This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
Ulcers are breaches of continuity of surface, being caused by disease or unrepaired injury. A simple or healthy ulcer has its surface covered with a thick, creamy, yellow pus, not too profuse, and inodorous. The granulations are small, florid, pointed, sensative, and vascular. A scrofulous ulcer is one occurring in debilitated constitutions, most frequently upon the neck and joints. They originate in the cellular tissue, beneath the skin, exist generally in clusters, and are characterized by imperfect and slow suppuration. An indolent ulcer occurs most frequently in the lower extremities of old persons, and is the most common of all ulcers. It is owing most frequently to a sore having been neglected or badly treated. Its surface is smooth, glassy, concave and pale. The discharge is thin and serous, and the surrounding tissue is swollen, hard and of a dusky-red color. It is painless, and the patient is apt to let it go unnoticed, unless if by accident, exposure, or over-exertion, it inflames and becomes painful. An irritable ulcer is one having an excess of organizing action, with a deficiency of organizable material. It is superficial, having an equal surface of a dark hue, and often covered with tenacious fibrin. It occurs most frequently near the ankle. It is very sensitive, and attended with great pain. A phagedenic ulcer is one of irregular form, with ragged abrupt edges, and uneven brown surface, looking as if gnawed by an animal. It is attended with burning pain, and great constitutional disturbance. A varicose ulcer is dependent upon a varicose condition of the veins, and usually occurs in the leg just above the ankle. They are indolent, and mostly moist on the surface.
TREATMENT. -- In the simple ulcer the treatment is simply protective. Water dressings are the best, as they keep the parts clean and remove the liquid pus. The "Herbal Ointment" is equally good. If the granulations become too luxuriant, an astringent wash, or slightly cauterizing them, becomes necessary. In scrofulous ulcers constitutional treatment must be instituted. The soft infiltrated tissues surrounding the ulcers should be destroyed by escharotics, and after the slough is removed, the healthy granulated surface treated as a simple ulcer. In indolent ulcers the sore should at first be cleansed by poultices. Healthy granulation should be aroused by lightly touching the ulcer with nitrate of silver, sulphate of copper, etc., or the same effect may be produced by strips of adhesive plaster being placed over the entire surface of the ulcer. In irritable ulcer the treatment should first be constitutional, and tonics and stimulants administered. The part should be relaxed, rested, and elevated This should be followed by a light poultice, or warm-water dressing, or if there is great pain, fomentations of the infusion of opium, conium, or belladonna should be applied. In the treatment of phagedenic ulcers, fresh air and good diet are all-important. The secretions must be corrected, and a Dover's powder given at night. The ulcer should be thoroughly destroyed by escharotics, followed by warm poultices. In varicose ulcer cold water, rest, regular bandaging, or laced stocking, constitutes the treatment. Strapping with strips of adhesive plaster, by the support afforded, is excellent in all cases of ulcers.
My "Herbal Ointment" (page 49) acts most admirably as a local application in all cases of ulcer. It causes healthy granulation, relieves the pain, and speedily causes union of the edges.