January 8th, 2014

microbes

Why Dirt Helps Wounds Heal

In the field, some practitioners will pack an open wound with black soil to help it heal. You can get black peat that is used for this purpose and others. It is not pasteurized or sterilized in any way; it is full of living organisms. After the battle of Shiloh in the US civil war, soldiers whose wounds glowed in the dark had better survival. The organism (Photorhabdus luminescens) that was growing in their wounds came from the guts of nematodes living in the soil. Presumably this organism outcompeted the pathogenic ones. This kind of antibiotic mechanism cannot be ignored when antibiotic drugs are increasing ineffective.

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