, do we dip the vaseline gauze in the sugar or we just have to sprinkle the sugar once we encircle the gauge? Please Reply.. Thanks in advance."
11/03/2012: Debbie from Melbourne, Australia replies: "I would not use sugar for leg ulcers. Raw honey has been very successful in treating leg ulcers. It must be raw organic honey (or manuka honey). Raw honey is antibacterial so very safe to use."
12/01/2012: Moe from Toronto, On replies: "Hi, Can you please give me more direction on how to use this therapy. When you say vaseline? Which kind or brand? Please give more info. Thanks."
[YEA] 10/16/2013: Pbird from Wa, Usa: "Regarding tamanu oil... I have used it to heal really stubborn leg wounds that would not heal for most of a year before I started using the oil. If anyone wonders how I went about this I would be happy to reply to email. It was quite a process but worked better than anything else."Replies
01/05/2014: Dnara14 from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia replies: "Greetings, I am in my 60's, I have this Ulcer wounds above the ankles and below the ankles on both my legs for many years now. Can you please suggest how the use of Tamanu oil help to heal this type of wounds. Where can one get this oil. Thank you for your help. Best regards. Nara"
01/05/2014: Mama To Many from Tennessee, Usa replies: "Dear Nara,
People apply Tamanu Oil straight to wounds. I used it on my daughter this week for a skin irritation and the results were pretty impressive. It was my first experience with it.
Tamanu is native to Malaysia, so you should be able to find it where you live, but it may be called something else. This website has some information and includes some alternate names.
Activated charcoal is also really good for diabetic leg ulcers. Here are some encouraging stories.
Both of these remedies could be used together.
Wounds will heal best if you are also getting plenty of water, have a nutritious diet, and your body is eliminating regularly. If you would be able to add fresh vegetable juice, like carrot, to your diet, that would be very helpful.
I hope you are able to get your ulcers healed soon!
~Mama to Many~"