Remedies & Therapies > Skin, Nails, Hair & Scalp

Cellulitis: Causes & Cures

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--- Quote ---I think i may have finally pinpointed what my four month long rash on my legs is, cellulitis, a type of bacterial infection, similar to staph..

Do you think it would be safe for me to bathe in a bath with some neem oil in it? Also, do you think that neem leaf (taking the capsules) will be strong enough for cellulitis? I am planning on going at this thing with a vengeance!

It's really too bad that i let it go for so long. I am determined to stop it in it's tracks, now that i have an idea of what i'm dealing with.
--- End quote ---

Yes, I think taking baths with Neem Oil in them, as well as Sea Salt as mentioned earlier in this thread, would help with this condition. And yes, Neem can be taken internally (leaf or oil) to fight blood infections. Whether or not it alone would be strong enough to wipe out cellulitis is yet to be discovered...

 Also, I'd say that taking one or more of the herbs mentioned in the following article would also be a good idea (like Garlic an Echinacea.)

I would add Elderberry to the list because it helps clean the blood and is great at boosting the immune system. Sambucol elderberry syrup is a good brand, but expensive. You can make  your own Elderberry syrup by following the Bilberry recipe, exchanging Elderberries for Bilberries.

Also, search for GOOT on this forum. I think this smelly salve would be a good thing to put on your legs in between bathing treatments. I would also guess that exposure to the sun every day would be important.

So sorry you are in pain! Get well soon!


Tonic recipe: Use Elderberries in place of Bilberries for boosting the immune system, fighting viruses, bacterial infections, blood impurities, and the common cold.
Bilberry tonic recipe:

Powder 1/2 pound high quality bilberry fruit in your blender and then put in a
sauce pan. Cover with 4 quarts of water. Simmer on low, never boiling, for 12 hours. Cool, strain. You should have half the liquid you started with (about 2 quarts.) Pour into quart jars, filling each jar 2/3's full. Now add equal parts honey and dark Rum to fill jars. Shake well.
This tonic should keep well in a cool dark place for a year, or in the fridge for longer. Shake before use. Also good for treating any blood vessel related illness, eye sight, circulation, bruising, varicose veins, kidney damage or UTI's. 

PS: this makes about 3 quarts of tonic! I find that we go through it so fast it's worth making a lot. I use it for combating colds as well.


Cellulitis is a spreading bacterial infection of the skin and the tissues immediately beneath the skin. Cellulitis may be caused by many different bacteria; the most common are those of the Streptococcus species. Streptococci spread rapidly in the skin because they produce enzymes that hinder the ability of the tissue to confine the infection. Staphylococcus bacteria can also cause cellulitis, as can many other bacteria, especially after bites by humans or animals or after injuries in water or dirt. Cellulitis most commonly develops on the legs but can occur anywhere. The first symptoms are redness, pain, and tenderness over an area of skin. These symptoms are caused both by the bacteria themselves and by the body's attempts to halt the infection. The infected skin becomes hot and slightly swollen and may look slightly pitted, like an orange peel. Fluid-filled blisters, which may be small (vesicles) or large (bullae), sometimes appear on the infected skin. Erysipelas is one form of streptococcal cellulitis in which the skin is bright red and noticeably swollen and the edges of the infected area are raised. The swelling occurs because the infection blocks the lymphatic vessels in the skin. Most people with cellulitis feel only mildly ill, but some may have a fever, chills, rapid heart rate, headache, low blood pressure, and confusion.


Medical Treatment:
Prompt treatment with antibiotics can prevent the infection from spreading rapidly and reaching the blood and organs. Antibiotics, such as dicloxacillin (Trade Names: DYCILL, DYNAPEN, PATHOCIL, or cephalexin (Trade Name: KEFLEX), that are effective against both streptococci and staphylococci are used. People with mild cellulitis may take antibiotics by mouth; those with rapidly spreading cellulitis, high fever, or other evidence of serious infection often receive intravenous antibiotics. Also, the affected part of the body, when possible, is kept immobile and elevated to help reduce swelling. Cool, wet dressings applied to the infected area may relieve discomfort. Symptoms of cellulitis usually disappear after a few days of antibiotic therapy. However, symptoms often get worse before they get better, probably because with the death of the bacteria, substances that cause tissue damage are released. When this occurs, the body continues to react even though the bacteria are dead. Antibiotics are continued for 10 days or longer even though the symptoms may disappear earlier.


Alternative Medical Treament:
Superficial staph infections can generally be cured by keeping the area clean and antiseptic and applying warm moist compresses to the affected area for 20 to 30 minutes three or four times a day. Among the therapies believed to be helpful for the person with a staph infection are yoga (to stimulate the immune system and promote relaxation), acupuncture (to draw heat away from the infection), and herbal remedies. Herbs that may help the body overcome, or withstand, staph infection include:

Garlic (Allium sativum). This herb is believed to have antibacterial properties. Herbalists recommend consuming three garlic cloves or three garlic oil capsules a day, starting when symptoms of infection first appear.
Cleavers (Galium aparine). This anti-inflammatory herb is believed to support the lymphatic system. It may be taken internally to help heal staph abscesses and reduce swelling of the lymph nodes. A cleavers compress can also be applied directly to a skin infection.
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis). Another herb believed to fight infection and reduce inflammation, goldenseal may be taken internally when symptoms of infection first appear. Skin infections can be treated by making a paste of water and powdered goldenseal root and applying it directly to the affected area. The preparation should be covered with a clean bandage and left in place overnight.
Echinacea (Echinacea spp.). Taken internally, this herb is believed to have antibiotic properties and is also thought to strengthen the immune system.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), lavender (Lavandula officinalis), or bergamot (Citrus bergamot) oils. These oils are believed to have antibacterial properties and may help to prevent the scarring that may result from skin infections. A few drops of these oils are added to water and a compress soaked in the water is then applied to the affected area.
Tea tree oil (Melaleuca spp., or ylang ylang). Another infection-fighting herb, this oil can be applied directly to a boil or other skin infection.

Allopathic treatment: Severe or recurrent staphylocoecal infections may require a seven- to 10-day course of treatment with penicillin or other oral antibiotics. The location of the infection and the identity of the causal bacterium determines which of several effective medications should be prescribed. In recent years, doctors have turned to such newer medications as vancomycin or the fluoroquinolones to treat staph infections because strains of S. aureus have emerged that are resistant to penicillin and the older antibiotics. In case of a more serious infection, antibiotics may be administered intravenously for as long as six weeks. Intravenous antibiotics are also used to treat staph infections around the eyes or on other parts of the face. Surgery may be required to drain or remove abscesses that form on internal organs, or on shunts or other devices implanted inside the body. Most healthy people who develop staph infections recover fully within a short time. Others develop repeated infections. Some become seriously ill, requiring long-term therapy or emergency care. A small percentage die. Healthcare providers and patients should always wash their hands thoroughly with warm water and soap after treating a staph infection or touching an open wound or the pus it produces. Pus that oozes onto the skin from the site of an infection should be removed immediately. This affected area should then be cleansed with antiseptic or with antibacterial soap. To prevent infection from spreading from one part of the body to another, it is important to shower rather than bathe during the healing process. Because staph infection is easily transmitted from one member of a household to others, towels, washcloths, and bed linens used by someone with a staph infection should not be used by anyone else. They should be changed daily until symptoms disappear, and laundered separately in hot water with bleach. Children should frequently be reminded not to share:
brushes, combs, or hair accessories
sleeping bags
sports equipment
other personal items
A diet rich in green, yellow, and orange vegetables can bolster natural immunity. A doctor or nutritionist may recommend vitamins or mineral supplements to compensate for specific dietary deficiencies. Drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day can help flush diseasecausing organisms from the body. Because some strains of staph bacteria are known to contaminate artificial limbs, prosthetic devices implanted within the body, and tubes used to administer medication or drain fluids from the body, catheters and other devices should be removed on a regular basis if possible and examined for microscopic signs of staph. Symptoms may not become evident until many months after contamination has occurred, so this practice should be followed even with patients who show no sign of infection. A vaccine against S. aureus was developed in the late 1990s for use with patients with low resistance to infection. A trial of the vaccine in hemodialysis patients indicates that it offers partial protection against bacteremia for about 40 weeks.

There's info on this thread that should help as well:

Ankle Pain and Swelling: I need help

Blessings ~herbalmom

I have some experience with cellulitis as my brother in law and my brother both suffer from it.

Let me say that this is a case where you need to consider going on the antibiotics.

4 months of symptoms can really damage your cells in that limb.  It can create a recurring problem because of the damage.  Also, once you have cellulitis, you are more likely to have a re-occurrence.

It really can be a life threatening infection as it can overwhelm your blood stream and begin to attack organs (at least, that is how it was described to my relatives).

I would say you would do well to get on the right antibiotics to really kick it out of your system and also treat the natural way to promote healing and a stronger immune system to deal with this.

Then, if it shows up again, hit it with all the natural remedies you can before it gets a foothold.  However, I believe this current bout has gone on far too long as it is.

Just my $.02

Cellulitis isn't always caused by bacteria. It can be caused by yeast/fungus as well. If you are taking antibiotics & it's just not helping (or helping but not completely getting rid of it) the reason may be b/c it's cellulitus being caused by yeast/fungus or b/c it's being caused by BOTH bacteria & yeast/fungus. In that case, something like the Neem oil that Beka talked about &/or the GSE & Oreganol I talk about in this post likely would have good results. HTH Blessings ~herbalmom

--- Quote from: herbalmom on March 09, 2007, 11:11:48 PM ---
--- Quote from: jessyru on February 27, 2007, 04:46:22 AM ---Glad to hear things are getting better! If it is cellulitis, elevation is key. Just took care of lady last night who had candida cellulitis (not that common in my experience-usually it's strep or staph) and they were treating it intravenously as well as topically. Usually, staph or strep cellulitis is simply treated intravenously so you are (I'm guessing) doing well to treat internally with everything you are taking as well as topically with the garlic/goot. You may want to outline the redness to make sure that it is receding. Cellulitis can be very serious.
--- End quote ---

I don't know anything about cellulitis but if I'm understanding this correctly, it's basically an infection that is caused by one of 3 things: staph (bacteria) strep (bacteria) or Candida (yeast/fungus). This being the case, if it were me, I would take Super Strength Oreganol from North American Herb & Spice & Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE). Both are antibacterial & antifungal. Garlic is as well but these are MUCH more potent. I have no doubt that the garlic has been helping & has probally been what has kept you off of IV but it sounds like you need something stronger to finish knocking it out. Both have been used to clear up antibiotic resistant infections.  You can find out more about Oreganol by entering Oreganol into WTM's search feature. I have a book about GSE (Grapefruit Seed  Extract by Louise Tenney) that states that it has been used to treat Vancomycin resistant infections. Vancomycin is Drs heavy duty, last ditch antibiotic. NutriBiotic is a standard brand of GSE at HFS & 2 oz is under $10. You use it by the drop so a 2 oz bottle goes a LONG way. Here's a link w/doseage info for GSE:

NurtiBiotic Doseage Info

Beeyoutiful carries GSE as well. If you have any of Beeyoutiful's GSE on hand, keep in mind that it's almost 2x's as strong as NuriBiotic's & adjust the doseage.  HTH Blessings ~herbalmom
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Melly Lane:
Thank you everyone for the helpful advice.


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