Recovering from Surgery
Funny how the world works. I have been thinking of writing a post about recovering from surgery and lo and behold, not long ago, I awakened to a text saying my oldest son was in the ER experiencing terrible stomach pain.
Yes. You guessed it. Within 12 hours, he had his appendix removed*.
Always remember… the procedure may be simple, but recovering from removing a piece of your anatomy is never simple!
He was prescribed and he filled all of the meds the doctors recommended. Has he used them? Nope. (I take that back. He took one single Tylenol the first morning.)
How did we address this post-surgical pain? With 2 little tubes of homeopathic remedies: homeopathic Nux vomica and Helios’** homeopathic combination remedy, "Surg".
Why Nux vomica following an appendectomy and anesthesia?
Dr. Ratera (2016, p. 310) lists Nux vomica among a selection of only 11 remedies for use following general anesthesia, including narcosis (“a state of stupor, drowsiness or unconsciousness produced by drugs”).
Schroyens (2012) lists Nux in the following rubrics in his homeopathic repertory:
• Stomach, nausea, operation on abdomen, after; Including cramping pain.
• Vomiting following an operation.
• General ailments following an operation.
In addition to those “official” symptoms, Nux vomica is the remedy to turn to when you have things in your system that shouldn’t be there — (see: Garbage in, Garbage out and Too Much!).
Once upon a time, our Great Pyrenees, Rufus, had a minor procedure and he was not waking up following the anesthesia (see definition of Narcosis above). When I set out to his vet appointment, I didn’t know he was going to be put under, so, I didn’t bring any remedies with me. But, I always have Nux vomica 200c in my purse, (see: My Little Bag of Wellness). I slipped 2 pellets in between his gum and his cheek and he literally popped out of Neverland and was able to stand up and walk to the car. Did I mention he’s a big dog? There was no way I was going to be able to carry him to the car. We got home and he curled up on his bed and was back into a very deep sleep. Another dose of Nux placed between his gum and his cheek and he got up and drank some water. I think we did 1 final dose of Nux later that evening and he was back to his normal self.
My son didn’t want to take the Nux immediately. They told him that having the anesthesia in his system would help him to sleep that night and since it had been a long time since he had any sleep, that’s the route he chose.
The other tube of homeopathy he used was a beautiful mixture of homeopathic remedies from Helios pharmacy they call “Surg.” Surg is a combination of Arnica, Bellis perennis, Calendula, Hypericum and Staphysagria.
Homeopathic Arnica is probably the most researched homeopathic remedy. Below is a good handful of summaries and links to the actual papers.
ARNICA & SURGERY RESEARCH:
Anesthesia recovery and Analgesia in dogs -- Arnica & Papaver
“The Arnica group required rescue analgesia later than the others.” (I’m willing to bet the rescue analgesia could be have been avoided all-together if further doses of Arnica were provided.)
Postoperative Sore Throat (This is a case report.)
“In all three trials, patients receiving homeopathic arnica showed a trend towards less postoperative swelling compared to patients receiving placebo.”
“The results of this trial suggest that Arnica montana given after tonsillectomy provides a small, but statistically significant, decrease in pain scores compared to placebo.”
Healing of Wounds following surgery, compared to diclofenac
“After foot operations, Arnica… can be used instead of diclofenac to reduce wound irritation.”
Effectiveness and Safety of Arnica montana in Post-Surgical Setting, Pain and Inflammation. This is a review showing “arnica Montana is more effective than placebo when used for the treatment of several conditions including post-traumatic and postoperative pain, edema, and ecchymosis.”
Varicose vein surgery Varicose vein surgery
“The results of this pilot study showed a trend towards a beneficial effect of Arnica… with regard to reduction of hematoma and pain during the postoperative course.”
Is Homeopathic Arnica Effective for Postoperative Recovery? A Meta-analysis of Placebo-Controlled and Active Comparator Trials
“Homeopathic Arnica has a small effect size over and against placebo in preventing excessive hematoma and other sequelae of surgeries. The effect is comparable to that of anti-inflammatory substances.”
Is there a role for homeopathy in breast cancer surgery?
“A. montana… could reduce post-operative blood and seroma collection in women undergoing unilateral total mastectomy.”
Use of Arnica to relieve pain after carpal-tunnel release surgery
“…there was a significant reduction in pain experienced after 2 weeks in the Arnica-treated group.”
RESEARCH on ARNICA combined with other homeopathic remedies listed in “Surg.”
Healing of Surgical Wounds -- Arnica & Staphysagria
The table provided in this study shows the number of days needed to complete healing of the surgical wound for the control group and the groups assigned either Arnica or Staphysagria.
Homeopathic Mixture Accelerates Wound Closure -- Arnica, Calendula, and Hypericum
“A homeopathic remedy… accelerates in vitro wound scratch closure of NIH 3T3 fibroblasts.”
The effect of the homeopathic remedies Arnica montana and Bellis perennis on mild postpartum bleeding
“Treatment with homeopathic Arnica montana and Bellis perennis may reduce postpartum blood loss, as compared with placebo.
RESEARCH on Arnica and homeopathic remedies not listed in “Surg.”
Perioperative Homeopathic Arnica and Bromelain
"A systematic review of the literature demonstrates the potential for arnica and bromelain to improve perioperative outcomes including edema, ecchymosis, and pain control."
RESEARCH on Hypericum:
Hypericum perforatum to Improve Postoperative Pain Outcome After Monosegmental Spinal Sequestrectomy (HYPOS)
“Although no significant differences between the groups could be shown, we found that patients who took potentiated Hypericum in addition to usual pain management showed lower consumption of analgesics.”
Homeopathic treatment for peripheral nerve regeneration
“Hypericum improves functional recovery of peripheral nerve regeneration in rats.”
Note: Most of the research on Calendula, Hypericum and Bellis perennis centers on herbal or mother tinctures.
Historically speaking, in homeopathic terms, these last three remedies have a terrific reputation for post-surgical and wound healing with claims that it can promote healing and reduce risk of infection. Dr. Robin Murphy spoke often in his seminars of the healing qualities of Calendula and names it the number one remedy to use following surgery, noting the homeopathic remedy can be taken internally as well as topically. (Note: to use topically, a pellet of homeopathic Calendula can be added to clean water and used as a compress. Or, “Calendula, mother tincture, 15 drops to a wineglass of boiled water. This will cleanse the abraded surface and prevent sepsis. Calendula 6 given three to four times daily by the mouth will assist the healing process” (Shepherd and Robinson 1995).
Calendula and Hypericum tinctures are often used together following surgery or for wound healing in general.
Dr. Dorothy Shepherd*** says, “I have never seen a cleaner wound surface or more rapid healing in a torn perineum than those which were treated with Calendula sprays, and it was much more efficacious, and more rapid than the strongest antiseptic, nor was there any rise in temperature after!” (Shephard 1989).
Bellis perennis is the common daisy. When I first learned about this remedy, the story was told about the soldiers in the war marching over fields of daisies. They were tired and they were sore and they were bruised and they didn’t realize the little flowers they were tromping over actually held the key to their ails. “Bellis perennis is long-flowering and surprisingly tough. It is resilient to the damage of mowing and human footfall, bouncing back” (Evans 2020).
The National Center for Homeopathy says it is most often used to speed surgical healing.
In addition to being helpful after surgery, Bellis can be used to assist in the healing from “long-unresolved or repeated trauma from accidents and injuries; physical, emotional or sexual abuse” (Evans 2020). Bellis is “especially useful in soft tissue injuries …. Similar to Arnica, it acts on muscle fibers and blood vessels with intense pain … deep trauma … especially in pelvis and abdomen” (Ratera 2016).
If you or a loved one has a surgery scheduled in the near future, contact Helios for a tube of “Surg” or, grab a tube of each of the remedies included in that combination (Arnica, Bellis perennis Calendula, Hypericum, and Staphysagria) and make your own combo remedy to help speed your recovery along. (Note: A good way to make your own combo remedy is to drop a pellet or two into a bottle of water and take sips as needed. Remember, every sip is a dose, so it's wise to have a water for drinking and a bottle for healing.)
For further research on the potential benefits of homeopathy, see: https://classicallypractical.com/research.html.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
* Are there homeopathic remedies that can help with an inflamed appendix? Yes, there are, and perhaps I will write about those one day. In the mean time, if you are suffering from appendicitis, or, other severe stomach/abdominal pain, please go to the ER or talk to your physician.
** I have no affiliation with Helios; I just like their products.
*** Dr. Dorothy Shepherd was an orthodox physician who turned to homeopathy, saying, “I must admit that homeopathy has never let me down.” She had a homeopathic clinic in London during the war (Anon. 2009).
Anon., 2009. Dorothy Shepherd (1885 - 1952) [online]. www.sueyounghistories.com.
Anon., 2022. Bellis perennis [online]. National Center for Homeopathy.
Evans, J., 2020. Asteraceae: remedies of the sunflower family. Harlem, NL: Emryss.
Ratera, Dr. M. M., 2016. First Aid with Homeopathy. Kander, Germany: Narayana Verlag.
Schroyens, F., 2012. Synthesis : repertorium homeopathicum syntheticum. Accessed through Radar Opus software. London: Homeopathic Book Publishers.
Shephard, Dr. D., 1989. The magic of the minimum dose : experiences and cases. Saffron Walden: Health Science Press.
Shepherd, D. and Robinson, G. E., 1995. More magic of the minimum dose : experiences and cases. Saffron Walden, Essex: C.W. Daniel Co.
Julia Coyte, CHom
I am passionate about homeopathy and I love sharing this passion. Having a working knowledge of homeopathy shouldn't be kept a secret. If people have the ability to help themselves, their children and their friends when they have minor ailments, life just gets better for everyone. That is the purpose behind Ruminating on Remedies.