My son recently had an encounter with a nettle plant. After the initial sting had passed I really didn’t think too much about it as he never belabored over the pain or even mentioned any more about it. However, the next day after returning home from school he showed me his ankle which had become quite swollen, was very red and radiating intense heat. It appeared as though he had developed cellulitis in the area of the sting.
For those of you who may not be familiar with cellulitis it is an infection of the skin caused by bacteria (usually strep or staph). The area affected becomes extremely inflamed, red, and warm to the touch. Cellulitis can be potentially dangerous as the infection can move into the blood and lymph rather quickly.
Although over twenty-four hours had passed before I realized that my sons brush with nettles had developed into cellulitis there was no indication that it had spread beyond the area. Because of the heat and inflammation the first thing that popped into my mind was to apply something cool to the area. I am a firm believer in the healing power of hydrotherapy and use it often for various conditions.
I ran a long sock under cold tap water, rang it out and applied it to his leg. I also applied a dry cloth over the wet cloth and secured it around his ankle. As a preventative I gave him a dose of Echinacea tincture and had him lay down on the couch for a rest. With in no time the wet cloth was extremely warm so I removed it and reapplied the cool water application. We continued the process for the rest of the evening and by morning it was at least 50% improved. By the end of the next day the swelling had almost gone, most of the heat had dissipated and it was almost back to normal. I did continue with the Echinacea, but my instincts tell me it was the hydrotherapy applications that did the trick.
I absolutely love the fact that something you can do at home which doesn’t cost you a dime can be such a wonderful healing tool. Although I have used and been exposed to numerous exotic and imported herbs I am always humbled by what I find in my own back yard or kitchen cabinet.
Now granted I may have just caught the cellulitis early before it had the opportunity to spread. Although there is the possibility that the cellulitis may have subsided on its own without any treatment what so ever. However, it is my impression that the hydrotherapy helped facilitate the healing process.
This information is merely observational and should not be construed as giving medical advice. Like I mentioned before, cellutlits can be potentially dangerous and may need to be attended to by a professional health care practitioner.