and references regarding Activated Carbon
"[Dr.] Thrash used these poultices for all varieties of insect bites (bees, wasps, ants, mosquitoes, chiggers) and for skin rashes such as those caused by poison ivy. They had particular success in treating bites from the very toxic brown recluse spider."
"...there is ample reason to believe that charcoal poultices, especially when applied in more or less direct contact with infected areas of the skin, can be effective, as it is well known that activated charcoal can effectively adsorb bacteria and toxins."
"The most scientific study carried out on the effect of activated charcoal for treating wounds is by Beckett et al. (1980). They used activated charcoal cloth (made by pyrolyzing a rayon fabric and then activating the resulting charred cloth by exposure to an oxidizing agent). Twenty-six patients with chronic leg ulcers and 13 patients with suppurtating post-operative wounds had the charcoal cloth applied as a dressing. All wounds were malodorous. Wound odor was reduced noticeably in 95% of the patients and self cleansing of the wounds occurred in 80% of the patients.
No adverse reactions to the charcoal cloth were observed, nor did the cloth adhere to the wounds and cause any difficulties in removal off the dressings. In vitro experiments with patches of the cloth dropped into solutions of bacteria showed that bacterial counts in the solutions decreased by 1000 to 100,000 fold due to binding of the bacteria by the cloth. Hence, it appears that bacterial adsorption by the cloth accounts for its effectiveness as a wound dressing."
"Mulligan indicated that by 1986 this cloth had already received extensive use in hospitals, owing to its ability to improve wounds and reduce offensive odors. Mulligan's group treated 97 patients for ulcerous wounds ... and found significant improvement in the condition of the ulcerous wounds. Increased epithelialization [skin regrowth] occurred and there were greatly reduced levels of exudate, odor and edema [swelling].
An average reduction of .8% per day in the size of the wounds was noted, compared to .3% per day in untreated patients."