by Randall Neustaedter OMD
Common sense and natural first-aid
When someone is injured, first check for bleeding and stop it, then avoid use of the injured part. Assess the damage, and then administer first-aid. The next step is to give the appropriate homeopathic remedy or herbal preparation. Homeopathy will speed the healing process. All of the remedies discussed in this article are made from herbs. Homeopathic preparations can be purchased in many health food stores (see suppliers at the end of this article). These are natural substances prepared in a specific pharmaceutical process of serial dilution. The more times the substance goes through this process, the stronger it becomes. A low strength is a 6 or 12 (an x or a c following the number indicates whether the process was done with a 1/10 or 1/100 dilution respectively); 30 is a medium strength; and 200 or 1M (1,000) are high strengths. A home remedy kit should contain 30 strength remedies, but lower will generally do as well. Give only one remedy at a time. Using more than one remedy may confuse the body’s reaction. Stop administration of homeopathic remedies when symptoms improve.
Strains and sprains
A strain is an injury to tendons or muscles. This is the most common type of overuse injury that arises from twisting or wrenching a muscle. You are jogging and you step on a rock. Your ankle twists and when the tendons stretch, muscle fibers tear. The ankle is the most common site of strains, but other joints can be strained as well¾shoulders, elbows, wrists, or knees. The symptoms are pain and swelling. Bad strains may cause discoloration¾redness or bruising. A sprain involves the ligaments that attach bone to bone. The ligament may be stretched or torn, and torn ligaments can be excruciatingly painful, possibly requiring surgery. Think football, think Jerry Rice.
Consult a medical provider (medical doctor, osteopath, chiropractor, or acupuncturist) if there is severe pain, if the limb cannot be used, or if there is noticeable tenderness over an isolated spot. These are all signs of a fractured bone or severe strain or sprain. Your doctor will decide if an x-ray is needed.
Step one: RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation)
Rest – stay off the injured part, further motion will aggravate the injury.
Ice – apply ice (in a plastic bag and wrapped with a towel) to the injured part. This will reduce swelling and bruising; do this three times a day.
Compression – apply an ace bandage to restrict movement and to reduce swelling; do not use a bandage that cannot stretch.
Elevation – keep the injured part higher than the heart to prevent swelling.
Step two: Homeopathic remedies
1. As soon as possible following an injury that involves muscles, joints, or bruising, take Arnica 30, two pellets every hour for three doses, then every three hours while awake for at least three days. Apply Arnica gel to the area two to three times per day. Do not apply Arnica externally to skin that is raw from scrapes or cuts.
For sore muscles from overwork, use Arnica 30 internally and Arnica gel externally.
2. If swelling or pain persists after three days, switch to Rhus-toxicodendron 30 three times per day.
Step three: anti-inflammatory supplements
Bromelain (made from pineapple stems) and curcumin (active ingredient of turmeric) are natural anti-inflammatory agents. Bromelain limits production of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins. They will not produce the sedating effects and stomach irritation of painkillers such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen.
Dosage: Bromelain 500 mg. three times per day between meals, not with food. This is the dose for a 150-pound adult. Reduce the dose proportionally for children. (If a rash occurs, discontinue use.)
Curcumin 400 mg three times per day.
Tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome
Repetitive motion such as typing at a keyboard, moving a computer mouse, or using a pricing gun at a grocery can result in inflamed tendons in the forearm and irritation of the nerve passing through the wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome). Tennis elbow is another form of tendinitis. Acupuncture is the most effective medical treatment for this condition.
Step one: Decrease the motion of the tendons involved by using a wrist splint or a forearm splint designed for this purpose.
Step two: For tendinitis take Ruta 30, a homeopathic medicine, two pellets twice per day.
Take vitamin B6 100 mg per day and bromelain 500 mg three times per day between meals.
For carpal tunnel syndrome take Viola odorata 30, two pellets twice per day.
Cuts and puncture wounds
Home treatment for cuts and scrapes
Stop the bleeding from cuts by pressing on the wound with a clean cloth, then wash with soap and water. After bleeding has stopped use tape to bring the edges of the wound together.
Step one: Calendula tincture in alcohol is usually the only application needed. Dilute the liquid Calendula extract in a little water, 1 dropper in ¼ cup water. Then apply the diluted Calendula to the skin. Calendula is a natural antiseptic. It stops bleeding, promotes healing of the skin, and prevents infection.
Step two: When the wound has healed, apply vitamin E to prevent scarring. Puncture a capsule of vitamin E and apply it to the skin once a day.
A physician should examine any cut longer than one-half inch on the hands or face, or any other jagged or extensive cut, because it may need stitches. Watch for significant redness surrounding the cut or red streaks extending up from the cut during the ensuing days. These are signs of infection that should be examined by a medical provider.
The danger associated with puncture wounds is the development of tetanus, a potentially fatal infection that is caused by bacteria that can only grow in a medium deprived of free oxygen. The tissues and blood vessels beneath the skin can provide just such an environment. Puncture wounds should be allowed to bleed in order to flush out any bacteria injected under the skin. A tetanus shot may be necessary to prevent this infection. If the initial series of tetanus shots or a booster has been given in the preceding ten years, then a booster shot is not needed. If no tetanus shots have ever been given in the past, then one shot of tetanus immune globulin (TIG) in the emergency room will prevent tetanus from that injury.
For any serious injury, or persisting pain from an injury, an x-ray may be needed to diagnose a broken bone. If a bone is fractured then an orthopedist will determine the appropriate treatment¾casting, splinting, or surgery.
Take Symphytum 12c twice a day for six weeks. Symphytum (comfrey or boneset) will help the fracture to heal more quickly.
Always use sunscreen and reapply it after swimming to prevent sunburn. When redness occurs despite your best efforts, put a few droppers of Calendula tincture into a spray bottle with ½ cup water and apply this to the skin. Aloe vera gel is also a soothing application.
Home remedy kit for injuries
Homeopathic medicines Supplements
Arnica montana 30c Bromelain
Rhus-toxicodendron 30c Curcumin
Ruta graveolans 30c Vitamin B6
Calendula officinalis tincture