Plant Thorn Arthritis

siobhanashmole Posts: 35 ✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in General Health

Anyone had plant thorn arthritis? My brother was working with an acacia tree and got a thorn in his index knuckle, the thorn seemed to come out but a month later he still has swelling, pain and inflammation in the joint.

Google says the only treatment is surgery - has anyone had this? Worried about the fragments causing permanent damage to the joint.

Any home remedies you could recommend instead? Kinda scary right now.

Also just made me realise the value of good gloves -this is a serious and common problem with gardeners working with thorny plants!


  • smik123
    smik123 Posts: 60 ✭✭✭

    Never heard of this but very interesting. So would this surgery be because x-rays showed remnants of the thorn? That would be the only reason I would do it--after I tried and exhausted drawing salves and other natural remedies that could be found. I say this as someone who has been disabled from the results of my rheumatoid arthritis. If I had it all to do over again I would go all natural and if that didn't work I would then go to allopathic medicine, but that is me. He will need to do what he is comfortable with.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,361 admin
    edited July 2020

    The only thing I can think of would be a drawing poultice. We have a lot of herbal and natural medicine folks here, who surely have a lot more experience with poultices than I. @Marjory Wildcraft used them in treating her rattlesnake bite!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    @siobhanashmole From what I have recently learned, p;ant thorn arthritis is caused by a small amount of plant matter left in the wound. A drawing poultice would be what I would use as the first thing. Plantain is excellent at drawing. Another than is not taught as part of herbal medicine or really anything else I know but my mother taught me to do this. She was born before modern antibiotics. Powdered epsom salts (use about 2 Tbsp) mixed with just enough vegetable glycerin to make a stiff paste. Apply to a bandage and place over the area. Repeat every 4-6 hours. Powdered epsom salts should be available at any compounding pharmacy or grind your own with a mortar and pestle. A compounding pharmacy should also be able to mix this up for you. So it must have been part of some pharmaceutical medicine taught at some point. Just ask for a magnesium sulphate and glycerin paste.

    On my way out right now but will get back to this discussion.

  • alindsay22
    alindsay22 Posts: 129 ✭✭✭

    Black salve is a drawing ointment that may work. If it's been this long I would use it in conjunction with an anti-microbial & anti inflammatory herbal tea. I would also try salt water soaks as hot as you can stand, as there may be an infection as well as material. My mother had something similar from a rose thorn in the joint of her index finger.

  • siobhanashmole
    siobhanashmole Posts: 35 ✭✭✭

    So I wanted to update on this. Thank you all for your really excellent suggestions! Based on what I had and my gut instinct about the way it was progressing, affecting the tendons associated etc. I used a yarrow and comfrey poultice every night for 5 nights. He got relief after the very first one as the swelling of the joint bursa went down and the pain lessened and by the 2nd one the liquid had almost completely drained! The poultices alone drew out something from a small hole which emerged a few days later.

    My brother carried on at home for a few days, some days after working hard and forgetting to poultice it would get worse but the poultices kept healing it. He phoned me yesterday to tell me it was completely gone and he had full function back in his hand! He also bought himself some good leather gloves so lesson learnt.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    @siobhanashmole Excellent news! Best of all, avoiding surgery. Three cheers for herbs! Lesson for all of us!