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Tag: vitamin C

How to Heal from Surgery Naturally

Reader question: “My question is ….. i had done labiaplasty last week. i am not fully recover still my stitches bleed and little bit pain. can i use apple cider vinegar for healing.”
~Xara C., Karachi, Sindh

Hi Xara! Ouch! Luckily, regardless of where the surgery occurred on the body, there are some natural remedies for recovering from surgery that you can use to help speed your healing and feel better.

Open Wound Remedies

While I suspect that apple cider vinegar might sting an open wound –though can be helpful for loosening scabs later– my go-to herb is Calendula when addressing broken skin. Coat the wound with calendula oil or jelly and then cover with a bandage. Change the bandage 4x/daily while the wound oozes.

Colloidial Silver can also be helpful to use on an open wound for its antiseptic and healing properties. Apply it before the calendula.

Wound Healing Remedies

Once the wound stops oozing, continue with the calendula and also coat with Vitamin E frequently. You can continue to keep it bandaged, but better to leave it open to air as much as possible. For your wounds, I might suggest wearing an organic cotton pantiliner during this time.

There are also some homeopathic remedies to help you with the pain from the tissue trauma. First should always be Arnica Montana to address the bruising and swelling from the procedure. You could start with one pellet of Arnica Montana 200C underneath the tongue and then take a 30C pellet if you have any more pain, but if you don’t have the higher level, just take a 30C pellet every 4 hours for a day or two, then only if there is continued pain.

Homeopathic Ledum is helpful for puncture wounds and surgeries. Take one pellet of Ledum 30C underneath the tongue as soon as possible after surgery and daily for the next several days during healing. Even though your surgery was a week ago, Xara, you could still benefit from Ledum.

Post-Surgical Vitamins

Whenever you are post-surgery, taking additional Vitamin C and Zinc are recommended. I would do a big boost of 1000 mg of a Vitamin C complex for several days to speed healing.

It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to take Vitamin D3 (be sure to take it with a fat for better absorption). Calcium, Sulfur, and Magnesium, too, if a broken bone is involved.

Best of luck for a speedy recovery!

Remedies for Lingering Crud from a Cold

I hear a lot of people have been suffering this winter from colds that stay and stay. I hear about stuffy or running noses, annoying coughs, and general exhaustion.

My recommendations for knocking this virus out of the body are simple: Garlic tea and vitamins D and C.

Garlic Tea

Garlic tea has an amazing anti-viral properties and couldn’t be easier to make. Mince or smash a few cloves of garlic and place in a mug. Fill with boiling water and allow to steep for 10 minutes covered with a plate. Add the juice from 1/4-1/2 lemon and enough honey or cane sugar to sweeten.

The most common questions I field about garlic tea are does it make you smell like garlic and does it taste awful? Yes and no. Yes, you will reek of garlic, but hey, you’re sick. How close do you really want to be to other people? And no, when I need it I find it tastes sweet. If you don’t like the taste, add more honey and lemon and plug your nose when you drink it.

I usually eat the garlic at the bottom of my tea, but you don’t need to. Repeat as often as needed.

Vitamin D

If your immune system is working overtime, give it a hand up with a booster dose of vitamin D. I like to use 5000 IU of vitamin D3 during times of immune stress. Unless you are normally immune compromised, only take this high of a dose of vitamin D for 5 days at a time.

I prefer to use liquid vitamin D3 rather than capsules because it is easier to measure the dosage.

Vitamin C

Acerola cherries offer an excellent source of vitamin C.

Acerola cherries are one of the most bio-available sources of vitamin C. Almost 40 years ago, Linus Pauling introduced us to the idea that vitamin C could influence health. His theories have stood the test of time and it is now common knowledge that vitamin C can help you avoid or recover from colds.

I give my kids 1 Tablespoon of acerola cherry powder mixed in water or juice each day when they start to exhibit symptoms of a cold until the symptoms disappear.

Vitamin C Still Key for Kicking a Cold

Sometimes it’s good to be reminded about old truths that get forgotten in the rush to embrace new trends. That’s how I’m feeling about Vitamin C these days.

Acerola cherries are a great source of Vitamin C.

I remember watching my parents down large doses of Vitamin C in the 1980s to rid themselves of colds, and it worked well for them then. Why I don’t treat myself the same way remains the mystery.

I had to battle my east coast summer cold for twelve days before thinking of taking some Vitamin C. Maybe the cold was clouding my brain, or maybe I just wasn’t taking care of myself properly because I was feeling so lousy (I did manage to give my kids Vitamin C and they only suffered for a few days, go figure), or maybe I bypassed Vitamin C in favor of other remedies just because I thought of them first. Whatever. I’m glad I finally thought to take some because it did the trick.

The thing about helping your body heal and recover from illness using natural remedies is that sometimes you have to try a few approaches before finding the right one to counteract that ailment. My regular stockpile of garlic tea, Sinus Rinse, and homeopathic remedies were not effective against this particularly nasty bug, but a large dose of Vitamin C was what I needed.

Linus Pauling, the father of orthomolecular medicine, first asserted that high doses of Vitamin C could activate the immune system against viral infections and even cancer. He was attacked by a skeptical medical community schooled to believe in pharmaceuticals and to reject the notion of food as intrinsic to health. It is only now that conventional medicine is beginning to recognize the role of vitamins in health, and Linus was truly ahead of his time.

Because I prefer to get my vitamins from whole foods rather than from supplements with questionable bio-availability, when I’m looking for Vitamin C I’ll usually reach for strawberries, kiwis, oranges or grapefruits, but sometimes a higher dose is needed quickly. The two foods with the highest concentrations of Vitamin C are rosehips and ascerola cherries.

While I’m not a big fan of the flavor of rosehip tea, I have no problem munching on tart, dried Acerola cherries, but they can be hard to find. Acerola extract powder (also in capsules) offers a natural source of Vitamin C that’s easy to take mixed into juice or water. A single heaping teaspoonful of Acerola powder was all it took for me to turn the corner back to health.

The moral of this story: don’t forget about Vitamin C. It’s an oldie but goodie to keep in your arsenal against colds.


Fruit Smoothies Are Easy and Healthy

Huge carrots ready for the juicer in a Tel Aviv market.

I love getting freshly blended fruit and vegetable juices when I travel to tropical locales: maracuja juice at the Jugo bars in northeastern Brazil and papaya juice in Costa Rica stand out in my memory. And now I can add to that the fresh watermelon-mint juice smoothie I enjoyed at the Israeli markets last week.

Back at home, mangoes are coming into season somewhere as low-priced mangoes are all over the grocery stores. I’ve loved mangoes in the tropics since childhood, and now that they are available up north, I’m thrilled to hook my kids on this vitamin C powerhouse. Strawberries, blueberries, kiwis, cantaloupe… I’ll throw almost any fruit (or vegetable) into a smoothie. Sometimes I’ll add a “milk”; other times, not. There is not a “magic” recipe for a smoothie as any combination of fruits or vegetables and ice or water or juice or a milk or milk substitute will turn out a frothy delight. Lately, I’ve been making fresh mango-banana-almond milk smoothies and my kids are going crazy for them.

Loading a mango-strawberry smoothie into a Magic Bullet blender cup.

When I received a Magic Bullet mini blender as a gift, I wasn’t sure I’d ever use it. But when it comes to producing quick, delicious, healthy smoothies for my kids, the single-serving Magic Bullet sure comes in handy.

Be sure to always wash mangoes before cutting into them, as filth, pesticides, or bacteria can travel into the fruit on the knife if it cuts through a dirty peel. I use a veggie wash on all produce before cutting to reduce the risk of contamination.

To cut a mango, hold it up on end so it’s a flat, vertical oval. Slice the “cheeks” off on either side. Lightly score each cheek, taking care not to cut through the skin, then invert it and slice the mango flesh from the peel. You can find great instructional videos on YouTube for peeling mangoes.

Beware of packages of pre-sliced mangoes as they likely have been sprinkled with anti-microbial product like sodium bisulfate or sorbic acid, which may cause headaches, stomach distress, inflamed joints or other symptoms in sensitive people.