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Decubitus ulcers, or bedsores, are a serious medical problem affecting an estimated 20% of hospital patients and costing billions of dollars (US figures). Particularly in the elderly and those with chronic diseases, these wounds can resist even the most aggressive healing intervention, and can remain with the patients for the rest of their lives. Not just the syndrome of decubitus ulcers, but one specific wound can remain unhealed for years. They can be extremely demoralising for patients and caregivers, and can hasten death, diminish quality of life, and render the sufferer more vulnerable to opportunistic infections such as C. difficile and necrotizing fasciitis.

The most common bedsores (also called pressure sores) are caused in bedridden individuals due to a combination of pressure and friction, however the term is also used to describe surface wounds that develop when contusions (bruises) ‘break open’ due to inadequate healing. In elderly patients and those with poor circulation, diabetes, and other chronic conditions that slow healing, a hard impact (from a fall, accident, etc) can turn into a pressure sore, resist treatment, and persist over a long period of time.

Up to recently, conventional treatments have not been terribly successful. Even when the source of damage/irritation is removed (as with bruising victims), in slow-healing patients, lack of circulation and insufficient immune response will cause enough cell death to outpace the body’s ability to grow new tissue. Antibiotics, pressure bandages (to hold the flesh together), silver nitrate, debridement (surgical removal of dead tissue) and even maggots (a less invasive method of removing dead tissue) are all only partially effective. And in bedridden individuals, the outlook is much grimmer. There is no question that bedsores keep people sick and in hospitals longer, and accrue exorbitant costs to healthcare budgets, human resources and quality of life.

A recent study has shown that Omega 3, taken internally along with vitamins A, C and E (all four of which are well-represented in seabuckthorn’s nutritional profile) demonstrated a clinically significant benefit over conventional treatment to post-surgical patients at risk of bedsores (approximately 30% fewer patients developed bedsores). The researchers’ initial observations included the possibility that the combination of nutrients could interfere with the inflammatory response that leaves tissues vulnerable.

Additionally, evidence has been mounting in recent years that seabuckthorn oil applied topically has a similar, or even superior, benefit.

Meet Jean and Nellie Dunlop. In 2006, Jean’s mother Nellie developed what was diagnosed as a ‘bedsore’ after a fall in her home; Nellie was an active 91 year old! The large, weeping sore that developed from a bruise was treated by homecare nurses with silver nitrate, pressure bandages and other treatments, however the wound did not heal, and Nellie was told she might have it for the rest of her life.

Jean (Nellie’s daughter) had heard from her nephew that seabuckthorn was a successful treatment for bedsores, so she decided to try it. After four months of seabuckthorn oil application, the wound was all but gone and Nellie was back wearing her normal compression stockings. Prior to trying seabuckthorn, she had been receiving conventional treatment for almost a year.

Thank you to Jean and Nellie for allowing us to reproduce their remarkable story here and on our website; we wish them both all the best of health and happiness!

Resources:

Jean and Nellie Dunlop’s remarkable story – on seabuckthorn.com

Seabuckthorn oils – production and nutritional page

Seabuckthorn oils – order page

Seabuckthorn capsules – order page

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