THESE natural remedies are my go-to fixes for wound healing and good health, whether applied topically as a soothing balm or taken as a tincture or tablet.
Honey can be applied to a sterile dressing and placed directly on to an open wound to assist in the healing of leg and diabetic ulcers, bed sores (pressure ulcers) and abscesses. The concentrated natural sugars in honey give it a high osmolarity, which means it draws moisture from microbes and effectively kills them. When in contact with a wound, it produces small amounts of hydrogen peroxide, which is a potent antibacterial agent.
Manuka honey, which is formed by bees collecting nectar from New Zealand’s Manuka plant, is high in antimicrobial phytochemicals. Choose honey with a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) of 10 or higher.
Aloe vera barbadensis is known around the world as the “medicine plant” due to the healing powers of the clear cooling gel found inside its spiky leaves. It’s popular for calming irritated, inflamed skin and mucous membranes. Not only is the gel anti-inflammatory, it also has a mild antibiotic and antifungal action. Applied topically, aloe gel has an instantly cooling and soothing effect, which is excellent for burns, ranging from sunburn and minor kitchen accidents to burns that result from the cancer treatment radiotherapy.
This medicinal herb, which is also known as Indian pennywort, is used externally in creams and lotions, and internally as a herbal tincture or tablet. Studies show that gotu kola can help to increase cell proliferation and collagen repair, speeding up the healing process. It contains asiaticoside, a substance that’s been found to reduce scar formation, particularly keloid (a growth of extra scar tissue) or raised scars. Massaging a cream containing gotu kola into a closed wound daily can help to prevent scar formation.
Taking homoeopathic arnica after surgery can speed up healing and reduce swelling and bruising, internally and externally. After an operation, take a dose (30c) of arnica, take another dose every half hour for a few hours, then space out doses to every two hours, then every four hours. Arnica shouldn’t interfere with other medicines or anaesthetic but check with your GP. It can also help during and after childbirth.
Massaging arnica cream into bruised and sore muscles and sprains can help to ease the pain, which makes it handy to take when bushwalking or playing a body contact sport.