Ask An Herbalist: Today I reply to a question about prepping our bodies for surgery

Lisa Asks,

I am about to undergo surgery to repair a herniated disk and bone spur in my neck that is causing unbelievable pain. Are there things I can do now to help my body to heal better/faster once I have the surgery?


Hello Lisa!

There sure are some things you can start doing now to help your body to deal with the trauma of breaking and entering (surgery) and these things can be safely continued afterwards to further healing along with building good levels of nutrition in the body.

Safe simple herbal infusions! When our body has all of its nutritional needs met is has an easier time focusing on healing. It also has the spare energy to do so. Right off the bat i'm going to say start drinking a few cups daily even up to a quart of chilled stringing nettle (Urtica dioica) infusion this is going to help quickly restore depleted mineral/vitamin reserves in your body as well as rebuild depleted adrenaline levels (nods at coffee drinkers) to return natural energy levels.

The reason I say chilled Nettle infusion is the warm Nettle infusion can make us feel nauseated as it gives us a lot of energy at once, drinking it cold slows digestion so we don't get that rush.

Also Nettle has good vitamin K levels which helps control blood loss and that's a good thing to have on our side during any surgery.

Next I'd jump onto Comfrey infusions as they don't call her knit bone for no reason! Her ability to heal wounds internally and externally is down right astounding! Although there are a million conflicting opinions out there about ingesting Comfrey internally I will never hesitate to use garden Comfrey (  Symphytum uplandica x. ) internally, of course excluding the roots. In fact almost anywhere you buy Comfrey in bulk is likely selling this regardless of what they have it labeled as.

Here is some further reading on that subject from Susun Weed

Anyhow she is amazing at speeding up the healing process of any wound. So starting to drink her now would only put you even further ahead in the game.

The next thing i'm going to suggest is upping your healthy animal fats. This will give your body the kind of energy it needs to burn. It is as simple as adding grass fed butter, whole milk plain yogurt (amazing for your gut health), grass fed meats the fattier cut the better(excluding bacon unless it's uncured as in isn't soaking in nitrates), bone broth,grass fed whole milk, grass fed ghee, grass fed cheeses of any kind(good for your bones).

Having bone broth on hand would be great for after surgery when your digestive track needs you to go gentle. As this (on top of infusions) is an easily digestible instantly available source of nutrition, fats, proteins.

I know many are intimidated by making bone broth but it is so easy no need to over complicate. Ever made chicken/beef soup? Where you add whatever veggies/herbs you prefer? Okay now just toss the chicken/beef/or any other bones in the pot (crock pot is a great tool here) and let it cook on med-low for 48 hours(two days) strain out the broth and tada bone broth! You can can it (pressure cooker only people or your gana die of botulism) to make it shelf stable, freeze it in canning jars (leave ample room for the "ice" to expand or the jars will break) it can store in the fridge for up to three days (like any cooked meat) or in any other freezer safe container you choose (if using food grade plastic let the broth cool all the way before pouring.)

You can do this same concept with infusions. I like to make Nettle infusion ice cubes and add them to my water or the like. I also use them(bone broth too!) to cool down food for my kids/self. Any way we get this into our diets is going to improve our health and when our health improves healing comes quickly.

I hope this was of some help to you and I hope the surgery brings you much needed relief!

Kindest Regards,

April G.

Oh! Here is a quick and easy video of how to make herbal infusions! 


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