The following is exerpted from an article titled "Toxic Invasion: Blood Poisoning and Septicemia" by Carmen Mattes, appearing in the March/April 2002 issue of Nature's Field Magazine:

When my daughter was 6 years old she got punctured in the ankle by a corner of a wooden dresser. By the next afternoon she had a fever, was very weak and tired, and she was complaining of a sore leg. Upon inspection I saw that her leg was swollen, red, and there were red streaks running up her leg to her knee. Her groin was also very sore. . . I knew she had blood poisoning. Since I believe getting a second opinion is wise medicine I took her to the doctor and had it confirmed.

The doctor prescribed antibiotics. I had never given my daughter antibiotics and I did not want to start, but blood poisoning is a serious condition that one should not fool with (and so are husbands who insist on following doctor's orders). So, I made a compromise; I took the antibiotics home just in case. . . Once home, I put [an herbal] poultice on my daughter's ankle. . . . I also gave her [some herbal and nutritional supplements] and put her to bed.

I checked in on her every 30 minutes, and to my amazement within the first 30 minutes I could see that the streaks in her leg were already fading. I had my husband check it out and he agreed that the leg was looking better. . . Within a couple of hours I knew that it would be safe for me to go to bed, as my daughter was clearly getting better. The next morning when she awoke her fever was gone, the red streaks were gone, and her wound looked like a minor nick. You would never have known she was so sick the day before.

I tell you this for two reasons. One, that experience taught me something about myself. I realized that for all the knowledge and strong belief I had in herbs and alternative healing, in that moment, in the doctor's office, I doubted myself and what I knew. Should I, could I, handle such a serious, acute condition? After all, this was my daughter and she was only a child . . . This leads me to my second point. There are times when antibiotics are absolutely necessary. In a situation as critical as blood poisoning, good judgement is vital. Although I had never used antibiotics for any of my children, I had to consider the possibility that perhaps I would need to rely on them that day. It was hard for me to accept, but in retrospect I am glad that I had the foresight (and the insistent husband) to pick up the prescription and have it as back up in the event that it was needed.

With all that said, the herbs were successful!!!! I continued to work on my daughter's immune system and health . . . because the most important thing one can do to prevent septicemia is to keep the immune system strong and healthy. . .