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Green Chile Season & Another Case of Cellulitis

Posted Sep 07 2008 12:10pm

This may be the best time of year in the SW - the ground is moist, the garden is full, the weather cool and the green chiles roasting. Green Chiles are good in damn near anything, this morning for breakfast I had an apple, a wedge of extra sharp chedder chees and a pile of freshly roasted green chiles. Around here, you can find an outdoor vendor with a roaster selling green chiles (usually with a choice of mild, medium or hot) in almost any village or city, most of the chiles coming from the nearby green chile capital of the world: Hatch, NM. You buy them by the pound, and while our current 35 lbs (weighed when fresh, less after being roasted, even less after being skinned and seeded) sounds like a lot, I assure you that I’ll be looking for more very soon. This stuff is good any which way, from relish to apple pies to chicken soup to eaten plain by the handfull.

We like to preserve ours by skinning and seeding them, then slitting them lengthwise and drying on the screen. This takes almost no time and dried chiles are SO multipurpose, easily rehydrated for a variety of purposes. Freezing them, if you have that option, is also great. They make a wonderful relish as well, and can flavored up in a million different directions.

Oh, and I’m dealing with another case of cellulitis. Loba stepped on a scorpion the other night and was stung. Now, usually this isn’t a big deal at all, it hurts and tingles and then goes away. But she squished a ton of venom into her toe which seriously traumatized the foot. And even though we used Peach tincture and Larrea oil on it, by the next morning it was hugely swollen, red and impossible to walk on. It LOOKED like an infection but I couldn’t imagine how a scorpion sting could get infected in such a manner. We tried various things topically with no luck and then even a benedryl (though it certainly didn’t look anything like an allergic reaction to me) which of course had no effect. The next morning I hauled her into the doctor because I couldn’t understand what was happening and the redness was rapidly spreading up her leg, getting awfully close to her knee. The pain and redness increasing, literally, by the hour. The doctor (who loves herbs and I share many clients with) confirmed that it was full blown infection a la cellulitis. He was very concerned about it and said that we had exactly six hours to stop it or cause it to recede before antibiotics should be taken. We dutifully accepted the antibiotics and headed home. I stopped along the way to gather Plantain, Alder leaves and Bidens leaves.

Back home, I made up a hot soak of Monarda, Sweet Clover, Alder bark and Rose and Loba rotated her foot between that and cold water. When she was done soaking it we wrapped it up in a Plantain and Alder and Bidens leaf poultice saturated in clay. After the first poultice though we left out the clay because it was just a sticky, leg hair pulling mess that didn’t seem to be doing too much. I also had her take Monarda and Alder by the dropper full on the hour every hour. By the end of the six hours, the redness had not only stopped spreading, it had receded a couple inches. I almost fell over with relief. To be perfectly honest, I really didn’t know if we could get back of a serious infection that fast.

Two days later, the infection is only in her foot and is still receding, slowly but surely. We’re still very much on alert, and still pumping in the herbs very frequently. I’m not convinced it’s going to resolve, but I have hope that we won’t need those antibiotics. And then this morning she got stung on her hand by a wasp, which flipped her immune system out. Peach & Plantain for that. Here’s praying it doesn’t make the foot worse.

If I’m late answering emails, that’s part of the reason why…. plus we have guests (and more coming) and by god, there’s a lot of wood to chop :)

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