Gangrene – a foot is saved from amputation


Gangrene is usually caused by bacterial infection or obstruction of blood flow to a particular area – commonly the hands and feet, but internal organs can also be affected. There are many other causes.

Once the blood supply is cut off, the tissue then becomes “necrotic” (i.e. some of the tissue dies because there is no blood circulation available to feed the tissues with nutrients and oxygen.) Predisposing factors include diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, smoking, frostbite etc.


Gangrene affecting the big toe and adjacent tissue in the forefoot.
Gangrene affecting the big toe and adjacent tissue in the forefoot.

Because this patient was considered to have irreversible damage to his big toe (note that it is black in the other pics)  it was planned to amputate his forefoot because gangrene often spreads to adjacent tissue if the dead tissue is not adequately removed. There is no medical treatment available that can restore normal blood circulation to gangrenous tissue.

Fortunately for the patient, wheatgrass extract was made available and applied to the affected area on alternate days. Wheatgrass has the ability to repair damage to the microcirculation, tiny blood vessels which are crucial for maintaining the health of all the body’s organs including the skin. i.e. by increasing or restoring blood flow, in the affected area(s).







Gangrene toe. Healing with wheatgrass extract.
Reduction of necrotic (dead) tissue due to increased blood supply to the affected area.

After several days the toe remains black and, because the tissue is dead, it cannot be restored, so the digit will have to be amputated. This is called necrosis or death of tissue. However, you can see “new” tissue forming on the floor of the ulcer which is beginning to heal.
This is not the normal progression of gangrene. Instead it usually continues to spread, and in this case, one would be anticipating the eventual loss of most, if not all, of the foot.









We can now see an improved blood supply (note the red colouration in the wound) which is helping to heal what is quite a large wound. The bright red area on the ulcer floor indicates that the blood supply has returned to the wound.









Here, the big toe has been amputated because it has no chance of recovery. Note that the site of the amputation has almost healed over, which is unusual. In most cases, the gangrene continues to spread and often the whole foot has to be amputated.

This has been avoided thanks to wheatgrass extract treatment which was continued throughout the healing process, so that most of the forefoot was saved and further spread of gangrene prevented.



View a video showing more detail of this remarkable wound recovery.

Read more about how well wheatgrass can heal wounds, often when nothing else has worked.

Dr. Chris Reynolds.