What is gangrene?
Gangrene is usually caused by bacterial infection or obstruction of blood flow to a particular area such as the hands and feet, although internal organs can sometimes be affected. Once the blood supply is cut off, the tissue 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 and frostbite.
Wheatgrass prevents amputation of patient’s gangrenous foot
Because this patient had irreversible damage to his big toe (note that it is black in the other pics) amputation of the whole forefoot was considered because gangrene often spreads to adjacent tissue if the dead tissue is not removed.
Wheatgrass extract, which can quickly repair damage to the micro-circulation, (the tiny blood vessels crucial for maintaining the skin health) was applied to the affected area on alternate days.
Fig. 1. After several days the toe remains black (necrosis) so the digit would have to be amputated. However, “new” tissue is forming on the floor of the ulcer which is beginning to heal.
Usually, gangrene continues to spread, and in this case, one would expect to see removal of the patient’s forefoot at least.
Figs. 2. & 3. Here you can see improved blood supply to the wound (red coloration), a sign of the healing process so amputation of the forefoot will not be necessary.
Dr. Chris Reynolds.