There are everyday miracles for curing minor burns and serious miracles for major burns. It behooves us all to be students of burn therapy, because burns present in our families and patients, and if incorrectly treated can lead to great debility and deformity. I will go through a few treatments in this column and beg the reader's indulgence for their brevity and encourage the interested to delve deeper into this issue.
Around the home, burns, scalds, grease spatters, and sunburns can be greatly helped with vitamin C spray, 1 tsp per pint of water, applied topically. Aloe vera gel and liquid squeezed from plants is another great home remedy, as is vitamin E complex liquid and calendula ointment. However, the grandest remedy for burns that all homes should have is Pleo-Muc cream.1 Pleo-Muc is a homeopathic dilution of cell membrane fractions of Mucor racemosis Fresen, the fungus that grows on corpses. It is what mummies are made of and can be reinlivened from a 5000-year-old mummy and can't be destroyed by burning up to 500 ºF. It is an integral part of our internal fungal milieu, according to Dr. Günther Enderlein, the great German botanist who observed it via darkfield microscopy at the turn of the last century.2 According to his theory, lately challenged by genetic issues surrounding pleomorphism, several forms of beneficial fungi exist in our bodies depending on the health of our protoplasm. Pleo-Muc (or Mucokehl, from Sanum-Kehlbeck in Hoya, Germany) has many wonderful uses to restore health to the system. Its overriding effect is to improve circulation, and it is great for eye diseases, circulatory disturbances, TIAs (transient ischemic attacks), MIs (myocardial infarctions), peripheral venous disorders, cirrhosis of the liver, wound healing, fibrotic problems, and many more uses.
Burns Are a Heart Attack in the Skin
Burns disrupt the fine capillary circulation in the skin or cause more major vascular disruption. When coronary arteries don't provide enough oxygen to the heart muscle, angina ensues. Likewise, when the skin doesn't have enough circulation and oxygen, pain and injury result. Pleo-Muc cream magically restores circulation and immediately stops the pain from burns. We always keep a tube in the kitchen. Our family and patients have countless cases of immediate pain relief from burns. I like to recall an incident from a dozen years back when we were in Belize on a yoga trip. Our teacher had a couple of Norwegian assistants, and they decided to run into town down the beach in their bathing suits. They were both platinum blondes with very fair skin and misjudged the distance into town from the hotel. It was more like 2 miles than 1. On their return, they were lobster red and going into shock. We applied the Pleo-Muc cream immediately, and their pain was relieved and again about 20 minutes later. They went to sleep for a couple of hours and we reapplied the cream. They participated in the activities the rest of that day and awoke the next day with no burns or peeling. Without this intervention, I believe that they would have been very sick for a couple of days.
Don't Forget About Frostbite
Frostbite is similar to burns in that it disrupts circulation. The current treatment of advanced frostbite with amputation of the extremities is certainly extremely harsh. About 20 years ago, one of the sons of an old patient was traveling from Los Angeles to Reno and decided to stop over at Mammoth Mountain resort for a jog up the mountain. Unfortunately, he got stuck in a blizzard halfway down the mountain, and his tennis shoes were no protection against the ice, snow, and cold. I saw him later that evening with severe frostbite. He had dark purple and black toes with numbness and extreme pain. I injected his toes with Pleo-Muc and procaine and had him apply Pleo-Muc cream over the night. The next morning, he had pink toes and no pain. That was one of my first "wow!" experiences with Pleo-Muc. In retrospect, I would have also bagged his feet with ozone gas, which also helps burns and circulation.
Heparin Treatment for Burns
Dr. Michael J. Saliba, director of the Saliba Burns Institute in San Diego, California, has been teaching the use of heparin for burns for nearly 40 years.3 The astonishing results of his work have been replicated around the world. From his website:
Dr. Michael J. Saliba and his associates found, and many doctors worldwide confirm, the following: With the use of heparin there is no evidence of clotting of blood. No complications due to blood clots or destruction of the blood-deprived tissue beyond the clot (an infarction) or dislodging of a clot that traveled within a blood vessel (an embolus) to form an infarction in neither a distant organ nor many emboli forming infarctions in many body organs that was often lethal (disseminated intravascular coagulopathy).
Pain in burns was relieved within minutes when heparin was dripped or sprayed onto burn surfaces (topically). Pain in blisters was relieved within a minute when blister fluid was drained and the blisters were rinsed with heparin. Deep body pain was relieved promptly as heparin was administered by vein, or more slowly relieved by heparin injection into fat below normal skin. Recurrent lesser pain was relieved again with a lesser amount of heparin. With pain relieved, no pain medicine was needed. No morphine, dilaudid, demerol, or codeine narcotics. Therefore, narcotic complications were avoided: No distorted senses; No suppressed breathing or heart function; No decreased intestinal activity; and No addiction.
In addition to relief of pain, other signs of burn cellular-destruction (inflammation) were controlled: the redness was blanched; the heat was cooled, and the burn and body swelling was much reduced. Once relieved they did not return with continued use of heparin. Smoke inhalation and other burn inhalation injuries were likewise immediately improved with Nebulization of heparin.
Swelling in body compartments was less and usually not sufficient to compress blood vessels and stop blood flow within compartments resulting in gangrene requiring amputation; or in loss of nerve function producing a muscle paralysis. Thus Compartment Syndrome was largely eliminated. Fewer incisions to release compartment pressure (fasciotomies) were performed.
Inflammation itself was controlled and stopped: burns did not increase in size as previously observed without heparin. A study of 3rd degree experimental burns showed that with heparin use the burns consistently decreased in size and depth to an average 71% of original size at 9-11 days. In contrast, without use of heparin, the burns increased in size and depth for 9-11 days, to an average 121% of original size. This initial 50% advantage with heparin persisted into final healing.
Burn blisters were not removed (debrided). Blisters did not become infected as a rule. The blisters functioned as natural skin grafts under which smooth new skin was evident when the thin dried blisters fell (flaked) off.
At 24 hours, heparin-treated burns were smaller in size by measurement, drier, had less or no pain or swelling, and in some burns an early return of blood to blood deprived and deficient tissues was evident (revascularization).
Saliba described production of new blood vessels and a return of blood to blood deficient tissue, called neoangiogenesis, before neoangiogenesis was a known effect and property of heparin. Neoangiogenesis is the migration of the single cells that forms the wall of the smallest blood-vessels (capillary endothelial cells) into a blood-deficient body area (ischemic tissue), and multiplication of the endothelial cells which then connect-up to form new capillaries which carry blood and restore blood-flow into the ischemic areas, enabling healing for which blood circulation is vital. In 1973 in JAMA, Journal of American Medical Association, Saliba stated: "Unexpectedly, small blood vessels appeared in some thick avascular white eschar. Red comma-sized and comma-shaped structures, randomly arranged at first, increased in length, number, and proximity; joined in a rudimentary vascular vessel pattern; and increased in complexity, number, and proximity until the entire area was densely revascularized erythematous structure that by subsequent granulation and re-epithelialization evolved into healthy healed skin without slough, debridement, skin graft, infection, contracture, or scar." A blood vessel tumor (hemangioma) in one healed burn area seemed to indicate too much heparin had been used topically. It was nearly 10 years later, early in the 1980's, that studies proved that heparin was the body's neoangiogenic biochemical.
Saliba administered oral penicillin or erythromycin antibiotic to all burned patients, who had fewer infections then previous patients not treated with heparin. Increased delivery of antibiotic to burns by the heparin-enhanced blood flow to the burns was one mechanism.4
Not all studies reported positively on the heparin data.5 The negative feedback was usually due to a lack of double-blind studies (how do you do this with burns?) and lack of comprehensive measurement of burn depths. Four studies mentioned contraindications to using heparin to treat burns, as does Saliba. These contraindications were bleeding diathesis, bleeding history, active bleeding or associated trauma with potential bleeding, active intestinal ulcer, thrombocytopenia, liver disease, renal disorders, or allergy to heparin.
One of my cases of heparin treatment of burns was in a 45-year-old employee who had been sitting next to a fire pit and the wind blew a burning towel onto her lateral calf, resulting in a 4x12-inch second-degree burn. On seeing her the next day, we initiated heparin therapy with topical spray every one to two hours with subcutaneous fat injections and IV heparin therapy 5000 IU twice per day. Within two days, she remarkably improved and we switched to heparin troches orally 5000 IU twice per day while continuing the topical spray. Her pain ceased immediately with the first sprays and injections. The frequency of sprays went down to two per day, until within two weeks the burn was almost indistinguishable from the surrounding tissues.
Usual treatment of burns and frostbite is far behind the curve of modern, eclectic therapy. I think it would be interesting in the future to combine heparin therapy with Pleo-Muc therapy in the treatment of burns. These therapies are nothing short of miraculous!
Michael Gerber, MD, HMD
1. TerraMedica [website]. www.terramedica.com.
2. Enderlein G. Bacteria Cyclogeny. 1916. Reprinted in German, Semmelweis-Verlag; 1981. English ed., Prescott, AZ: Enderlein Enterprises; 1999.
3. Howenstine J. Heparin is a wonderful new therapy for burns [online article]. News with Views. www.newswithviews.com/Howenstine/james38.htm.
4. Saliba Burns Institute [website]. www.salibaburnsinstitute.org.
5. AHRQ publication No.07-E04. McMasters University Evidence-based Practice Center. December 2006.